BOSTON – Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) scored the game-tying goal with 13.3 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team to Friday night’s 4-4 overtime tie with Northeastern University in Hockey East action at the Matthews Arena.

UNH, which assures itself a top two finish and holds a one-point lead over Boston College with a game in hand, moves to 15-10-6, 14-5-5 in Hockey East. Northeastern is now 16-13-2, 11-11-2 HE.

Kessel gathered the rebound of a Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.) shot and fired a one-timer that tied the game for New Hampshire on an extra attacker goal with 13.3 seconds remaining. Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) also assisted on the tally that completed a two-goal come back. Sislo finished the night with four points (1g, 3a).

The Wildcats rallied from Northeastern leads of 4-2 and 3-0 to garner the tie and a critical point in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Trailing 4-2, UNH made it a one-goal game as Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass. – 1g, 1a) shot the puck from behind the net that deflect off an NU defenseman an into the back of the net at 4:56 of the third. Northeastern appeared to have netted a goal that would have made it 5-3 at 7:39, but the goal was not allowed due to goalie interference. Overall, New Hampshire held a 20-7 shot advantage in the period and a 40-32 advantage for the game.

Northeastern drew first blood taking advantage of a Wildcat turnover in its own zone. The goal was scored by Justin Daniels with an assist from Tyler McNeely at 1:37 of the first period. The Huskies doubled its lead at 8:06 of the first as Kyle Kraemer scored an even-strength tally with assists from McNeely and Daniels. The Huskies went into the break with a 2-0 lead and held a 10-7 shot advantage in the frame.

Although UNH had early chances, it was Northeastern adding to its lead with an even-strength goal at 3:18 of the period as Daniels scored with assists from Robbie Vrolyk and Greg Costa to make it 3-0. New Hampshire took a penalty at 4:02, but cracked the scoreboard and shifted momentum with a short-handed goal at 4:40 of the period as Mike Beck (Long Beach, Calif.) intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and chipped it up to Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario), who made a feed to an open Sislo at center blue line. Sislo carried the puck in and beat netminder Chris Rawlings to cut it to 3-1. The Wildcats cut the lead to 3-2 with a power play goal at 10:29. LeBlanc scored on the rebound of his own blocked shot and was assisted by Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) and Sislo. Northeastern regained a two-goal lead in the closing minutes of the second as McNeely scored from with assists from Drew Ellement and Daniels at 18:15.

Brian Foster
(Pembroke, N.H.) stopped 28 shots and moves to 14-10-5 on the season, NU’s Chris Rawlings is now 15-11-2 as he stopped 36 shots including 20 in the third period and overtime combined.

The Wildcats were 1-6 on the power play, while Northeastern was 0-3 with UNH scoring a short-handed tally.

UNH and Northeastern conclude the season series on Saturday night at Whittemore Center (7 p.m.). For more information on UNH hockey including ticket information for upcoming home games and the Hockey East quarterfinals log on to www.UNHWildcats.com.

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