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BOSTON, Mass. - Randy Guzior scored the only goal of the game and Brad Thiessen posted his second shutout of the season as Northeastern University defeated UMass Amherst on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Freshman Wade MacLeod posted an assist on Guzior's goal.
Northeastern improved to 12-8-3 overall and 9-7-2 in Hockey East with the victory. With the win the Huskies have some momentum into the Beanpot Tournament on Monday and the last two months of the season. Massachusetts dropped to 9-9-6 overall and 4-8-5 in Hockey East.
Guzior's game-winner came on a power play at 1:30 in the second period. As the Minutemen tried to clear the zone, MacLeod intercepted an attempt and shot it on UMass goaltender Paul Dainton. The puck flew up in the air and Guzior batted it into the goal as he was being hit from behind for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. It was Guzior's second game-winner of the season.
The Huskies appeared to score the first goal of the game midway through the first period when Ryan Ginand put the puck past the goal line, but referee Tom Quinn reviewed the video replay and ruled it no goal. Steve Silva passed the puck down low to Tyler McNeely, who shot it into the crease. The puck bounced around and Ginand tried to stabilize it with his glove and the puck crossed the line.
Thiessen played a great game to keep the Minutemen out of the net. He made nine saves in the third period as Massachusetts mounted a barrage trying to tie it up. Northeastern fought off a five-on-three penalty for 41 seconds at 14:31 in the third when Joe Vitale and MacLeod were each called for tripping.
Dainton came out of the net for the final 55.6 seconds after a UMass timeout but the Huskies played great team defense and kept the puck away, nearly scoring an empty-netter. NU freshman Drew Muench was called for contact to the head-roughing at 19:29, giving the Minutemen a six-on-four advantage for the final 31 seconds but the Minutemen couldn't get a shot on goal.
The game was evenly matched with the Huskies leading the shots, 25-22. Northeastern went one-for-three on power plays and held the Minutemen scoreless in six advantages.
It was Thiessen's second shutout of the season and the sixth of his career after he posted a 3-0 win over Merrimack on Jan. 12 at Matthews Arena. He made 22 saves to pull within one shutout of Keni Gibson's Northeastern-record seven.
The Huskies are back in action when they take on Harvard in the Beanpot Tournament on Monday at the TD Banknorth Garden at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on NESN and will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio. Boston College and Boston University will faceoff in the other semifinal at 8 p.m.