BOSTON, Mass. - Despite a strong effort in which Northeastern outshot #14/13 UMass Lowell, 31-25, the Huskies were dealt their fourth-consecutive setback after Derek Arnold dashed NU's hopes with an overtime game-winning goal to seal the River Hawks' 3-2 triumph on Saturday night at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies received a short-handed tally from sophomore Braden Pimm midway through the first period before junior Garrett Vermeersch netted his fifth of the season in the opening moments of the second. The River Hawks matched each of NU's goals in regulation before the OT winner at the 2:50 mark of the five-minute session.
Junior goaltender Chris Rawlings stoned 22 shots in the defeat while UML netminder Doug Carr continues to roll, upping his record to 13-3-0 via 29 saves.
Northeastern's offense possessed the majority of the game, but UMass Lowell's defense blocked a good number of NU opportunities all evening. The River Hawks went 1-for-5 on the power play while Northeastern finished 0-for-2.
Each squad traded blows before sophomore Zak Stone was hauled off for interference at 3:41 of the first period, but the Huskies' penalty kill executed perfectly and limited UML to just one shot.
Northeastern went a man down once again after a freshman Dan Cornell boarding call at 7:56, but NU's penalty kill stepped up again and relayed its physical play into a short-handed goal. Pimm cheated up high and managed to force a turnover in the neutral zone and went off to the races towards UML's net. Pimm took his first shot in close on Carr and as he was dragged down by the defenseman in pursuit, his momentum carried the puck across the goal line at 8:09 for the 1-0 advantage. Originally, the play was ruled no goal but after further review, the official deemed it good.
UMass Lowell snagged its third-straight power play opportunity after Vermeersch's hook at 10:43 and cashed in at 12:21 on a one-timer from Scott Wilson to tie it up, 1-1. Chad Ruhwedel broke up a play in UML territory and pushed it out to Zack Kamrass on the blue line. Kamrass scurried down the left side of the sheet and zipped it over to Wilson from the corner for the power play equalizer.
Right from the jump in the second period, the Huskies reclaimed the lead after Vermeersch buried junior Vinny Saponari's rebound just 32 seconds into the frame. Rookie Ludwig Karlsson possessed in the near corner and pushed the disc out to Saponari in the left circle. Saponari let loose with a wrister 10 feet out and Vermeersch pounced on the carom on the near post to put NU ahead, 2-0, at 00:32.
UMass Lowell stormed back and tied it up again at the 3:04 mark of the second session. Scott Wilson lifted the puck off of rookie Adam Reid in Huskies' territory and connected with Terrence Wallin at the top left corner of the zone. Wallin attempted high on Rawlings and the puck squirted out to Colin Wright on the goalmouth. Wright roofed the disc to cinch it up, 2-2.
After the Huskies staved off a junior Drew Ellement interference penalty at 4:02, both clubs' offenses went to work, but the goaltenders stood their ground to keep it locked at 2-2. Sophomore Cody Ferriero went in at 15:12 for a trip with a two matching penalties occurring during that window, but neither team could attack on the special teams' effort.
The start of the third frame allowed Northeastern a 4-on-3 opportunity for 1:07 at 3:18 of the period. Scott Wilson and junior Robbie Vrolyk were cited for hooking and embellishment, respectively, at 2:25 before UMass Lowell took a too many men infraction. The Huskies registered a couple grade-A shots during both the 4-on-3 and 5-on-4 windows, but Carr's glove thwarted any chance of a Huskies' power play tally.
Stephen Buco bestowed Northeastern with another power play chance at 9:11 of the third (holding), and despite a great chance by junior Steve Quailer off the initial draw, the River Hawks' penalty kill managed to hold NU back again.
The last 3:30 of regulation displayed hair-raising plays on both ends. David Vallorani took three shots on Rawlings in a scrum while Carr denied junior Drew Daniels on the near post for the highlights in a fast-paced, two-way transition game.
With the game deadlocked through regulation, Northeastern had the first chance in overtime after senior Mike McLaughlin ripped one into Carr's chest on the doorstep 1:25 in. The Huskies continued to maintain in Lowell's zone before Michael Budd lifted a puck nearly half across the ice out of UML territory out to Derek Arnold in the flat. Arnold corralled the puck and deked around Rawlings on the crease at 2:50 to close out the contest with the overtime game-winning tally, 3-2.
Northeastern will journey to Burlington, Vt. for a pair against the Catamounts next weekend on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28. In the initial meeting between NU and UVM, the Huskies clipped Vermont, 4-1, on Nov. 18 at Matthews Arena.
- Sophomore Braden Pimm netted his second-career short-handed goal against UMass Lowell on Saturday night. His first shorty came against Princeton and he now leads the Huskies with two this season. The short-handed goal marks Northeastern's fourth of that variety this season.
- Junior Garrett Vermeersch has scored at least one point in nine of his last 11 games, posting 12 points (5-7-12) over the course of the streak.
- Northeastern has been involved in six overtime games this season. The Huskies have gone 0-3-3 in those six fixtures.