The Friendship Four tournament was not very kind to the UNH hockey team on Friday.
Playing in the Belfast, Northern Ireland tournament for the first time, the Wildcats mustered little offense and bowed to fellow Hockey East foe Northeastern 4-0 at the SSE Arena.
Defenseman Ryan Shea scored the first goal and set up two others as the Huskies, ranked 12th nationally, broke from a 0-0 tie after one period.
The game counted in Hockey East standings, so UNH dropped to 3-4-0 in the league, 6-6-1 overall. Northeastern improved to 6-3-1 (9-4-2 overall) to take over the conference’s top spot.
The Wildcats will play Princeton in the consolation game this morning (10 a.m.). The Tigers lost to Colgate 3-1 in Friday’s other semifinal.
Shots on goal for Friday’s game were even (25-25), but UNH goalie Mike Robinson of Bedford was far busier than his counterpart, Craig Pantano, when it mattered. Pantano made few saves on difficult shots.
Shea scored on a snap shot over Robinson’s glove at 6:43, then helped double the lead later in the period when his power-play blast was deflected home by Zach Solow.
T.J. Walsh and John Picking added third-period tallies.
UNH did itself no favors by taking eight minor penalties, to five for Northeastern.
The ‘Cats return home to play Merrimack next Friday night at the Whittemore Center.