BOSTON, Mass. - Despite taking a 2-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game, the No. 7/7 Northeastern women's ice hockey team (4-1-1) saw Robert Morris (1-1-1) tie the game on two occasions, including a late goal in the final minute of regulation, to force a 3-3 tie on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
"We came out quick," said head coach Dave Flint. "I think the second half of the first period we kind of sat back. Overall, we played pretty well. I liked how we established our forecheck."
Rachel Llanes tied a season-high with three points (one goal, two assists) on the night, while Kendall Coyne scored two first period goals. Kelsey Thomas potted all three Colonial tallies, and Kristen DiCiocco made 36 saves in goal. Chloe Desjardins made 33 stops for NU.
Northeastern held a slight 39-36 advantage in shots during the back-and-forth bout while RMU won 39-of-64 draws. The Huskies went 1-of-2 on the power play and held the Colonials to a 0-of-2 showing on the man advantage.
The Huskies wasted no time in jumping out to a 1-0 first period lead as Coyne picked up a loose puck right outside the offensive zone before speeding in and beating DiCiocco just 49 seconds into the contest.
Robert Morris held a 10-8 edge in shots through the opening 20 minutes of play and won 13-of-18 draws, forcing Desjardins to make several saves on shots from all over the zone.
One of NU's five faceoff wins, however, resulted in the Huskies' second goal of the period, again coming from Coyne. Rachel Llanes' won a clean draw over to Coyne along the right wall. Coyne then settled the puck and fired a shot under the glove of DiCiocco for the score.
RMU would cut into the deficit with 3:27 left in the frame as Thomas positioned herself atop the crease, and finished off a pass from Cobina Delaney behind the cage for her first goal of the season.
Desjardins was tested often in the second period with 12 shots on net, but the Colonials found a way to get one by her off a turnover in the NU defensive zone late in the frame. Coyne had several bids to complete the hat trick during the middle frame with five shots on goal, but DiCiocco was up to the task.
With 3:23 left in the stanza, RMU capitalized on a turnover in the NU zone, and Thomas made the Huskies pay with her second goal of the night when she roofed a shot over the shoulder of Desjardins to level the score at two apiece.
The teams traded chances, and goals, in the third period, but it was a late goal from the Colonials that knotted the score at three and forced overtime. The Huskies outshot RMU 14-11 in the frame, and took a one-goal lead five minutes into the frame on a goal from Llanes.
With the Huskies on the power play, Casey Pickett fed the puck up to Maggie DiMasi, who fired a shot on goal. The bid was initially stopped by DiCiocco, but Llanes was right on the doorstep to pound home the rebound for her second goal of the season.
Robert Morris pressed in the final 15 minutes, and pulled DiCiocco during four-on-four play in the final minute of regulation in favor of the extra skater. It was then where the Colonials tied the game as Thomas completed the hat trick with a shot from in tight to force overtime and the eventual draw.
The Huskies will resume Hockey East play tomorrow afternoon when Maine visits Matthews Arena for a 2 p.m. puck drop.
Game Notes: Northeastern is now 3-1-1 all-time against Robert Morris, and is 20-1-2 all-time against current CHA member schools ... Coyne's first period goal was Northeastern's quickest goal to start a game this season ... Llanes tied a season-high with three points (one goal, two assists) ... DiMasi tied career highs in assists and points with two helpers ... Desjardins was one save shy of tying a career-high in saves.