AMHERST, Mass. - Greg Costa scored two goals, including the game-winning goal, for No. 2 Northeastern in its 5-3 win over the UMass Minutemen Friday night at the Mullins Center. James Marcou had two goals for the Minutemen, while Justin Braun added two assists. Paul Dainton made 29 saves in goal for UMass (11-15-3, 6-11-3 HEA), while Brad Thiessen made 30 saves for the Huskies (20-7-2, 15-4-1 HEA). The teams will square off again tomorrow night in the regular-season series finale at Matthews Arena. Gametime is scheduled for 7 PM.
Northeastern outshot UMass 34-33 for the game, while the Minutemen went 1-for-5 on the power play. The Huskies were 1-for-6 on the man-advantage, and generated 15 shots while on the power play. Northeastern dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 41-of-62 draws.
The Minutemen made the most of their opportunities in the first period, scoring two early goals and throwing 13 shots on Thiessen. Keane netted his third goal six minutes into the stanza off a shot from Scott Crowder. Crowder took a shot from the top of the left faceoff dot that was saved by Thiessen, but the rebound came out in front where it bounced off Keane and in.
UMass extended its lead two minutes later on Marcou's ninth goal of the season. While on the power play, Justin Braun took a shot from the blueline through traffic. Marcou skated through the slot and deflected the puck off the left post and past Thiessen. The Huskies had some chances to cut into the lead, the best coming when Alex Tuckerman let a wrist shot go from point-blank range, but Dainton was there to make the save.
The Huskies stormed back in the second period, scoring three times and outshooting the Minutemen 11-9. Wade MacLeod got the period started with his 12th goal of the season five minutes into the period. Dainton made the initial save off Ryan Ginand's wrist shot, but MacLeod was stationed on the doorstep to pound the rebound home for the score.
Joe Vitale made it a 2-2 game six minutes later on his sixth goal of the year. After Casey Wellman took a one-timer in the Northeastern end, the puck ricocheted all the way down to the UMass defensive zone. Tyler McNeely picked up the loose puck and few Vitale to the right of Dainton. Vitale controlled the puck and then backhanded it over Dainton to tie the score.
The Minutemen retook the lead with seven minutes left in the period when Marcou notched his second goal of the night. Braun skated in and let a wrist shot go from the slot. Thiessen made the pad save, but Marcou found the big rebound and buried it in the net before Thiessen could recover. The Huskies answered back with two minutes to play in the frame when Costa followed his initial shot and fired the rebound past Dainton for his sixth goal of the season.
The Huskies continued their scoring in the third period when Costa netted the eventual game-winner just 1:38 into the frame. With a bunch of players screening Dainton after a shot from Louis Liotta, Costa was stationed in between the hashmarks when he found the puck and pounded it past Dainton for the goal. Ryan Ginand added an equalizer near the midway mark of the period, and the Minutemen could not regain any momentum following the goal.