Northeastern has dominated at Matthews Arena since early November, but the Huskies had to be especially resourceful in extending their home ice success against Providence on Friday night.
Adam Gaudette scored two of the Huskies’ three third-period goals as NU rallied from two two-goal deficits for a 4-4 tie with the Friars, the Huskies improving their home unbeaten streak to seven games.
NU (15-6-4, 11-4-2 Hockey East), which pulled into a tie with Boston College for first place in Hockey East, has a 6-0-1 home mark since a 4-1 loss to the Eagles on Nov. 4. The No. 10-ranked Friars (16-8-3, 9-5-3),
Providence, which has not lost on the road since a 1-0 result at New Hampshire on Dec. 2, held a 4-2 lead late in the third period. Then, defenseman Eric Williams cut the NU deficit at 11:27 and Gaudette sent the game into overtime with his 19th goal of the season with 40 seconds remaining in regulation.
“You always want to win your home games,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “There are good points at home and good points on the road. Given where we were and how we put ourselves behind the eight ball, I thought it was a good effort in the third period not to give up and fight back. It’s tough scoring a goal on Providence in one period, and we got two in the last eight-plus minutes. They don’t give up much. We’ll take the point and just get ready for tomorrow.”
PC opened the scoring, Scott Conway finishing the first of his two goals at 9:58. Conway advanced from the left circle after finding Brandon Duhaime for a point-blank one-timer, then following into an open net to Cayden Primeau’s stick side.
The Huskies started strong, taking a 6-1 shot advantage, PC then getting 13 of the next 14 shots on goal before Conway converted.
Jeremy Davies equalized, one-timing from the left point after a quick back and forth with Gaudette, on a power play at 18:07. Davies, returning following a suspension, scored his fourth goal of the season.
Conway’s one-timer from the right circle broke the deadlock on a power play at 17:49, his eighth goal of the season. Freshman Ben Mirageas sent a drive off the underside of the bar for his eighth goal and a 3-1 advantage at 19:42. The goal was validated by a replay, Madigan protesting as the Huskies took two penalties on the play, leaving the Friars with a 5-on-3 advantage until Duhaime was penalized for elbowing Gaudette at 19:54.
The Friars failed to capitalize on a 4 on 3 opening the third period, then Gaudette pulled NU within 3-2, going in alone on Hayden Hawkey from the right circle at 8:04. But PC upped the advantage to 4-2 seconds after the faceoff, Vimal Sukumaran breaking away, then avoiding an advancing Primeau in the right circle and finishing into an open net at 8:30, his seventh goal of the season.
“We lost a little bit of discipline there at the end of the second period, including myself,” Madigan said. “After the second period, we talked to our guys — hey, you know what, it’s 4 on 3 for [1:45], or whatever it was. If we can kill this off, let’s build on it and gain some momentum. I thought we did a tremendous job killing the penalty and it gave us a little momentum and we got going a little bit offensively. I liked our last 8½ minutes, we continued to go at them.”
NU again rallied. Williams cut the deficit to 4-3 off a faceoff, finishing from the right circle, his third goal of the season.
“I liked the way we played, except we didn’t execute on the faceoff play,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “The only other thing I was disappointed in was the way we started that third period — we just didn’t have the urgency to go attack on that.”
The Friars remained in control until the final minute. After an NU timeout, the Huskies pulled Primeau, the move paying off on a Gaudette one-timer from the left circle at the back post off a Dylan Sikura feed at 19:20.
Northeastern had the best chance in overtime, a Matt Filipe point-blank blast stopped by Hawkey with 55 seconds on the clock.
“They’re a good shot-blocking team, so they clogged up the middle,” Gaudette said. “I just kind of hung out in my spot there and I knew [Sikura] would find me, like he did. I saw the goalie go down so I knew all I had to do was hit the net.
“A tough tie, [but] we showed great resiliency. You always want to get the win but it was great the way team responded as one.”