No. 3 Northeastern got goals from three different players, including the game-winner from Wade MacLeod, en route to a 3-1 win over No. 7/8 Vermont on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Steve Quailer and Joe Vitale also scored for the Huskies while goalie Brad Thiessen made 32 saves. Viktor Stalberg scored for the Catamounts.
Northeastern improved to 15-4-2 overall and 11-2-1 in Hockey East with the victory while Vermont now stands at 12-5-3 and 7-4-2. The Huskies and Catamounts rematch on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena.
Quailer scored the first goal of the game on a great feed from Alex Tuckerman. Steve Silva passed the puck to Tuckerman in the neutral zone and Tuckerman took it up the left side. He drew the Vermont defenseman over, then fired a pass to Quailer in the middle and Quailer put the puck just under the crossbar, beating Vermont goalie Rob Madore at 11:45 in the first period.
Northeastern had to kill off a five-minute major when Tyler McNeely was called for hitting from behind and given a game misconduct at 16:04 in the first period. The penalty stretched into the second and the Huskies were able to hold off the Catamounts.
The second period was action-packed, with each team recording 12 shots on a goal, but amazingly it went scoreless and the Huskies took a 1-0 lead into the third period. Vermont was called for five penalties while NU was called for two in the second period. Dennis McCauley had a couple of great looks and Mike Hewkin hit the post for the Huskies in the second.
Stalberg evened it up for Vermont 4:56 into the final set. At 3:23 in the first, Ryan Ginand was called for interference and UVM's Chris Atkinson and NU's Randy Guzior got coincidental penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. David Strathman was called for interference at 3:44, setting up the Catamounts with a five-on-three. Justin Milo passed the puck from the point to Brian Roloff in the right circle, and Roloff sent a pass into the middle, where Stalberg deflected it past Thiessen to tie it up.
It wasn't long before Northeastern had a five-on-three of its own as Corey Carlson was called for hitting from behind at 5:49 and Kyle Medvec was whistled for boarding at 6:12. The Huskies capitalized 23 seconds later when MacLeod scored the game-winner. THe Huskies cycled the puck around, with Strathman passing the puck from the point to Silva down low. Silva passed it to an open MacLeod in the left circle and MacLeod shot a wrister past Madore at 6:35 to put the Huskies ahead, 2-1.
Both teams had several more scoring chances in the third period, with Vermont outshooting Northeastern, 13-11, in the frame. Quailer nearly had his second goal of the game on a breakaway but missed the top left corner by inches. Vermont's Jonathan Higgins was called for interference at 16:26 and Quailer was called for elbowing at 17:31, so both teams had power-play opportunities late.
On the power play, Vermont pulled Madore at 58:50 in a last-ditch attempt to tie it and Vitale put it away for the Huskies. He intercepted a shaky pass and went the distance for the short-handed empty-netter, his fourth goal of the season.
Northeastern hosts Vermont again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena. It will be the final regular-season meeting between the two teams. The game will be broadcast live on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio and will have live video on GoNU.TV.