HARTFORD, Conn. - UConn junior Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) scored the game-winning goal 1:05 into overtime to send the Huskies to a 3-2 upset of No. 13 Northeastern Thursday night at the XL Center. UConn tied the game with just 1:09 left in the third period to force overtime as the end a 12-game winless drought in Hockey East play.
The Huskies move to 8-17-2 overall and 3-12-2 in the league with the comeback win. Northeastern sees their record fall to 16-9-1 overall and 9-7-1 in the Hockey East.
UConn freshman Jackym Kondelik (Budejovice, Czech Republic) had a goal and an assist in the win while senior Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) had a career-best three point night on three assists.
Kondelik's goal opened the scoring and gave UConn a 1-0 first period lead. Northeastern goals by Zach Solow in the second and Eric Williams early in the third put UConn in a 2-1 hole heading into the closing minutes of play.
UConn pulled the goaltender in the closing minute and a half and sophomore Brian Rigali (Libertyville, Ill.) delivered, getting a tip on a Ruslan Iskhakov (Moscow, Russia) shot in front of NU goaltender Cayden Primeau.
UConn freshman goaltender Tomas Vomacka (Trutnov, Czech Republic) tied his career-high with 31 saves to earn his first career Hockey East win in net. Primeau made 29 stops for Northeastern.
UConn had plenty of possession and pressure in the first period and finally saw it paid off at the 15:21 mark. Keeping the puck in the zone, the puck found senior Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) at the point who fed freshman Roman Kinal (Waterford, Mich.) in the left circle. Kinal threw the puck to the front of the net where Kondelik picked it, patiently waited to get Primeau out of position and then buried it on the empty net for a 1-0 lead.
Northeastern got their first power play chance at 4:56 in the second and capitalized with the tying goal off the stick of Solow. Junior Jeremy Davies carried the puck into the zone dumped it off to Solow in the right circle and the sophomore got to the front of the net and stuffed it past Vomacka for his 12th on the year.
Northeastern jumped in front just 2:03 into the third. Junior Grant Jozefek burst up the left wing and pulled a pair of Huskies with him behind the net. Jozefek curled a pass back to the trailing Williams before circling the net and the senior captain buried it on the open net for his third on the year and a 2-1 lead.
UConn pulled Vomacka with 1:26 left for the extra attacker and found the tying goal at 18:51. Iskhakov circled to the point and threw a wrist shot on goal through a bunch of traffic. Rigali was setup in front of Primeau and got a deflection for his fourth goal of the season, knotting the game up at 2-2
It was all UConn in overtime, getting three early shots on net and creating a turnover to produce the game winner. Payusov created a turnover behind the NU net and then got the puck back from Kondelik, burying it at the right post for his team-leading 14th on the year.
The Huskies will host Merrimack on Saturday at the XL Center at 5 pm. The game will be available across the state on TV on the CW20