Junior Jimmy Russo pots game-winner for Huskies

BOSTON, Mass. - Jimmy Russo scored 1:01 into overtime to lead the Huskies to a 2-1 victory and a weekend sweep of UMass Lowell on Saturday at Matthews Arena. Bryan Esner scored the tying goal in the third period and goalie Brad Thiessen made 25 saves on 26 shots.

Northeastern is 4-1-2 over its last seven games and improved to 8-11-4 overall and 5-9-4 in Hockey East. UMass Lowell dropped to 3-17-5 and 2-12-2.

In overtime, Ryan Ginand took the puck through the neutral zone and passed it ahead to Joe Vitale. With a UMass Lowell player lurking ahead, Vitale passed the puck to a wide open Russo in the middle and Russo beat UMass Lowell goalie Nevin Hamilton for the game-winner at 1:01.

The Huskies were shut out until 4:41 of the third period when Bryan Esner scored his second goal in as many games. The Huskies cleared the puck into the UMass Lowell zone and Hamilton came up and sent it back up the ice. Esner knocked it down in the middle, took the puck up the left side and shot just inside the right post to tie it at 1-1.

UMass Lowell took the lead when Kelly Sullivan scored at 12:58 in the second period. Jeremy Hall passed the puck from behind the net around the boards to Sullivan on the left point. Sullivan shot it in front and it went off a Northeastern defenseman and into the top right corner of the net.

Husky freshman Greg Costa had a great scoring chance in the first period when he shot it from the left circle. The puck hit Hamilton's arm and went off the post at 4:00.

The overtime victory was Northeastern's second since New Year's. The Huskies topped Boston College, 3-2, in overtime on a Denis Chisholm goal on Jan. 5 at Matthews Arena. Northeastern has played eight overtime games this season and is 2-2-4 in those games.

With the weekend sweep over UMass Lowell and the weekend sweep of Merrimack Dec. 1-2, Northeastern has two weekend sweeps in a season for the first time since 1999-2000, when NU swept Maine and Massachusetts.

The Huskies look to continue their momentum next weekend when they travel to Orono, Maine, for a two-game set with the Black Bears. The games will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston and WRBB Radio, 104.9 FM.