BOSTON, Mass. - Northeastern University freshman Mike McLaughlin tied the game at 2-2 in the third period but Vermont's Peter Lenes scored the game-winner at 10:28 and the Catamounts won, 4-2, on Saturday night at Matthews Arena. The teams split the weekend series after Northeastern topped Vermont, 3-1, on Friday night. Rob Rassey also scored for Northeastern and Vermont junior Viktor Stalberg had two goals and an assist.
The loss snapped Northeastern's six-game Hockey East winning streak, which dated back to Nov. 21. With the loss, the third-ranked Huskies are 15-5-2 overall and 12-3-1 in Hockey East. The No. 7/8 Catamounts are 13-5-3 overall and 8-4-2 in the league.
Vermont scored the first goal of the game at 18:37 in the first period. Defenseman Kevan Miller stopped the puck in the defensive zone and passed it to Stalberg, who took it all the way to the Northeastern goal line on the left side. He passed the puck into the slot and it went off a Northeastern defenseman and past Thiessen to make it 1-0.
Northeastern had several good scoring chances on a power play when Kyle Medvec was called for interference at 15:39 in the first period. Sophomore defenseman Mike Hewkin had three good one-timers and Ryan Ginand had a good wraparound shot up close that Rob Madore saved. Vermont's Wahsontiio Stacey hit the post earlier in the period.
Northeastern evened it up with Rassey's power-play goal at 16:31 in the second. Patrick Cullity was whistled for roughing at 13:43 and Miller was called for contact to the head-roughing at 15:08,setting up an NU five-on-three for 37 seconds. Northeastern didn't score on that, but did score on the five-on-four. Wade MacLeod passed the puck from the left point to Ginand in the right circle. Ginand put a shot on net and David Strathman and Rassey both were in front for the rebound. Rassey put it in to make it 1-1.
Vermont got the lead back just 15 seconds later when Kyle Medvec scored. Just after a faceoff in the Northeastern zone, Stalberg passed the puck to Medvec in the high slot and Medvec shot the puck on net. Medvec's shot hit a defender in front and bounced just inside the right post to make it 2-1 at 16:46. Vermont outshot Northeastern 16-6 in the second period.
The Huskies were able to make it 2-2 on McLaughlin's first career goal. Vermont took a too many men penalty at 6:09, giving the Huskies an advantage. Alex Tuckerman passed the puck from the right circle to an open McLaughlin on the far side and McLaughlin put it in for the score at 6:19.
Peter Lenes scored the game-winner for the Catamounts at 10:28 in the third period. He got the puck from Brayden Irwin and took it in all alone through the right circle. Huskies goalie Brad Thiessen saved Lenes's first shot, but Lenes got the rebound back and put it past Thiessen to put the Catamounts ahead for good.
Tyler McNeely took a penalty for goaltender interference at 17:39 in the third period, but the Huskies still tried to generate scoring opportunities to tie it up. With a faceoff in the Vermont zone and the Huskies short handed, they still pulled goalie Brad Thiessen to make it five-on-five. Northeastern couldn't get any shots on goal, however, and Stalberg was able to steal the puck in the neutral zone and put it in the empty net at 19:29, making the final 4-2.
Northeastern is back in action with a home-and-home series against Providence next weekend. The Huskies travel to Schneider Arena to take on the Friars on Friday at 7 p.m., then host Providence on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena. Both games will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio and Saturday's game will have live video on GoNU.TV.