DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team led Northeastern University 4-0 after the first period and led by as much as 5-0 just three minutes into the second before the Huskies scored four unanswered goals to make it a 5-4 game with 12:53 to play in the game.
But twenty-seven seconds after Jared Mudryk made it a one-goal game for Northeastern, Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) scored the eventual game-winner as he picked up a Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) rebound in front of the net and beat the NU netminder. Jason Guerriero scored an extra-man goal with 31 second to go, but UNH held on for a 6-5 victory on Sunday at the Whittemore Center.
With the win, the Wildcats clinch their eight-straight home-ice quarterfinal series, a Hockey East record. UNH (17-10-5, 9-6-5 Hockey East) can finish no lower than fourth in the conference and as high as second. NU (8-16-6, 2-13-5 Hockey East), still in a battle for a playoff spot, remains four points behind Boston University for the eighth spot in the conference standings.
Preston Callander’s (Regina, Sask.) two goals and one assist helped ignite the four-goal outburst for the ’Cats in the first and Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass) made 23 saves in net. NU goalie Keni Gibson (seven saves) started the game for the Huskies but was pulled during the second in favor of Tim Heneroty, who finished with 15 saves while allowing just one goal.
Also scoring in the first for UNH was Michael Hutchins (Wolfeboro, N.H.), who netted his first as a Wildcat, and Matt Hoppe (East Lansing, Mich.), who scored the first of his Wildcat career. Patrick Foley (Milton, Mass.) completed the 5-0 start for the ’Cats when he notched his third of the year 2:57 into the second.
Eric Ortlip had the first of the Huskies four-unanswered goals at the 8:25 mark of the second. Ray Ortiz scored at 12:43 of the second and Brian Swiniarski made it 5-3 with 16:23 to play before Mudryk pulled the team within one. The Wildcats return to action at Boston College on Friday, Feb. 28 at Conte Forum (7 p.m.). The game will be televised by NESN.