BOSTON - The No. 10/10 Northeastern women's ice hockey team (21-10-2, 13-7-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and held off a late Providence (14-15-5, 8-10-3) rally to escape with a 4-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at Matthews Arena.
All four seniors (Siena Falino, Casie Fields, Rachel Llanes, Casey Pickett) recorded a point for the Huskies in their final regular season home game, while 11 different skaters registered a point overall.
Chloe Desjardins made 36 saves for the Huskies, who were outshot 39-29 for the game. Nina Riley had 25 stops for the Friars.
The Huskies came out flying in the first period with two early goals, but heavy pressure from Providence late in the frame forced Desjardins to make 17 saves in the period.
Lucie Povova netted her third goal of the season just 3:01 into the contest when she redirected a shot from Tori Hickel at the point, then crashed the net to hammer home the rebound to give NU a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Northeastern took a two-goal lead when Siena Falino netted her first goal of the season after a shot from Claire Santostefano redirected off Falino and past Riley for the score.
Following the Falino goal, the Huskies took consecutive penalties, giving PC a chance to cut into the deficit. The Friars peppered Desjardins with five shots during the power play chances, but the sophomore netminder was up to the task, turning away each bid. She also received help from the NU penalty killers, including a big shot block from Hickel in front of the crease with Desjardins caught out of position.
Desjardins continued to backstop the Huskies in the second period, steering aside all 13 shots she faced, while the offense added two more tallies to take a commanding 4-0 lead through 40 minutes of play.
Northeastern made it 3-0 midway through the stanza when Paige Savage netted her third goal in as many games. On a transition play originating in the NU zone, Brittany Esposito sent a pass out to Savage entering the neutral zone. Savage would do the rest, deeking Riley to the left before cutting to the right and tucking a shot inside the post for her ninth goal of the season.
Rachel Llanes recorded her 100th career point with 3:47 left in the period when she tipped home a centering pass from Casey Pickett to net her 13th goal of the season.
Providence tried to cut into the NU lead with a late power play opportunity, and Corinne Buie nearly got the Friars on the board when her slap shot from the slot rang off the right post and into the corner.
NU nailed a post of its own early on the third period when Pickett took a pass and wristed a shot off the right post in an attempt to extend the NU lead to five.
Providence began to mount a comeback with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, netting two goals in 1:08 to make it a two-goal game. The first came with 9:42 left in regulation when Buie redirected a shot from Maggie Pendleton at the point, sneaking it past Desjardins for her sixth goal of the season.
Haley Frade knocked home her 13th goal of the season less than two minutes later, when she collected a loose puck off a blocked shot from Lexi Slattery at the point, sending it past Desjardins for the score.
Providence had the Huskies on their heels, and pulled to within one with 2:08 left in regulation when Nicole Anderson beat Desjardins short side off a feed from Frade to make it 4-3. PC would pull Riley in favor of the extra skater in the final minute, but NU was able to hold off a late push to secure the win.
The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday when Northeastern hosts Vermont in the Hockey East quarterfinals at 7 p.m. from Matthews Arena.
- Northeastern is now 45-54-11 all-time against Providence, and has won three straight against the Friars for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
- Prior to the game, the Huskies honored their four seniors (Falino, Fields, Llanes and Pickett) for their dedication to the women's hockey program and the Northeastern community.
- Llanes became the 23rd player in program history to record 100 career points. She is also tied for 17th on the NU record list for career assists (60).
- Coyne extended her point streak to 13 games (18 goals, 12 assists).
- Pickett extended her point streak to seven games (five goals, 10 assists), a new career-long.
- Falino scored her first goal of the season on Sunday, and first since Feb. 4, 2012 against Connecticut, a span of 33 games.
- Savage extended her point streak to six games (four goals, five assists), and has a goal in each of her last three games.
- DiMasi has an assist in each of her last four games.