BOSTON — The New Hampshire Wildcats and the Northeastern University Huskies tied 4-4 in a gritty overtime battle at Matthews Arena on Friday night. UNHs Mike Sislo notched a goal and three assists, while NUs Tyler McNeely wasnt too far behind with one tally and two helpers.
I told the team they played hard to get back into the game and we played a good second half of the game, said New Hampshire head coach Richard Umile. The guys managed the game well at the end. It was an important point that we battled and got back tonight.
Northeastern was first to score less than two minutes into the game. McNeely picked the puck off UNHs Greg Burke by the blue line and passed it to Justin Daniels in front of the net. Daniels tapped the one-times past UNH goalie Brian Foster to put the Huskies up 1-0.
The Huskies front line of Daniels, McNeely, and Kramer carried the momentum offensively for the first period.
Seven minutes after their first goal, Kraemer picked up his 14th goal, making him the leader of
the Husky pack in that category. Kramer shot the puck from the hash marks on the right cycle on a feed from Tyler McNeely. Daniels also picked up an assist on the play.
The game took a physical turn towards the end of the period. Greg Beck and Chris Donovan took a seat in the penalty box for hitting after the whistle.
During the same penalty, Greg Costa and Phil De Simone got into an altercation, and joined their teammates off the ice for the same penalty. NUs Jim Driscoll picked up a facemask penalty on the play too.
The Huskies extended their lead to three just over three minutes into the period. Justin Daniels twin brother Drew Daniels snuck a one-timer from between the circles past Foster on a feed from Robbie Vrolyk and Greg Costa.
The Wildcats responded less than a minute later when Mike Sislo sent a short-handed shot past Husky netminder Chris Rawlings with the help from Peter LeBlanc. That goal was Sislos 13th of the season, and was scored when they were a man short as Nick Krates served a hooking penalty.
Sislos goal was huge, said Umile. Sislo, LeBlanc, and Moses played a great game tonight, and thats what we need. They made good decisions and scored important goals.
Seconds after the Huskies picked up a penalty for too many men on the ice, the Wildcats struck
again when LeBlanc sent a rocket from the top of the circles past Rawlings, making it a 3-2 game. Stevie Moses and Sislo notched assists on the one-man advantage goal too.
With less than two minutes in the second, Just Daniels passed to Drew Ellement from the top of the circles, and he sent a rocket towards Foster. Not quite putting enough juice on the puck to put it in the net, Tyler McNeely grabbed the rebound and scored his 12th goal, which reclaimed a two goal lead for the Huskies.
Five minutes into the third, UNH cut NUs lead back to one thanks to Moses short shot past Rawlings that he put up after rebounding Sislos attempt. That would be the 6th goal for Moses and the 11th assist for Sislo this season.
On a power play after DeSimone was called for hooking, the Huskies almost seized their fifth goal when Tyler McNeely rebounded a shot and tipped it in past Foster. But after the play went under review, the referees decided Kraemer had plowed into Foster causing goaltender interference, and the goal was no good
In the final minute of the third, Rawlings stopped a 50-second series of close shots until the play was finally whistled dead. With 13 seconds left, UNH won the faceoff in their attack zone, and started shooting again. Blake Kessel scored the tying goal from the right circle, with help from Paul Thompson and Sislo.
It was one of those games where we played with very little structure and you cant play a game like that against UNH, they have too much talent, said NU head coach Greg Cronin. We didnt execute any of our game plan. I give UNH credit, they deserved the tie.
Neither team would be able to score in overtime.
These two teams will travel to Durham, New Hampshire Saturday night for a rematch on UNH ice. The puck drops at 7 p.m.