BOSTON - No. 10/10 Northeastern women's ice hockey (12-9-2, 6-6-1) received goals from six different scorers and held on late to knock off Providence (11-10-4, 5-5-2) on Sunday afternoon at Matthews Arena, 8-7.
Kendall Coyne and Casey Pickett led the Huskies with two goals each, while Kelsey O'Sullivan (eight saves) and Chloe Desjardins (17 saves) combined to made 25 stops for the Huskies. The Friars were led by Molly Illikainen's four-point day (two goals, two assists) and Nina Riley made 18 saves through two periods.
Both power play units got their money's worth throughout the contest with NU going 2-of-3 and PC 3-of-6.
Both teams came out of the games flying, with NU holding a 14-6 edge in shots and netting four goals in the opening frame to take a 4-2 lead through 20 minutes of play. The Huskies got things started seven minutes into the contest when Coyne registered her 19th goal of the season when she redirected a shot from Maggie DiMasi at the right point on the power play.
Brittany Esposito added her fifth goal of the season, and second in as many games, three minutes later when she roofed a shot over the shoulder of Riley off a clean faceoff win by Kelly Wallace.
The Huskies made it a three-goal game with 6:20 left to play in the period when Pickett hammered home a one-timer off a feed from Coyne after she had caused a turnover in the offensive zone.
Providence began to chip away at the deficit with five minutes left in the frame when Courtney Kukowski recorded her third goal of the season, beating O'Sullivan following a pass from Haley Frade.
NU would respond 30 seconds later, however, when Pickett added her second of the afternoon, taking a chip from Sonia St. Martin, deeking Riley and tucking away her 14th goal of the season before PC made it 4-2 with a goal from Maggie Pendleton on a shot through traffic with 2:47 left.
The scoring frenzy continued into the second period with five combined goals scored between the clubs, kicked off by Kelly Wallace's eighth of the year 4:27 into the period when she took a feed from DiMasi at the point and snuck a shot through the pads of Riley.
PC answered less than a minute later when Haley Frade scored her 10th of the season off a pass from Pendleton. Northeastern regained its three-goal advantage when Katie MacSorley scored her sixth of the season when her shot from the slot deflected off a skate of a PC defender and into the net 7:45 into the period.
Molly Illikainen would bring the Friars within two yet again midway through the frame when she put home a rebound off a shot from Frade.
Coyne picked up her 20th goal of the season on the power play with 3:45 left in the frame when she knocked home a loose puck from a Rachel Llanes shot as it was trickling into the net, but Providence fired right back with another goal from Illikainen on a tip from the point, also on the power play, in the final minute of the frame.
Llanes would pick up her ninth goal of the season early on the third period when she redirected a shot from St. Martin at the point to give NU an 8-5 lead, but Providence potted two goals in four minutes to make it a one-goal game midway through the frame. Lexi Romanchuk kicked it off for the Friars with her third of the season on a shot from the point before Rebecca Morse netted her third of the year following a screen in front of the Husky goal.
Providence continued to pressure the puck in the Husky zone through the remainder of regulation, and attempted to pull the goaltender in the final minute, but relentless Husky forechecking kept the puck in the PC zone for the final seconds.
The Huskies will return to the ice on Thursday when Northeastern travels to Durham, N.H. to take on New Hampshire at 7 p.m. from the Whittemore Center.
Game Notes: Northeastern is now 43-54-11 all-time against Providence ... The Huskies have four power play goals in their last two games, and allowed three power play goals for the first time since Jan. 16, 2011 ... O'Sullivan made her first career start in goal on Sunday ... Esposito has two goals in her last two games ... Pickett recorded her 11th career multi-point game, and fourth of the season ... Coyne has registered multi-point games in each of her last three games ... St. Martin had a career-high in points and assists (two) ... DiMasi has three assists in her last three games.