ORONO, Maine —- Northeastern University’s swift-skating Huskies wasted little time showing the Alfond Arena faithful why they are one of the hottest teams in the country.

Before the fans got comfortable in their seats, the Huskies were up 2-0 and they scored twice more in the first period en route to their seventh straight win, 6-4, Friday night.

Northeastern is now 15-11-4 after winning for the first time at Alfond Arena since Oct. 25, 2008. NU, which received two goals from freshman right wing Dylan Sikura and three assists from sophomore center John Stevens, is 10-7-2 in Hockey East and is unbeaten in its last nine (8-0-1).

Maine had its three-game unbeaten streak snapped and fell to 12-18-3 and 7-10-2, respectively.

Maine is winless in its last four games at Alfond Arena (0-3-1).

The two teams will play again at 7 p.m. Saturday on Seniors Night.

The Black Bears had no answer for NU’s speed as the elusive Huskies scored on three rushes after Colton Saucerman’s power-play goal staked them to a 1-0 lead just 1:50 into the game.

Brendan Collier expanded the lead 52 seconds later and the Huskies received goals from Sikura and Zach Aston-Reese later in the period to chase Maine goalie Matt Morris in favor of Sean Romeo.

Connor Leen scored for Maine in the second period to make it 4-1 but Mike Szmatula beat Romeo with 1:16 left in the period to restore the comfortable four-goal bulge.

The Black Bears tried to rally in the third period but it was too little, too late.

Ben Hutton sliced into the lead 6:23 into in the third period but Sikura answered with his second of the night just 36 seconds later.

Cedric Lacroix scored off a Mark Hamilton rebound with 5:57 left and Brian Morgan swatted home a Dan Renouf rebound with 1:23 remaining and Romeo on the bench in favor of the extra attacker.

But Maine couldn’t get any closer.

“It was a brutal performance,” said Maine coach Red Gendron, who felt his Black Bears needed to be physical to limit the highly-skilled Huskies’ time and space with the puck.

That didn’t happen until the game had already been decided.

“We didn’t want to touch anybody or skate to a spot where we could take the body,” said Gendron.

“We came out flat,” said Maine junior defenseman Hutton. “We gave up too many odd man rushes. They’re a skilled offensive team and if you give them chances, they’ll bury them.”

Northeastern opened the scoring 40 seconds after Maine captain Devin Shore was assessed a boarding penalty.

Dalen Hedges slipped a pass to Matt Benning at the midpoint.

Benning’s quick shot into a crowded goalmouth deflected off a Maine defenseman across to Saucerman, who swept it into the half-empty net for his seventh power-play goal of the season. All of his goals have come on the power play.

Collier made it 2-0 by bursting down the middle of the ice unattended and chipping a precise backhand pass from Trevor Owens off Morris’ arm and into the net.

John Stevens was the provider on the Sikura goal as he dashed down the right wing before finding the open Sikura in the middle of the slot. Sikura took one stride and fired a rising 20-foot wrister past Morris’ blocker.

Aston-Reese made it 4-0 with 3:33 remaining in the period.

Torin Snydeman avoided a Jake Rutt hip check and carried the puck down the right wing before snapping a pass across to the front of the net where Aston-Reese jammed it into the net from just beyond the crease.

Morris was then lifted after allowing four goals on 10 shots.

“I liked our start,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I’m happy to get the two points. But I wasn’t happy with our third period. We let things go. We didn’t play to our identity.”

He felt a save goalie Clay Witt made in the first period, when he scrambled post to post to get his chest on a one-timer, was important.

“We were up 2-0 at the time and then we got our third goal soon afterwards,” said Madigan, who also liked the way his team responded after Maine scored.

Leen scored at the 7:36 mark of the middle period when he was set up between the faceoff dots by Blaine Byron after an NU defenseman had fallen down.

Leen’s one-timer beat Witt to the glove side.

But the Huskies didn’t allow the goal to give the Black Bears momentum as they continued to carry the play.

Szmatula regained the four-goal bulge as he appeared to poke the puck ahead to Nolan Stevens while he was still on the bench. He then jumped off the bench into the play and snapped a Stevens return pass through Romeo from 14 feet out.

Northeastern had a 22-6 edge in Grade-A (high percentage) scoring chances through two periods.

“One of the principles of defense is stick to puck. But we had our sticks in the air,” said Gendron who added that as bad as his team played in the first period, they were even worse in the second period.
Hutton started the scoring in the third period by blasting a Steven Swavely pass past Witt.

But Sikura answered quickly with a 20-foot wrister from the slot off a John Stevens pass that beat Romeo to the glove side.

Maine outshot Northeastern 28-26.