No. 18 Northeastern snaps two-game slide with 6-2 win over New Hampshire


Sarah Olender

NU Men’s hockey win against UNH 6-2 in the first game of the weekend, after a two-game losing streak

Erin Walsh, news staff

The No. 18 Northeastern men’s hockey team entered Friday’s contest against the University of New Hampshire looking to snap a two-game losing streak, and they did just that with a 6-2 win over the Wildcats.

It was, in particular, a big night for sophomore forward Aidan McDonough as he scored a hat trick, making him the first NU player to score a hat trick since Tyler Madden in November 2019 and the first since Cody Ferriero in December 2012 to notch three power-play goals.

“I liked some of the things our team did,” Huskies head coach Jim Madigan said. “We blocked more shots. We got in shot lanes. We defended a little bit better in our d-zone. Having lost the last two, we just needed a confidence boost and I thought our guys played well tonight, although, there’s still some things we can work on and it gives us an opportunity to look at the video and continue focusing on things we need to get better at.”

The Wildcats opened the first period with fire, controlling play and eventually earning a power play when freshman forward Ty Jackson was called for hooking at 2:45. 

NU killed the penalty and it helped the Huskies gain some momentum as the period went on. However, that momentum didn’t do much for the Huskies as they surrendered a two-on-one goal when UNH senior forward Patrick Grasso and junior forward Angus Crookshank teamed up to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 11:13. 

UNH controlled play for much of the first period until Crookshank was called for high-sticking at 14:42, allowing the NU power play, which is the best in Hockey East, to go to work. McDonough scored his fourth goal of the season to tie the game 1-1 on an excellent feed from redshirt senior forward Grant Jozefek at 15:42. 

That power-play goal helped NU flip the switch as sophomore forward Riley Hughes scored his sixth goal of the season at 16:11 to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. 

“He’s getting to the scoring areas more. He’s shooting the puck more and he’s got a real good shot,” Madigan said. “He’s stronger. He’s fighting through traffic more and he’s in those scoring areas. You saw him on the goal and he’s got a good shot and he’s just ready. He’s got that year under his belt of experience. He’s had a lot of good looks and has scored some big goals for us this year. He’s continuing to get stronger. He’s got a real good skating stride, he’s quick and he handles the puck well. He’s getting better at his all-around game, which is good to see.”

NU ended the period by killing off a UNH power play after senior forward and team captain Zach Solow was called for interference at 17:49. 

Subsequently, the Huskies essentially opened up the second period on the penalty kill after sophomore defenseman Michael Kesselring was called for tripping at 3:16. They easily made the kill, keeping the Wildcats off the scoresheet and eventually coaxing UNH freshman defenseman Luke Reid into taking a hooking penalty at 5:19. 

UNH killed the penalty and play resumed to five-on-five action until NU junior defenseman Julian Kislin was called for holding at 8:29. 

The second period was full of penalties. At 12:13, Jozefek and UNH junior defenseman Ryan Verrier were sent off for roughing. The Wildcats benefitted from four-on-four action as senior defenseman Benton Maass tied the game 2-2 at 13:11.   

About two minutes later, Kesselring skated swiftly through three UNH defenders to give the Huskies a 3-2 lead at 15:12. It was his second goal of the season. 

“That third goal was a big goal for us because we hadn’t had much going in the second period and he made a real good play to get us to 3-2,” Madigan said. “It was a big, timely goal for us. His strength, for us, is going to be in his five-on-five play, his man-down play and just being hard to play against.”

At 16:09, UNH junior defenseman Will MacKinnon was called for hooking, allowing McDonough to score his second power-play goal of the night at 17:10 to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead. 

NU went to the locker room up two goals and began the third period on McDonough’s hat trick watch. UNH freshman defenseman Nikolai Jenson took a tripping penalty at 8:50, paving way for McDonough to score his third power-play goal of the night at 10:15 to give the Huskies a 5-2 lead. 


The Huskies were later awarded a five-minute power play at 14:49 after UNH senior forward Eric McAdams was ejected for a late hit on NU junior forward Marco Bozzo, who exited the game with an unspecified injury. 

“It was a tough hit he took,” Madigan said. “Certainly a blindsided, unsuspecting hit and one I’m sure the supervisor will take a look at. He’s doing better and he escaped a major blow and it got him high in the chest area. We’re hopeful that he’ll be able to play tomorrow night.”

Kesselring scored his second goal of the night on the man advantage at 15:29 to give the Huskies a commanding 6-2 lead. 

Kesselring’s goal was the only one on the five-minute power play for the Huskies as they snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over UNH. NU will look to sweep UNH Saturday when they host the Wildcats at Matthews Arena.

“They’ll be a different team again tomorrow night in our building and we’ll have to come ready to play on Saturday,” Madigan said. “We’ll take the three points and get ready for tomorrow.”