By: Josh Brown
BOSTON- Huskies fans can breathe again.
After starting the season winless in the teams first nine games, Northeastern received goals from two newcomers to defeat the University of New Hampshire (4-6-0, 1-3-0 in Hockey East) 2-1 Saturday night at Matthews Arena.
Northeastern (1-8-1, 1-4-1 in Hockey East) received 35 saves from senior Clay Witt, who returned to the ice Friday night in the Huskies 5-3 loss to New Hampshire, after missing six games with a lower-body injury.
“Clay Witt was outstanding for us,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I thought we just fed off his confidence.”
Freshman Adam Clark started in net for New Hampshire, stopping 31 shots a night after defeating the Huskies in his home building.
“Disappointed that we had an opportunity to win on the road and get a sweep, which is very difficult in this league,” said Wildcats coach Dick Umile.
Despite both teams getting a shot on the power play in the first period, neither team could find the back of the net leaving the score tied at zero after the first period of play.
The Wildcats had the first three opportunities on the man-advantage in the second period, but could not crack Witt on a night where the Huskies killed off every penalty for the first time this season.
New Hampshire out-shot Northeastern 18-5 in the second frame, but like the first period both team’s failed to slip one by the respective goaltenders.
The third period went off to a quick start when junior Kyle Smith took a pass from line mate Matt Willows and backhanded it over the blocker of Witt.
Northeastern would answer just 1:20 later when sophomore transfer Ryan Rosenthal lit the lamp, muscling a goal past Clark on a rebound off a John Stevens shot to tie the game at one.
After a couple minutes of back and forth action freshman Nolan Stevens scored his first collegiate goal, taking a pass from his brother John Stevens in the middle of the ice and shooting it under the glove of Clark to give the Huskies the 2-1 win.
“He’s (Nolan Stevens) had chances,” Madigan said. “I thought that line played really well all weekend. The two Stevens and Rosenthal.”
Despite a ferocious offensive attack by the Wildcats in the final couple minutes, including two minutes of 6-on-5 play, Witt stood tall for Northeastern sending the Huskies faithful home happy.
“We needed a win in this building,” Madigan said. “We haven’t played very well in this building.”
“I thought we played a pretty good road game tonight,” Umile said. “I told the team if we’re gonna be a team here in this league we gotta win these games.”
Even with the first win under their belt, the Huskies still have a lot of work to do, a task Madigan is not taking lightly.