Northeastern opened the 2007-08 season with a 5-1 win over the University of Prince Edward Isle in an exhibition game on Saturday at Matthews Arena. The Huskies' line of junior Joe Vitale and freshmen Tyler McNeely and Wade MacLeod were the highlight of the game, combining for three goals and four assists while junior Dennis McCauley scored twice and freshman defenseman Mike Hewkin made a pair of assists.
McNeely got the Huskies on the board in the first period with a goal 7:14 into the game. MacLeod got the puck to Vitale at center ice and Vitale streaked up with McNeely on his left. Vitale flipped the puck to McNeely and McNeely shot it past Prince Edward Isle goalie Paul Drew on his stick side.
Northeastern scored three times in the second period to break it open. At 1:33 in the second it was McNeely who set up Vitale for a score. MacLeod deflected the puck to McNeely sat the redline, who was facing the Northeastern zone. He passed it behind him to Vitale, who was wide open for the breakaway and scored.
Northeastern scored its first power-play goal of the game at 8:34 in the second when Greg Costa passed the puck to Hewkin at the point, Hewkin shot it and McCauley deflected it down and past Drew. Hewkin also set up the next goal with a shot from the point. This time, Drew made the save but the puck went to McNeely on the left side and McNeely potted it for his second goal of the game at 14:28 in the second period.
McCauley scored his second goal of the game at 3:34 in the second period with a quick shot after sophomore Kyle Kraemer threaded him a pass through traffic.
Prince Edward Isle avoided the shutout when Craig Foster scored at 6:04 in the third period with assists from Stephen Cooke and Cory Vitarelli.
Huskies sophomore Brad Thiessen made 29 saves to earn the victory while Drew ended the game with 21 stops. The game got sloppy toward the end with 11 penalties in the second period and 14 penalties in the third, including 13 penalties over the final 13:07.
The win was Northeastern's final tune-up for the regular season, as the Huskies open against Hockey East rival Providence College on Friday at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena. The following night, Northeastern hosts No. 1 North Dakota at 7 p.m.