BOSTON, Mass. - Senior defenseman Louis Liotti scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime as the men's hockey team beat Maine 3-2 before a crowd of 4,475 on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Wade MacLeod also had a goal and an assist, Joe Vitale had a pair of assists and netminder Brad Thiessen made 31 saves. Maine got scores from Brian Flynn and Matt Duffy.
The win improved NU to 11-3-2 overall and 8-2-1 in Hockey East heading into the holiday break. Maine fell to 7-5-1 overall and 4-4-1 in Hockey East with the loss. It is the first time Northeastern swept a season series from Maine since 1984-85, the first season of Hockey East play.
Northeastern had a 2-0 lead before Maine scored twice late in the second period, evening it and sending the game into overtime. The Huskies had two good scoring opportunities early in the OT frame - first when a Vitale shot went wide on a two-on-one at 1:00 and the second on a Ryan Ginand shot a minute later which Maine goalie Scott Darling saved. Liotti was able to provide the game-winner wit assists from Mike McLaughlin and Denis Chisholm. Liotti had just two career goals coming into Friday's game. For McLaughlin, the assist was his first career point.
The Huskies got on the board first when MacLeod scored at 18:59 in the first period. Jim Driscoll passed the puck to MacLeod on the left side and MacLeod brought it to the center and fired it into the crowd for the goal.
The Huskies were able to up their lead to 2-0 with Liotti's power-play goal at 9:10 in the second period. Maine's Will O'Neill was whistled for a five-minute major for hitting from behind and a game misconduct at 8:58, setting up the NU advantage. The Huskies cycled the puck around with MacLeod dishing to Vitale, who passed it to Liotti in the left circle. Liotti skated in and shot the puck past Darling for his second goal of the night.
Maine was able to claw back into the game before the end of the second frame. On an odd-man rush, Flynn scored on a huge rebound of a Keif Orsini shot at 14:48.
Steve Silva was called for contact to the head-roughing at 17:43 and David Strathman was called for a five-minute major for hitting from behind and a game misconduct at 18:068, giving Maine a five-on-three for 1:37. The Black Bears capitalized with a perfect cycle as Josh Van Dyk passed it to Gustav Nyquist and Nyquist passed it to a wide-open Duffy, who buried it at 19:09 to even the score.
Maine continued with the advantage for the first 3:06 of the third period but couldn't get a lead. The Black Bears outshot NU 10-6 in the third and 33-26 in the game but Thiessen held strong for his 11th win of the season. Darling made 23 stops in the game.
Northeastern is off until the Dodge Holiday Classic Jan. 2-3 in Minneapolis, Minn. Northeastern plays Western Michigan in the first round and Minnesota or Brown the next day. The games will be broadcast live on 890 ESPN Boston.