BOSTON – The sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie on Saturday evening against ninth-ranked Northeastern University at the Matthews Arena.
UNH, which is unbeaten in its last nine games at Matthews’ (7-0-2), moves to 5-1-2 overall and 2-0-2 in Hockey East, while NU is now 5-1-2, 4-1-1. The Wildcats remain unbeaten in Hockey East through four games for the first time since 2003-04.
Freshman netminder Matt DiGirolamo (Penilyn, Pa.) made his collegiate debut and stopped 22 shots including four in the overtime period. NU’s Brad Thiessen was equally impressive in net stopping a career-high 43 shots, including 16 in the opening stanza.
Overall, the Wildcats enjoyed a 45-24 shot advantage, but could not capitalize on 10 power-play opportunities.
In the overtime period, UNH held a slim 5-4 shot advantage, which included two during a 1:50 extra-skater advantage to start OT.
The Wildcats controlled play early recording the first seven shots on net and finally breaking through with an even-strength goal at 9:33 in the period. Alan Thompson (Gilford, N.H.) controlled the puck behind the net and passed it to a crashing Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.), who deposited the puck in the right side of the net past NU netminder Brad Thiessen to give the ‘Cats a 1-0 advantage at the break. Steve Moses (Leominster, Mass.) also had an assist on the tally. Overall, the Wildcats held a 16-5 shot advantage.
UNH doubled its lead with another even-strength goal this time Moses and Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) setup a Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) goal. LeBlanc’s initial shot was stopped by Thiessen, but the rebound bounded right back to LeBlanc who finished on his second opportunity at 4:51 in the second. Northeastern answered with a pair of power-play goals in the final five minutes of the second. The first was scored by Tyler McNeely with assists from Alex Tuckerman and David Strathman at 17:20. The game-tying goal came in the final minute as a crashing Ryan Ginand beat DiGirolamo in the left corner of the net during another extra-skater advantage. Strathman and Wade MacLeod each had helpers at 19:05. The Wildcats’ committed four penalties for eight minutes that led to the Huskies’ two second-period goals. Despite playing much of the period a man down, UNH held an 11-8 advantage in shots.
In a scoreless third period, the Wildcats held a commanding 13-5 shot advantage, but could not capitalize on six power-play opportunities.
UNH will take on WCHA foe Minnesota for a two-game series beginning next Friday night (8 p.m. EST) at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. Both games will be televised live by Fox SportsNet North and on the Wildcat Sports Network (Flagship AM-1270). The Wildcats’ next home game is Nov. 22 (7 p.m.) against Providence.