DURHAM — Will MacKinnon’s first goal of the season for the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team was the game-winner in its 5-4 overtime Hockey East victory over No. 11 Northeastern Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
MacKinnon, a sophomore defenseman, scored 2:28 into the five-minute overtime on a blast from the high slot off an assist from Liam Blackburn.
The overtime victory marked UNH’s fifth of the season, tying the program record that was originally set during the 1972-73 season. The Wildcats (11-8-1, 5-5-0 Hockey East) are 5-2-1 in overtime and entered Saturday tied for third in the nation in overtime games this season.
Northeastern (13-6-2, 7-5-1) shut out the Wildcats in three of their past four meetings, all of which were Huskies victories. Northeastern won each of its previous six games against UNH.
Goals from Northeastern’s Tyler Madden and Jayden Struble over the opening 4:01 of the third period tied the game at 3-3. Madden skated around the back of the UNH cage and sneaked in a back-door goal past Wildcats goaltender Ty Taylor (16 saves) 1:34 into the third to pull the Huskies within one. Struble, a freshman defenseman, scored from the left circle off a behind-the-net feed from Grant Jozefek to create the three-goal tie.
UNH junior forward Kohei Sato and Northeastern senior forward Matt Filipe traded goals at the 7:14 and 7:51 marks, respectively, of the third period to tie the game at 4-4.
Jozefek also assisted on Madden’s goal and his goal that came 8:12 into the second period tied the game at 1-1. Struble and former UNH forward Brendan van Riemsdyk, now a graduate student at Northeastern, assisted on Jozefek’s goal.
UNH scored on two delayed penalties in a penalty-filled second period to take a 3-1 advantage into the third frame. Patrick Grasso scored from the high slot off a feed from Filip Engaras 9:06 into the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock. Crookshank scored a power-play goal through traffic in front of the Huskies’ goal 1:52 after Grasso’s eighth goal of the season to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
Both teams took four penalties and had three power-play opportunities in the middle stanza.
Wildcats junior forward Eric MacAdams put home a power-play goal with 2:49 remaining in the first period to open the game’s scoring. MacAdams netted his sixth goal and 11th point of the season by redirecting an Engaras shot from the left circle past Northeastern goaltender Craig Pantano (27 saves).
MacAdams, who assisted on Crookshank’s tally, has scored each of his six goals on the season over his past five games. Grasso has notched five goals and Engaras has recorded two goals and five assists over the Wildcats’ past four games.
Sato’s tally ended a 10-game goal-scoring drought. He logged five assists over UNH’s previous four games.