Paul Dainton stops 26 shots for Minutemen

Paul Dainton made 26 saves for the Minutemen

BOSTON, Mass. - Northeastern's Wade MacLeod scored the first goal of the game in the third period but Massachusetts came back with a pair of goals to beat the Huskies, 2-1, in the first game of the Hockey East Quarterfinals on Friday at Matthews Arena. Huskies goalie Brad Thiessen made 23 saves while UMass's Paul Dainton made 26.

The second game of the best-of-three series will be Saturday at Matthews Arena at 7:30 p.m. With the loss, Northeastern is 23-10-4 while Massachusetts improves to 16-18-3. Northeastern earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament with an 18-6-3 Hockey East and Massachusetts came in second at 10-14-3 Hockey East.

With the game scoreless, MacLeod scored short handed at 4:51 in the third period. Chris Donovan took the puck into the Massachusetts zone and fired a shot behind the net. A UMass defenseman got the puck but turned it over to MacLeod, who shot it from the left circle into the top right corner of the net.

Massachusetts came back with a score from defenseman Matt Irwin at 8:20. NU defenseman Denis Chisholm tried to clear it out behind the net but Minuteman Alex Berry intercepted it along the right side boards. He threaded a pass to Irwin at the point and Irwin shot it through traffic to tie it at 1-1.

Chris Davis scored the game winner just over four minutes later when he got the puck down low, shot it into Thiessen's pads, then shot the rebound under Thiessen to make it 2-1 at 12:30 in the third period.

The shots were even at 10-10 in the third period. The Huskies called a timeout and pulled Thiessen with 1:09 to go in the game but couldn't get the equalizer.

The first period went scoreless with UMass outshooting Northeastern 7-5. MacLeod had a great scoring chance at the nine-minute mark when he got the puck down low on the left side but Dainton made the save. Thiessen made a great poke save when Cory Quirk was open and got the puck at the corner of the crease at 13:30. Both teams took a pair of penalties in the first.

Northeastern outshot Massachusetts 12-8 in the second period but neither team found the back of the net. In the ninth minute, Dennis McCauley got a shot off in front but Dainton made the save. Shortly after, David Strathman took a slapshot from the point that was deflected behind the net. Massachusetts had a great scoring chance when Justin Braun got a shot off that Thiessen saved, and the rebound went to an open Quirk. Quirk couldn't get a shot off in time and the NU defense swept it away. Northeastern got a few solid shots from MacLeod, Joe Vitale and McCauley as the clock ran out in the second.

The series resumes at Matthews Arena on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on NESN and broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio.