Joe Vitale posts goal and three assists for Huskies

Joe Vitale had a goal and three assists

ORONO, Maine -- Northeastern's Joe Vitale scored a goal and added three assists to lead Northeastern University to a 7-3 win over Maine on Friday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. Bret Tyler (Maynard, Mass.) and Rob Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) each had a goal and an assist for the Black Bears.

The two teams skated through a scoreless first period. Northeastern struck first when Steve Silva made a cross ice pass to Jimmy Russo who beat Maine goalie Dave Wilson (East Caledon, Ontario) 1:29 into the second period.

Maine's Rob Bellamy knotted the game at 1-1 minutes later. On the power play, Wes Clark (Oakville, Ontario) found Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) in front of the goal. House had a shot that was saved, but Bellamy collected the rebound for his third goal of the season.

Northeastern then scored the next three goals to take a 4-1 lead. Wade MacLeod and Vitale teamed up to find Tyler McNeely who beat Wilson for his sixth goal of the season. Northeastern made it 3-1 when Jacques Perreautlt and Jim Driscoll found Randy Guzior who beat Wilson with a shot from near the boards.

The Huskies took the 3-1 lead into the second intermission. MacLeod scored his first of the night from Vitale and McNeely 4:03 into the third period. Maine answered back with a goal by Bret Tyler, his team-leading fifth of the season. Bellamy and Jeff Marshall (Kyle, Saskatchewan) assisted on the goal by Tyler at 6:42 of the third period.

Northeastern answered right back with three straight goals. MacLeod scored his second of the night from Vitale, before Vitale and Rob Massey each notched unassisted tallies.

Maine closed out the scoring at 13:50 of the third period. Tyler found Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) alone to the left of Northeastern goalie Brad Thiesssen. Dee beat Thiessen with a high shot for his first collegiate goal.

Northeastern had a 31-23 advantage in shots. Maine goalie Dave Wilson made 18 saves in 40 minutes of action. He picks up the loss and falls to 0-1-0 on the season. Ben Bishop (Des Peres, Mo.) made six saves in the final 20 minutes of action. Northeastern goalie Thiessen stopped 20 shots in the game. He improves to 10-4-2 on the season.

The Black Bears fall to 6-9-2 on the season and 3-6-2 in Hockey East play. Northeastern improves to 10-4-2, 7-3-1 on the campaign.

The Black Bears return to action on Sunday, January 6 when they host Rensselaer at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. The puck is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m.