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BOSTON, Mass. - Freshmen Alex Tuckerman and Steve Quailer each had a goal and an assist and junior Kyle Kraemer scored his first goal of the season to lead Northeastern to a 4-1 win over Massachusetts in the second game of the Hockey East Quarterfinals on Saturday night at Matthews Arena. The Northeastern win evens the series at a game a piece, with the deciding matchup on Sunday at 7 p.m.
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Northeastern improved to 24-10-4 overall with the win while Massachusetts dropped to 16-19-3. Northeastern earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament with an 18-6-3 Hockey East and Massachusetts came in second at 10-14-3 Hockey East.
Kraemer scored the first goal of the game at 4:13 in the second period. Joe Vitale passed the puck from beyond the goal line to David Strathman at the point and Strathman fired a shot wide left. The puck bounced off the boards to Kraemer down low and Kraemer put it in the net.
The Huskies made it 2-0 on Quailer's game-winner at 15:20 in the second. Mike McLaughlin passed the puck to Alex Tuckerman in the corner on the right and Tuckerman sent it to the front of the net, where Quailer deflected it slowly past UMass goaltender Paul Dainton.
Massachusetts got within a goal when defenseman Matt Irwin scored his second goal in as many nights at 5:20 in the third period. Justin Braun sent a pass across the ice to James Marcou on the left side and Marcou passed it to Irwin at the center point. Irwin shot it top shelf to make it 2-1.
The game stayed close until Tuckerman scored a goal of his own at 14:10 in the third. Louis Liotti backhanded a pass to Quailer at the point and Quailer shot it on net. Tuckerman buried the rebound to make it 3-1.
The Minutemen pulled Dainton with just over a minute to go in a final attempt to score. They were able to generate some scoring opportunities and kept the puck in the Northeastern zone but couldn't get anything past Huskies goalie Brad Thiessen. Chris Donovan broke up a play near the blueline and the puck went back to Liotti, who darted a pass to Greg Costa. Costa fired the puck into the net to make the final 4-1 at 19:11 in the third.
The first period went scoreless with Massachusetts leading the shots, 6-5. The Huskies had some good scoring chances, including three power plays. Kraemer hit the post from the right circle in the seventh minute. Prior to that, Thiessen had made two good saves on close-range shots by UMass's Braun.
Thiessen made 32 saves for the victory, his 24th of the season. It was his 16th game allowing one goal or less. Dainton made 22 saves for Massachusetts.
The series resumes for the deciding game on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena. It will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio and will have live video on B2 Networks.