Sometimes it takes more than a packed defense and a hot goalie to cool off Northeastern center Adam Gaudette.
Gaudette went into Northeastern’s 1-1 tie with New Hampshire on Friday night at Matthews Arena tied for points lead nationally, but was blanked for the second successive game.
Gaudette (19 goals, 39 points), though, likely would have got the go-ahead goal late in the third had his stick not snapped.
“Got a little lucky there,” UNH goalie Danny Tirone (40 saves) said. “He had an open net.”
The No. 11-ranked Huskies (15-7-5, 11-5-3 Hockey East) took a 41-19 shots advantage against the Wildcats (9-13-5, 4-9-4), whose defense bent but seldom broke.
“They probably have the best offense we’ve seen all year,” Tirone said. “So, as a goalie knowing that going in, just trying to battle and compete as much as I can. They have a lot of good shooters and they cause a lot of chaos.”
NU’s first line produced 18 shots, Nolan Stevens equalizing (his 17th of the season) at 55 seconds of the second period, as the Huskies improved their home unbeaten streak to eight games (6-0-2) and moved within a point of first-place Boston College in the Hockey East standings.
UNH, winless in 12 games (0-8-4), took the lead as US U-18 defenseman Max Gildon flipped a drive from the right point over Cayden Primeau’s right shoulder at 16:59, the eighth goal of his freshman season.
“It’s a missed opportunity,” NU coach Jim Madigan said. “We can look at the shots on goal and walk away thinking that we were good. And, certainly, their goaltender played well and they played a smart defensive game and packed it in around the net. But we didn’t find a way to win”
The Huskies earned two power plays late in the third period.
Gaudette’s stick failed on a open back-door attempt from the left circle after Jason Salvaggio took a tripping penalty at 14:30. Then, after UNH’s Marcus Vela was penalized on a faceoff at 19:15, Dylan Sikura’s shot was stopped just before the buzzer.