BOSTON — Paul Thompson and Stevie Moses led the University of New Hampshire Wildcats to a 6-3 win over the Northeastern University Huskies Saturday evening at Matthews Arena in front of a crowd of 1,795. The win gives the Wildcats two points to help them maintain the top spot in Hockey East over Boston College.
“This is always a tough place to play and we haven’t had much success down here, so it was a huge two points to help us stay ahead in the league,” said Thompson. “I think everyone else is out of reach so it’s good to have control of our own destiny and we are looking forward to next weekend.”
With 23 seconds left in the first, the Wildcats put their first point on the board. Phil DeSimone won a faceoff on the right circle and passed to Mike Sislo, who sent a hard slap shot from the circles past NU goalie Chris Rawlings.
The goal marked Sislo’s 11th goal of the season and DeSimone’s 27th assist.
At 7:34 in the second period, Braden Pimm was sent off the ice for tripping. Nineteen seconds after the Huskies returned to full strength, the Wildcats scored their second goal of the evening.
Looking to respond, NU cut their deficit to one a minute and a half after New Hampshire’s second goal. In similar fashion from New Hampshire’s first goal, Steve Silva won a faceoff in the right circle and passed to Luke Eibler, who sent a rocket from near the blue line past New New Hampshire goalie Matt DiGirolamo. Eibler’s goal, which was his eleventh of the season, came from Silva 16th assist.
Less than a minute after his goal, Eibler was sent to the penalty box with Phil DeSimone as they both picked up penalties for hitting after the whistle at 12:36. Both players would have company in their respective boxes 18 seconds later when Drew Daniels and Brett Kostolansky also were charged with two-minute minors for hitting after the whistle.
At 13:17 in the second period, Thompson hit a hard shot that ricocheted off the right pole of the NU net and over Rawlings left shoulder to restore New Hampshire’s two-goal lead. Matt Campanale and Sislo both earned helpers on the play.
With 1:20 left in the second period, the Huskies gave the Wildcats a 5-on-3 power play when Silva and Eibler were sent off the ice for tripping and slashing, respectively.
Taking advantage of the final seconds of their advantage at the start of the third period, Thompson scored his second goal of the evening on a pass from Blake Kessel. Thompson shot the puck from a left circle, which found a small corner in the upper left of the net over Rawlings’ right shoulder to extend New Hampshire’s lead to 4-1
“Tonight we stayed with it and played really well,” said New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile. “It was a big win for us, especially when we got that fourth goal. The fourth goal was huge.”
For the Huskies, discipline was their main obstacle of the night.
“You don’t want to give a 5-on-3,” said NU assistant coach Sebastien Laplante. “They did a great job killing it until there was just a handful of seconds left, which was a shame for those guys blocking shots out there.”
Nearly six minutes into the third, Goumas passed to Moses who skated around the back of the Huskies net to try and put the puck past Rawlings near the right post. Borisonek tipped it in to pick up his sixth season goal.
After the fifth goal, Clay Witt replaced Rawlings. Rawlings finished the evening with 26 saves.
With just under eight minutes in the third period, the Huskies started their comeback by scoring their second goal. Cody Ferriero skated the puck past New Hampshire defenders and found Jamie Oleksiak who took a shot at DiGirolamo. On his knees in the crease, DiGirolamo let Ferriero’s rebounded shot past him to make it a 5-2 game.
At 13:21, Goumas was sent off the ice for tripping. Seconds after the penalty was called, NU made their third strike. Tyler McNeely won a face-off and tipped it to Wade MacLeod who shot past DiGirolamo. The goal marks MacLeod’s 100th career point in a Husky uniform.
The final goal of the game came from Moses, who scored on an empty net from the neutral zone.
Goumas picked up his third assist of the night on the play.
Heading into the final weekend of regular season play, NU will take on Boston University for a pair of games while New Hampshire faces off against Boston College for two. On Friday, March 4, New Hampshire will be in Chestnut Hill at 7:30 p.m. while NU hosts BU at 7 p.m.