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BOSTON, Mass. - A Blake Kessel goal with 13.3 second remaining in the game forced the Huskies to take their second draw of the season, 4-4, against #11 New Hampshire on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
Northeastern owned a 3-0 lead through 4:40 of the second, but the Wildcats outshot NU, 20-7, in third period and tallied two goals to push the game into an extra session.
Junior Tyler McNeely and rookie Justin Daniels each registered a goal and two assists while UNH's Mike Sislo claimed top-scoring honors with one tally and three helpers.
Freshman Chris Rawlings turned in another big-save performance, stopping 36 New Hampshire shots while UNH's goaltender, Brian Foster, steered aside 28 Huskies' attempts.
Northeastern wasted no time getting on the board with a tic-tac-toe goal from McNeely to J. Daniels at 1:37 of the first. McNeely forced a turnover in the neutral zone, twirled around and hooked up with a flanking J. Daniels on the far side. J. Daniels one-timed it past Foster for the quick one goal lead.
The Huskies doubled up at 8:06 of the same stanza thanks to some blue-collar hustle along the corner boards. J. Daniels dug the puck out of the corner over to McNeely on the low post. Senior Kyle Kraemer snuck behind UNH's defense to the left circle and blasted McNeely's feed for the 2-0 edge.
The scoreboard operator in the second period remained occupied as both teams tallied a pair of goals starting off with freshman Drew Daniels' tip at 3:18. Senior Greg Costa cycled the puck from behind the net out to rookie Robbie Vrolyk on the wing. Vrolyk flung the puck across the crease to D. Daniels for the touch and three-goal buffer.
The Wildcats responded with a pair of special teams goals, one of each variety. Nick Krates was called for hooking at 4:02, but a full-length pass from Peter LeBlanc to Mike Sislo yielded a breakaway goal 38 seconds later at 4:40 for the short-handed marker.
New Hampshire crept within one after Northeastern was charged with too many men at 10:04 of the second period. Twenty-five ticks later, Steve Moses offered the puck to LeBlanc in the slot for a clear rip. LeBlanc's attempt was stopped short, but he was fortunate enough to pull the trigger on the carom to light the lamp on the powerplay at 10:29.
In the waning moments of the middle frame, gritty crease work negated UNH's man-up tally at 18:15. J. Daniels shuffled the puck out to freshman Drew Ellement just within the blue line. Foster blocked Ellement's original whack, but McNeely emerged and cleaned up the rebound for the 4-2 advantage heading into the third.
The Wildcats drew within a goal once again at 4:56 after Moses bounced one off of senior Jim Driscoll's skate from behind the cage. Sislo established UNH's possession and fed Moses for the unconventional marker to cut it down to 4-3.
At 7:39, what appeared to be McNeely's fourth point of the game was disallowed, shifting momentum towards the Wildcats. Kraemer could not maintain balance in the crease and plowed into Foster, negating NU's potential fifth goal of the contest.
With 11:18 left, sophomore Drew Muench joined McNeely on the bench to give New Hampshire a two-man advantage for 1:20. Northeastern's penalty kill band together and foiled the Wildcats' barrage.
Kraemer nearly iced the game with 1:50 left in the game as he skated in and drilled the pipe on a low wrister, but it was UNH with the last word.
Rawlings held off the Wildcats' onslaught with a minute left, but Kessel's pinpoint wristshot knotted the game at 4-4 with 13.3 seconds to go. Sislo redirected Paul Thompson's initial shot out to Kessel for the unattested game-tying tally.
Neither team posed a threat in overtime as the Wildcats registered two shots to Northeastern's one.
The Huskies will make their second appearance of the season at the Whittemore Center to close out the season series tomorrow, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.
- Northeastern is 14-1-2 when scoring first.
- Northeastern is 9-4-1 in response to a loss.
- Northeastern is 8-7-1 against ranked opponents this season.
- Justin Daniels recorded his first-career multi-point game with his seventh goal and fifth/sixth assists of the season.
- Tyler McNeely recorded his sixth multi-point game of the season and 13th of his career with a goal and two assists. McNeely's first assist counted as his 25th point of the year. The Burnaby, B.C. native now has 27 points through 31 games.
- The last time Northeastern gave up a shorthanded goal was to Will Ortiz (UMass) on Feb. 13.
- Friday was Northeastern's first overtime game since a 6-5 loss to UMass Lowell on Jan. 9.