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BOSTON, Mass. - Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan earned his first career victory thanks to a 4-0 shutout over No. 15 New Hampshire on Friday night at Matthews Arena as junior netminder Chris Rawlings tied the school record in career shutouts. Rawlings matched Brad Thiessen's (2006-09) benchmark of nine career shutouts in just 69 appearances on Friday night in an effort fueled by great defensive play across the board.
Four different Huskies found the back of the net in Northeastern's first shutout of the season and third-ever shutout over New Hampshire in program history. There have been 130 games between the two clubs since the Huskies blanked New Hampshire. The last occurrence transpired at home on Jan. 10, 1961 (2-0).
The Huskies' points leader, sophomore Braden Pimm, tallied his second goal of the season while classmate Zak Stone notched his first-career goal shortly after. Junior Justin Daniels and senior Mike McLaughlin finished off the scoring while sophomore defenseman Luke Eibler doled out a pair of assists in the triumph. All four Huskies' markers were registered even-strength. The Wildcats went 0-for-3 on the power play while Northeastern only had two opportunities on the night.
Rawlings' ninth-career shutout was completed after blocking 27 UNH shots. Northeastern only took 21 shots, testing both Matt DiGirolamo and Jeff Wyer. DiGirolamo surrendered all four goals and turned away 14 shots while Wyer recorded three saves in 11:23 minutes of action.
New Hampshire posed the first scoring threat about five minutes in, but the Huskies dominated the remainder of the frame after Connor Hardowa rifled a slap shot from the right dot off the crossbar. After UNH's chance, Northeastern converted three of its next six shots to set the precedent in the first stanza.
Northeastern offered the next scoring chance and this one found the back of the net at 6:29. Junior Alex Tuckerman started the play by breaking up UNH's forecheck near the blue line. Tuckerman flung the disc to junior Steve Quailer down low and then redirected the pass out to Pimm waiting on the near post. Pimm tapped in the wide-open chance for the 1-0 edge.
Just over a minute later, Stone found the back of the net on a miscue from the Wildcats in front of their net. Eibler won a battle along the boards down to freshman Adam Reid in the near corner and Reid broke towards the post and attempted the wraparound, but did not get enough lumber on the puck. Before New Hampshire could sweep it out, Stone was in perfect position to sneak the puck through DiGirolamo's five-hole at 7:46 to go up 2-0.
J. Daniels extended the Huskies' advantage at 9:21 on a redirect tally for the three-goal cushion. Newcomer Ludwig Karlsson generated the scoring play from the left side of the zone. Karlsson sent the puck out to rookie Josh Manson on the blue line, leading to a blast through traffic in the middle. Manson's shot bounced off of DiGirlamo's shoulder out to J. Daniels waiting for the tap-in to take the 3-0 lead.
The second period leveled out a bit as each team registered seven unsuccessful shots, but McLaughlin's wrister at 8:37 of the third broke the scoring draught to extended the Huskies' pad to four goals. Junior Robbie Vrolyk started the play by wheeling the puck up the top of the zone and dishing off the Eibler. Eibler deferred down low to McLaughlin on top of the right dot. McLaughlin saw a lane and flicked it towards DiGirolamo and beat the goalie by bouncing it off his outstretched glove to go up, 4-0.
New Hampshire tried frantically to break its scoreless spell in the waning moments of the contest, but Rawlings stood his ground and kept the 'Cats off the board for the entire 60 minutes.
The Huskies have the rest of the weekend off to prepare for a pair against Merrimack and Boston College on Oct. 21 and 22, respectively. Northeastern will travel to Lawler Arena to faceoff against the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. on Friday before returning home to Matthews Arena to usher in the No. 1-ranked Boston College Eagles at 7 p.m.