BOSTON - Junior Cody Ferriero scored his team-leading fifth power play goal of the season to give Northeastern the early lead, but two tallies by Vermont's Chris McCarthy and a late empty netter propelled the Catamounts to earn the weekend sweep with a 3-1 win over the Huskies on Saturday night at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies went 1-for-6 on the power play and have now scored an extra-man marker in three-consecutive games. Senior captain Vinny Saponari and junior Braden Pimm provided the help on Ferriero's scoring play.
Senior netminder Bryan Mountain earned his seventh start of the season and stopped 26 shots in the loss. UVM's Brody Hoffman elevated his overall mark to 10-14-4 via 29 saves on 30 shots.
Northeastern looked to have a little more steam in the early goings and channeled it into the game's first power play of the game at 9:07. Sophomore Adam Reid intercepted a Vermont pass at the blue line and raced down towards Hoffman. Jacob Fallon pinned Reid behind the net, but he drew the high-sticking call to give the Huskies' the man advantage.
Vermont's penalty kill kept Northeastern away from Hoffman and picked up its first extra-man advantage at 11:02 of the opening period on a Pimm tripping call.
Immediately after Pimm's penalty expired, rookie Ryan Belonger set classmate Kevin Roy up with a grade-A blast from the left dot, but Hoffman adjusted and turned Roy away.
After sophomore Josh Manson took a seat for slashing at 15:17, the Huskies' penalty-killing unit swarmed and allowed just one shot on Mountain.
Northeastern rode its penalty-killing momentum into the second period and drew first blood on a power play strike from Ferriero at 5:42. Colin Markison was whistled for a slash at 4:40 and NU capitalized a minute later. Pimm threw the puck off the far wall through the slot to Saponari on the left dot. Ferriero raced in from the right side and made the easy tap in after a perfect pass from Saponari for the 1-0 Huskies' advantage.
Chris McCarthy went coast-to-coast midway through the second stanza and finished off his stride with a crisp snap shot to tie the game, 1-1. McCarthy corralled a loose puck in the near corner and made his way to Northeastern's left circle where he beat Mountain low, blocker side at 12:10 for the unassisted marker.
Mountain kept the game deadlocked with a great stab on McCarthy at 15:20 of the second period between the circles, but near the midway mark of the third period, McCarthy got it back and attacked for his second of the evening at 8:24 of third frame.
Nick Bruneteau kicked the disc off the half wall to McCarthy in stride on the red line. McCarthy carted it down the left side of NU's zone, faked the cross-ice pass, and zipped it through Mountain's five-hole for the 2-1 advantage.
The third period closed with a cluster on power plays negating one another starting with Manson's high-sticking call at 11:40. UVM countered with too many men at 13:22 before Pimm took his third penalty (slashing) at 14:28. H.T. Lenz capped the parade to the penalty box at 15:07, but neither team could attack with all the open space.
With 45 seconds to play in regulation, head coach Jim Madigan pulled Mountain for the extra skater. Matt White wrangled the puck loose in the neutral zone and triggered on the open cage but the puck sailed just wide. Brett Bruneteau swooped in from behind the net, fought off a defenseman, and slammed it to the back of the net at 19:31 to seal the 3-1 win with the empty-net tally.
Northeastern continues its quest for the Hockey East playoffs when it travels to Providence for the front end of a home-and-home series on Friday night at Schneider Arena (7 p.m.). The Friars make their first trip of the season to Matthews Arena on Saturday night to cap the conference set at 7 p.m.
- Junior Cody Ferriero got back to his scoring ways and tallied his team-leading fifth power play goal of the season. The Essex, Mass., native has recorded points in his last two outings (1-1-2) to reach the 20-point plateau for the first time as a Husky.
- Northeastern has now scored a power play goal in its last three games. That marks the second time that has occurred this season. The first time the Huskies scored in three-straight games this season was from Nov. 2 to Nov. 10, 2012.
- Bryan Mountain earned his seventh start of the season and first start since playing at UMass Lowell on Jan. 26 (4-5 OT loss).