Boston, Mass. - Chris Donovan scored 44 seconds into overtime to lift Northeastern to a season-opening, 3-2 victory over Providence College on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Ryan Ginand provided the Huskies' other two goals and Chad Costello notched a pair of assists. Northeastern is back in action on Saturday night when it hosts No. 1 North Dakota at Matthews Arena at 7 p.m.
Northeastern improved to 1-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in Hockey East with the win. It was NU's first season-opening win since 2004-05 when the Huskies' upset No. 1 Michigan in the Lefty McFadden Invitational. Providence dropped to 0-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in Hockey East.
On the winning play, David Strathman got the puck behind the net and passed it way up to Costello at the red line. Costello threaded a pass to Donovan that went off the boards and Donovan skated in on the right side and shot the puck high over PC goalie Tyler Sims's shoulder to earn the Huskies the win at 0:44 in overtime.
Providence got on the board first as Matt Taormina scored at 1:08 in the second period. Ben Farrer put the puck behind the Huskies' net and Jon Rhealt came out from behind and shot it on goal. Thiessen made the save and the rebound went to Taormina at the point and Taormina put it in the top right corner of the net.
The Huskies struck back less than a minute later when Ginand scored at 2:03. In the Huskies' zone, freshman Steve Silva intercepted a pass and played it ahead to Ginand. Ginand sped out of the zone for a breakaway and beat Providence goalie Tyler Sims on his glove side, planting the puck in the top right corner.
Providence took the lead at 6:37 in the third period. The teams were battling in the Northeastern zone and junior Joe Vitale attempted to clear it from the right side of the Huskies' goal. The puck went right to Kyle Laughlin in the slot and Laughlin buried it to give the Friars a 2-1 lead.
But the Huskies didn't quit as Ginand's second goal evened the score. Providence's Jordan Kremyr took a five-minute major for hitting from behind and a game-misconduct to give the Huskies a power play. Northeastern cycled the puck but was stifled for the first four minutes of the power play. As time was running down, Costello passed the puck through traffic to freshman defenseman Drew Muench. Muench sent it to Ginand in front and Ginand potted the goal at 14:33 to send the game into overtime.
The first period went scoreless with Providence taking a pair of penalties and Northeastern taking one. With Silva in the box for tripping, Donovan had the Huskies' best scoring chance of the period. He intercepted a pass between Providence's pointmen and rushed up the ice for a short-handed breakaway. He fired on PC goalie Tyler Sims but Sims came up with the save.
Thiessen made 14 saves in the first period as the Friars came out swinging. He stopped all 14 of Providence's power-play shots. Sims made 29 saves in the Providence net.
Northeastern's matchup with North Dakota on Saturday will be broadcast on WRBB Radio, 104.9 FM, and will be on live video on GoNU.TV. It will not be on 890 ESPN Boston due to the Major League playoffs. The Huskies' matchup with the Fighting Sioux begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are still available.