BOSTON, Mass. - The Northeastern men's hockey team (7-11-3, 4-9-3 Hockey East) curbed No. 15 UMass Lowell's (13-7-2, 7-6-2 Hockey East) nine-game winning streak in a 4-4 draw on Friday night at Matthews Arena. The River Hawks soared into tonight's contest having knocked off their last nine opponents, but the Huskies became the first team to claim a conference point off UML since New Hampshire on Dec. 1.
NU went ahead, 4-2, at the beginning of the third period before UMass Lowell tied it up with a pair from Daniel Furlong and Derek Arnold, respectively.
Rookie Kevin Roy maintained his torrent pace with his third career two-goal game while fourth-year winger Steve Morra found the pack of the net for the first time in his 41st-career outing in a Husky sweater. Classmate Garrett Vermeersch snapped his 20-game scoring drought with his eighth-career power play goal.
Senior goaltender Bryan Mountain earned his fifth-career start and steered away 41 shots to earn his second tie of the season. UML spilt their two available netminders in Doug Carr and Brian Robbins. Each stopped 14 shots while Robbins earned the decision.
The first period yielded no change on the scoreboard despite a couple power play chances along the way.
UMass Lowell earned the first opportunity at 5:18 of the opening stanza after sophomore Dax Lauwers was called for elbowing. The River Hawks registered a couple shots, but posed no real threats on Mountain.
The Huskies picked up the next two opportunities after Jake Suter and Scott Wilson went off at 11:41 and 13:40, respectively. Northeastern worked the front of the net, but Carr was able to stand his ground and keep it scoreless through 20 minutes of play.
Suter took another penalty at 1:27 and the Huskies drew first blood on a Vermeersch strike at 3:13. Rookie Mike Gunn took his chance from the near post and the puck caromed off classmate Mike McMurtry out to Vermeersch in the slot. The senior wheeled it around the top of the zone, saw the lane and drove to the net and beat Carr high for the power play goal and 1-0 NU lead.
Lowell tied it shortly after A.J. White put back Christian Folin's blast at 4:30. Folin snared a pass from Zack Kamrass within the blue line and teed off on Mountain. The puck bounced off his chest and White was in perfect position to tap in the rebound to lock it up, 1-1.
At 6:48, Chad Ruhwedel stunned Mountain with a wrister from the neutral that found the back of the net. With the faceoff just outside of Northeastern's zone, Michael Colantone won the draw back to Kamrass on the red line. Kamrass deferred to Ruhwedel and the junior found a hole in Mountain's armor to take the 2-1 advantage.
Northeastern did not budge and responded with a pair of Roy goals at 10:54 and 16:52 of the second frame to reclaim the lead.
Sophomore Josh Manson broke up a play in front of Mountain and shoveled the puck up to Saponari. NU's captain raced down the sheet and dished a drop-back pass to Roy waiting on the right dot. With ample time, Roy picked his spot and ripped it past Carr at 10:54 to tie up, 2-2.
After the Huskies killed off a Gunn penalty, Roy capped off a beautiful tally in transition at 16:52.
Sophomore Dan Cornell cleared the puck up to Saponari on the half wall. Saponari touched the puck off a flanking McMurtry who relayed it over to Roy as he streaked across the blue line. Roy beat Carr in stride with the wrister from the left circle to take back the one-goal lead, 3-2. Roy's goal forced out Carr of net and UML's Norm Bazin opted for Robbins.
The Huskies wasted little time to tack another one a minute and a half into the third session. Northeastern converted on a set faceoff play to Robbins' left. Junior Braden Pimm won the draw to Cody Ferriero between the circles. Ferriero's shot trickled past Robbins and Morra pounced on it to make sure it found the back of the net at 1:31 to go up two, 4-2.
Daniel Furlong beat Mountain blocker side with a long wrist shot at 4:38 to cut it to one, 4-3. Riley Wetmore won a draw in UML's end and scooted it up to White at the opposite end of the ice. White kicked it back up to Furlong and the precise wrister cut the deficit in half.
Each team squandered a power play, but freshman Colton Saucerman's cross-check cost the Huskies the lead after Derek Arnold popped back a rebound for the power play marker at 15:18. Joseph Pendenza connected with Wetmore at the top of the right zone. Wetmore unleashed a slapper that Mountain kicked away, but the puck squirted out to Arnold on the near post to tie up for the third time of the night, 4-4.
Neither team could break the stalemate in regulation, and in the overtime session, both goaltenders shined in big spots to close out the contest in a 4-4 draw.
Northeastern and No. 15 UMass Lowell close out the regular season set tomorrow night at the Tsongas Center for a 7 p.m. puck drop.