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BOSTON, Mass. - Ryan Ginand scored to put the Huskies ahead and Wade MacLeod added what turned out to be the game-winner as No. 5 Northeastern beat No. 13 New Hampshire before a crowd of 4,788 on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Freshman Alex Tuckerman scored the first goal of the game and UNH's James van Riemsdyk scored twice for the Wildcats.
OTHER LINKS: Dick Umile Audio (mp3) - Greg Cronin Audio (mp3) - Wade MacLeod Audio (mp3)
Northeastern improved to 8-2-2 overall and 6-2-1 in Hockey East with the victory. The Huskies lead the league by two points after Friday night's games. New Hampshire dropped to 4-5-3 overall and 2-3-2 in Hockey East.
Tuckerman scored the first goal just 1:43 into the game. Defenseman David Strathman lost his stick but managed to kick the puck behind the Northeastern net to Tuckerman, who banked a pass off the boards to Steve Quailer. Quailer streaked down the left side and went to the net for a shot. New Hampshire goaltender Brian Foster made the save, Steve Silva followed it with a shot on the rebound and Tuckerman netted the rebound of Silva's shot.
For the rest of the first period and the entire second period, a goaltending battle ensued. New Hampshire got 19 shots off in the first period and 11 in the second and had five power plays over that span, but Huskies goaltender Brad Thiessen kept the Wildcats off the board. Northeastern had 10 shots in the first, 17 in the second and had five power plays, and Foster only allowed Tuckerman's goal. The teams combined for 14 penalties for 44 minutes in the second period alone.
New Hampshire made the game very interesting when van Riemsdyk scored 1:54 into the third period, making it 1-1. Joe Carlebois took a shot from the right point that van Riemsdyke tipped and Thiessen made the save. van Riemsdyk collected his own rebound and put it past a sprawling Thiessen to tie it.
Northeastern took the lead again on a great shot by Ginand. Chris Donavan and Greg Costa worked behind the net, getting the puck to Ginand on the left side. He took it in close and roofed a shot on the near side to make it 2-1 Huskies.
The Huskies got insurance they would need when MacLeod scored. He blocked a shot and took the puck up the ice for a two-on-one with Tyler McNeely to his left. The defenseman stayed between them, so MacLeod fired a shot top shelf, making it 3-1 in favor of the Huskies at 17:45 in the third period.
New Hampshire pulled Foster with 1:20 left on the game and the Wildcats put on a barrage in the Huskies zone. van Riemsdyk scored his second goal of the game to get his team within a goal with 53.4 seconds left on the clock. Peter LeBlanc and Blake Kessel got assists on the play.
The play continued in the final minute and New Hampshire pulled Foster again with 18 seconds to go but the Huskies defense spread the play out and held on for the 3-2 win.
Thiessen made 37 saves in the game while Foster, coming off an injury, stopped 33 shots. Each team took 12 penalties for 32 minutes.
Northeastern is back in action on Saturday night when it travels to Tsongas Arena to play UMass Lowell at 7 p.m. The River Hawks beat Providence, 6-1, on Friday night. The game will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston.