June 24, 2018
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Ouellette helps Maine hockey team salvage 1-1 tie with Northeastern

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BOSTON — Northeastern University senior goalie Chris Rawlings made 42 saves and University of Maine junior netminder Martin Ouellette finished with 31 as the Huskies and Black Bears battled to a 1-1 overtime tie at Matthews Arena on Friday night.

Maine is now 5-12-3 overall, 1-7-3 in Hockey East while NU is 6-10-2 and 3-8-2. Maine will visit Merrimack on Saturday night.
Ouellette made 17 Grade-A (high-percentage) saves among his total while Rawlings wound with 16 Grade-A’s.

“It was a good battle between the two of us. We both kept it simple,”said Ouellette. “He’s a big kid and he did a good job. I thought I played well. I saw the puck well and the defensemen did a good job blocking shots.”

Rawlings echoed a similar sentiment.

“I was happy with the way I played and the guys did a good job in front of me,” said the 6-foot-5 Rawlings.

“It was a hard-earned point,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “We had our chances to take the lead but Rawlings was very good. Marty was the difference in the first period. He kept us within one.”

Whitehead said he told the team after the first period that “we needed to win more loose pucks and make more tape-to-tape passes.

“Everyone contributed,” added Whitehead. “I liked all four of our lines and all three sets of defense. The fourth line scored the goal and we had them out there in overtime.”

“We didn’t have our legs in the first period but we got stronger as the game went along,” said Maine senior defenseman and tri-captain Mike Cornell.

Northeastern coach Jim Madigan was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I liked the way we responded after last weekend (6-3 loss to Bentley),” said Madigan. “We played much better defense.”

He said he knew the last-place Black Bears would be a challenging opponent.

“Maine always plays hard,” said Madigan.

Northeastern freshman sensation Kevin Roy supplied the Huskies with the lead with the only goal of the first period but Maine redshirt freshman Billy Norman, a defenseman by trade who is playing right wing, got the equalizer in the second period.

It was Norman’s first collegiate point.

Roy scored his ninth goal of the season with 3:54 left in the first period, shortly after he broke in alone on Ouellette only to see Ouellette make a top-notch glove save on his 15-foot wrister.

But Roy capitalized on his own rebound after he danced out of the corner to the left of Ouellette and took a quick wrister from the base of the right circle.

Ouellette made the initial save but the rebound came right back onto the stick of Roy and he tucked it inside the far post.

Roy entered the game tied as the second-leading scorer among the nation’s freshmen with 19 points.

Northeastern carried the play in the first period but Ouellette was sharp, making five Grade-A saves among 13 Grade-A opportunities by the Huskies.

Rawlings finished with three Grade-A saves on Maine’s six high-percentage chances but was never severely tested.

Kyle Williams’ one-timer from the right point at the buzzer was one of Maine’s best chances. Rawlings took the shot on his chest.

NU outshot Maine 13-10 in the first period.

The Black Bears played much better in the second period and were rewarded at the 5:27 mark when Norman skated on to a nice drop pass from Adam Shemansky and one-timed a wrister past Rawlings from the left circle.

“If you get to open space, Adam will find you,” said Norman. “It was a real good pass. The shot went over his pad on the short side.”

Maine outshot Northeastern 18-8 and had a 13-10 edge in Grade-A opportunities in the period.

Maine attempted 38 shots in the second period to NU’s 18.

Maine appeared to have tied the game early in the second period when a puck bounced off the top of the NU net and landed in front of Rawlings where Joey Diamond swatted it home.

But the referees ruled that they had blown the whistle when the puck landed on top of the net.

At the end of the period, Maine defenseman Ben Hutton, trying to rim the puck behind his own net, wound up shooting it through the pads of Ouellette but the puck hit the far post and came out.

It was reviewed and the initial ruling of no-goal was upheld.

Both teams had good scoring chances in the third period but Rawlings and Ouellette came up with tie-preserving stops.

Rawlings closed his pad to make a vital stop on a Norman one-timer set up by a Shemansky pass early in the final period and made an even better save off Steven Swavely, who was located just beyond the top of the crease and one-timed a Devin Shore pass.

“I put it through him (between his pads) but it hit his skate,” said a frustrated Swavely.

“It was just a reaction save. It happened so quick,” said Rawlings.
Late in the third period Rawlings stopped an angled shot by Stu Higgins and then slid across to reject a Shemansky follow-up.

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