BOSTON — Northeastern University forward Mike McLaughlin netted both goals for the Huskies in a 2-2 tie with the seventh ranked New Hampshire Wildcats Friday night at Matthews Arena in front of a crowd of over 4,500. The tie marks the second consecutive stalemate for both teams since last weekend.
I think were disappointed we didnt win the game when we had the opportunity, said New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile.But we will take the point and move on.
Despite being left one man short three minutes into the first as Tyler McNeely took a two-minute penalty for tripping, the Huskies were the first to strike.Just seconds after the penalty was called, McLaughlin put a one-timer as he was tripped past New Hampshire netminder Matt DiGirolamo.Steve Quailer also picked up his first assist of the season on the play.
Three minutes later, NUs Garrett Vermeersch was sent off the ice for two minutes on an interference call.This time, the Wildcats capitalized on their power play. Blake Kessel sent a sharp pass from the blue line to find teammate Paul Thompson in front of the left side of the net.Thompson then tapped the puck past Chris Rawlings to even the score at 1.
I think we were all a little frustrated giving up a short-handed goal, thats something you never want to do, said Thompson.We needed to respond quickly after giving up the shorty and we got a little lucky on the power play, but well take them however we can get them.
Neither team was able to score in the second period thanks to solid goaltending and defense, especially for the Huskies.Rawlings grabbed 20 saves while the defense swatted away another eight shots and killed a penalty as the Wildcats dominated possession for the majority of the period.
Without wasting anytime in the third period, New Hampshire took a 2-1 lead just under two minutes into play.The Wildcats second line took the puck into Husky territory.On a crisp shot from John Henrions stick from the right circle, Dalton Speelman tapped the puck past Rawlings blindside to go ahead 2-1 and Austin Block also picked up an assist on the play. The goal marked Speelmans fifth career goal, four of which he has scored against Northeastern.
New Hampshires lead was short-lived, however, as the Huskies responded just 18 seconds later to even the score at 2-2.McLaughlin picked up his second goal of the night as he fought through a crowd of Wildcats in front of the net to put it past DiGirolamo.McLaughlins line mates Drew Daniels and Brodie Reid each earned helpers on the play.
I thought McLaughlin was good all over the ice tonight and not just with scoring the goals, said NU head coach Greg Cronin.I thought he was physical and strong on pucks and killing penalties.
New Hampshires first penalties of the game came during the third period when they gave up a risky 5-on-3 power play as Stevie Moses and Blake Kessel were sent off for holding and interference, respectively, awarding the Huskies with 1:46 of two-man advantage.
NU thought they had their third goal of the night during their power play, but the whistle blew the play dead, causing an altercation that ultimately led NUs Jamie Oleksiak off the ice for hitting after the whistle.
To me, the 5-on-3 was the turning point in the game, said Cronin.We would have liked to have put the puck in directly instead of it bouncing off the goalies pads leaving it up to the referee to decide whether or not it went in. Obviously it wouldve been a huge goal for us.
Neither team was able to break the score lock in overtime.New Hampshire outshot Northeastern 4-2 in the extra minutes, and 45-39 overall.
The score wasnt the only tie of the game.Rawlings made 43 saves, matching his career-high performance from last season as he shutout Boston University.
He played really well and we tested him, said Thompson.There was a lot of outside shots too, but he was controlling everything.He played an awesome game so you have to give him credit.
Still searching for their first win of the season, the Huskies travel to UMass-Lowell Saturday evening for a 7 p.m. game.New Hampshire is back in action next Friday, October 29 when they travel to Ithaca to take on Cornell at 7 p.m.