BOSTON, Mass. - Despite a two-goal effort from senior Wade MacLeod, Holy Cross upset Northeastern, 4-3, in overtime at Matthews Arena on Friday night. The Huskies continued their trend of heading into the third period deadlocked in every game this season, but an early-overtime goal from Gianni Baldassari propelled the Crusaders to their first victory over Northeastern in the club's varsity history.
Holy Cross defeated the Huskies, 9-5, on Jan. 29, 1947, but HC was not a varsity status at that time.
Northeastern outshot Holy Cross, 31-25, as sophomore netminder Chris Rawlings turned away 21 shots while HC goaltender Thomas Tysowsky stopped 28 shots in his third triumph of the season.
MacLeod's second tally of the night came on the powerplay while Holy Cross notched goals with the extra man, down a skater along with a pair of even-strength goals.
Holy Cross drew first blood on a fortuitous goal at the 2:35 mark of the first period. Holy Cross dumped it in from the top of the zone, but the puck bounced off the backboards and nestled on top of the rear portion of the net. Rob Linsmayer battled through a pair of Huskies and chipped the disc out to Fletcher on the post. Rawlings was not aware of the puck's location and Kyle Fletcher was able to angle it past Rawlings on the goal mouth for the early 1-0 advantage.
The Huskies responded quickly on a crisp power play rotation with MacLeod netting the equalizer at 6:55. Matthews Davis was taken off for a trip at 6:19, allowing Northeastern to gain control in Holy Cross' zone. Reid connected with freshman Anthony Bitetto at the top of the zone, but instead of opting for the point-blank rip, Bitetto deferred to MacLeod in the low slot who then zipped a wrist shot past Thomas Tyswosky to cinch the game up, 1-1.
MacLeod took matters into his own hands at 12:39 of the first to give the Huskies their first lead of the game. Northeastern applied an aggressive forecheck in Crusasers' territory as senior Steve Silva tied up an HC defenseman along the back boards. Silva battled and was able to get Holy Cross to cough up the puck to a lurking MacLeod on the low post. MacLeod flicked the shot off quickly and beat Tysowsky for the 2-1 edge.
Everett Sheen took an interference call with 40 second left in the first frame to give Northeastern the advantage to start the second. Unfortunately for the Huskies, it was the Crusaders who claimed the first goal of the second session.
Linsmayer claimed the initial faceoff of the second period and was guarded by Bitetto heading into NU territory. Bitetto got crossed up and lost his balance, allowing Holy Cross an easy two-man rush. Linsmayer linked up with Gianni Baldassari for the short-handed goal just eight seconds (00:08) in to push it back to even, 2-2.
After a Northeastern's killed off freshman Cody Ferriero interference infraction, Silva regained the advantage at the 11:22 mark of the second period. McNeely carted the puck up the right side and tossed a long-range shot on net, but sophomore Drew Ellement intercepted it before it reach Tysowsky. Ellement slipped it out to the near boards where Silva corralled it, flew across the seam and unleashed a precise wrist shot top-shelf to put Northeastern back on top, 3-2.
Ferriero's next penalty (cross-checking) at 15:33 yielded Holy Cross' second powerplay goal of the evening. Jay Silvia controlled the cycle from the top, passing it to Jeffrey Reppucci on the left circle. Reppucci took a shot, but the puck bounced out to Matt Clune in the slot. Clune took the open window and roofed it at 16:52 for the third tie of the contests, 3-3.
Halfway through the third, Northeastern nearly pulled away once again on the man-advantage after Matt Gordon took a breather for a tripping call at 10:55. Rookie Jamie Oleksiak wound up and smoked one towards the cage before second-year forward Steve Quailer put a stick on. The puck careened towards the open corner, but the disc was met by the corner of the crossbar as Holy Cross staved off NU's persistence.
Holy Cross had one last chance in regulation to put the game to rest after Quailer took a tripping penalty at 15:16, but Northeastern's penalty-killing unit banded together and thwarted the Crusaders attempts.
It only took 1:21 in the extra session for Baldassari to end the game on a kick back from J.P. Martignetti. Mike Daly initiated the play, moving the puck up to Martignetti to set up the game-winning shot from the slot.
Northeastern will turn around and take on Bentley University tomorrow night at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Game Notes - Tonight marks the third-straight game that has gone into overtime at Matthews Arena. Since overtime has been recorded at Northeastern, Saturday's contest marks the first time in program history that three-consecutive games have gone into overtime at Matthews Arena
- Northeastern has been tied after both the first and second periods in all six contests this season
- Brodie Reid is riding a three-game point streak while Anthony Bitetto, Tyler McNeely and Steve Silva have each scored in the last two outings
- Steve Silva registered his 11th-career multi-point game with a goal and assist. The last two-point effort from Silva came against Bentley on Oct. 16, 2009
- Wade MacLeod's two-goal performance marks the sixth time in his career he's turned the trick. MacLeod has posted a club-best and career-high 25 multi-point games
- Tonight's game marks the third-straight game a Northeastern skater has scored two goals in a game (McLaughlin, McNeely and MacLeod)