DURHAM, N.H. - Brad Thiessen made 37 saves to backbone the Northeastern University men's hockey team to Friday night's 4-1 Hockey East victory against sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center.
UNH’s record moves to 5-2-1 overall and 3-2-1 in Hockey East. Northeastern, a 2-1 victor at the Whittemore Center on Nov. 3, improved to 4-4-1, 4-3-1 by winning the season series from the Wildcats (2-1-0).
The 'Cats took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on a goal by Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) at 4:13. LeBlanc's initial shot from the left side of the high slot was stopped by NU's Thiessen, then Joe Charlebois' (Potsdam, N.Y.) shot from the other side of the slot was stopped be the Huskies' defense. The puck caromed across the slot to the inside of the left circle, where LeBlanc lifted a shot into the upper-left corner.
UNH had a 5x3 power play for 1:38 with 5:39 remaining in the opening stanza, but Thiessen kept the visitors within one goal by stopping all four Wildcats' shots on net. Immediately after the initial penalty expired, Thiessen also turned aside LeBlanc’s bid from the slot.
In a penalty-filled second stanza – UNH was whistled for four minor penalties and NU five -- Northeastern netted a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal to take a 2-1 lead. The Huskies tied the score, 1-1, on a power-play goal at 10:03 when Chad Costello moved the puck from the right circle down low to David Strathman, whose shot was stopped by UNH netminder Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.; 19 saves). The rebound went to the top of the crease, however, where Ryan Ginand shot the puck in the net.
The Wildcats were awarded a 5x3 advantage for a full two minutes at 15:24, but they recorded just two shots on goal in that span. UNH went on its sixth power play of the game at 18:47, but it was the Huskies who scored a shorthanded goal to extend their lead to 3-1 at 19:19. Greg Costa rushed down slot on a breakaway and was stoned by Regan from close range. Chris Donovan charged for the rebound and pushed the puck to the left, where Costa scored into the open left side.
Coming off their seventh penalty kill of the night, the Huskies struck again at 8:51 of the third period to build a 3-1 advantage when Joe Vitale scored from the top of the crease just five seconds after his teammate's penalty expired.
UNH pulled Regan in favor of an extra attacker with 1:49 to play, but Tyler McNeely scored an empty-net goal with 1:02 remaining to secure the visitor’s victory.
The Wildcats finished 0-for-8 on the power play with a total of nine shots and one goal allowed. NU was 1-for-7 with the extra skater.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 17 (7 p.m.) at Providence College. The Wildcats’ next home game is Nov. 24 (7 p.m.) vs. Brown University.