Northeastern Needs OT To Advance Pass UMass
March 16, 2009
Freshman Alex Tuckerman scored at 10:26 in overtime to lift Northeastern to a 3-2 win over Massachusetts and a Hockey East Quarterfinal win over the Minutemen on Sunday night at Matthews Arena. It was Tuckerman's second goal of the game. UMass defenseman Matt Irwin scored an extra-attacker goal with 35 seconds left in regulation to force the extra period.
"I thought we played really well tonight, I really did," said head coach Greg Cronin. "I thought we had a real identity right out of the gate, we were driving the net really well, we were moving our feet in cycles, we had some quality chances. There was just a real good rhythm in the way we played."
Northeastern advanced to the Hockey East Semifinals against UMass Lowell on Friday at the TD Banknorth Garden. It's Northeastern's first semifinal appearance since 1993-94. It was Northeastern's 25th win of the season, tying the school record set back in 1981-82. Northeastern became the fifth team ever to win a best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinal series after losing the first game. Boston College and Boston University will play in the other semifinal on Friday at 8 p.m., with the championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Northeastern improved to 25-10-4 overall while Massachusetts finishes the season 16-20-3 overall. Northeastern earned the No. 2 seed in the Hockey East Tournament with an 18-6-3 Hockey East and Massachusetts came in seventh at 10-14-3 Hockey East.
On the winning play, Tuckerman and Steve Quailer were clogged behind the net with a pair of UMass players. Quailer chipped it free to Tuckerman, who took it around the right side and shot it off a defender's stick and under the crossbar for the game-winner at 10:26 in overtime.
Irwin forced overtime at 19:25 in the third period. Down 2-1, Massachusetts called a timeout with 1:14 left in the third period. Massachusetts goalie Paul Dainton was off the ice shortly after the ensuing faceoff for an extra attacker. Northeastern cleared the zone once but didn't get the empty netter and UMass got it back in. A Northeastern defenseman tried to clear the puck and Marcou intercepted it along the right boards and passed it to Irwin at the point. Irwin fired a shot through traffic into the back of the net to tie it up at 19:25 and force overtime.
UMass's James Marcou scored the first goal of the game at 2:06 in the second period. Marcou passed the puck to defenseman Matt Irwin, who shot the puck in from the left point. Marcou batted the loose puck into the net for the score.
Northeastern came back with a pair of goals within 38 seconds of each other. Mike McLaughlin passed the puck to J.P. Maley at the point and Maley fed a pass to Tuckerman in the right circle. Tuckerman shot it through traffic to make it 1-1 at 10:51 in the second period.
Senior Ryan Ginand made it 2-1 Huskies at 11:29 in the second period. Chris Donovan blocked a shot, then got control of the puck and passed it to Ginand, who took the puck up ice for a three-on-one. He faked a pass, then roofed it over Dainton for the score. It held at 2-1 until the final minute of regulation.
The first period went scoreless with Northeastern outshooting UMass 13-9. Two penalties were called, interference on NU's Louis Liotti at 2:01 and elbowing on UMass's Scott Crowder at 11:22.
Huskies goalie Brad Thiessen made 35 saves in the game while Dainton made 36. It was the 24th time this season Thiessen allowed two goals or less, and Northeastern is 19-1-4 in those games.
Northeastern makes its sixth-ever Hockey East semifinal appearance on Friday at 5 p.m. against UMass Lowell. Both semifinal games and the championship game on Saturday at 8 p.m. will be televised live on NESN. Northeastern's games will be broadcast live on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio.