DURHAM, N.H. — For the second time in two weeks, Northeastern University defeated the University of New Hampshire on their home ice by a score of 4-1.
Northeastern improved to 4-4-1, 4-3-1 in Hockey East play, while New Hampshire fell to 5-2-1, 3-2-1. Brad Thiessen had 37 saves in net for the Huskies.
New Hampshire opened up the scoring in the game at 4:13. Sophomore Peter LeBlanc knocked in a Joe Charlebois rebound past Thiessen to make it 1-0 Wildcats.
The second period was filled with penalties. New Hampshire had three calls against them, Northeastern five. Northeastern got on the board midway through the second period. Matt Fornataro was serving a hooking call, putting Northeastern on the power play.
David Strathman took the original shot from the right post which was saved by Kevin Regan. The rebound found its way to the stick of Ryan Ginand who shot and scored to make it a tie game.
With the second period coming to an end, the Wildcats found themselves on the power play when Northeasterns Chad Costello was called for interference. Greg Costa took the puck from center ice and skated in on Regan. His first shot was saved by Regan, then Costa scored on his own rebound and put Northeastern on top 2-1.
Joe Vitale scored in the third to increase Northeasterns lead to 3-1. UNHs Bobby Butler found himself alone on Thiessen but the goaltender made the stop before the Wildcats pulled Regan with 1:02 remaining in the contest. Tyler McNeely came in and scored on the empty net to make it a 4-1 final score.
Very fortunate to win the game: The source of our success tonight was purely in the net, our goaltender was outstanding our penalty killing did a terrific job and our power play chipped in, said Northeasterns head coach Greg Cronin. I think in hockey there are certain games where you can steal games with your special teams and your goaltending, and I think tonight was a game we stole two points with the goaltender and the special teams.
UNH Associated Head Coach Scott Borek weighed in as well. We came out of the gate very strong. We recognized the challenge we had; obviously Northeastern played very well here the last time. Then unfortunately it got pretty undisciplined in the second period, took some penalties . . . because of our lack of discipline we didnt do a very good job on our power play to match them and that changed the momentum of the game.
We didnt capitalize on the power play; we didnt threaten as much as we needed too. We didnt attack the net as much as we should; we got a lot of one-shot opportunities, not a lot of second shots tonight.
Both teams return to action tomorrow night. Northeastern travels to UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire will play against Providence on the road.