BOSTON-Providence College scored a late power-play goal to defeat home-standing Northeastern, 4-3, on Friday night at Matthews Arena in the women's Hockey East opener for both programs.
Northeastern (3-4-0, 0-1-0) outshot Providence in two of three periods, but the Friars finished the game with a slim 30-29 edge in shots. Junior Chloe Desjardins made 26 saves on the evening for the Huskies.
Providence (4-3-0, 1-0-0) struck first, just 8:15 into the opening period. Brittney Thunstrom charged in from the right side and fired a shot from the top of the circle. Desjardins denied the bid, but the Friars' Courtney Kukowski slid across the front of the crease and poked home the rebound to give the visitors the early 1-0 advantage.
The momentum was short lived, though, as the Huskies answered just 18 seconds later. Paige Savage ignited the NU attack when she raced in from the left side and rifled a shot on goaltender Sarah Bryant. After a scramble in front of the net, Savage corralled the puck and slid it across to Heather Mottau who buried the equalizer for the Huskies. The goal was the first of her NU career for the freshman.
Northeastern, which outshot Providence 14-10 in the opening frame, continued its attack. Savage was denied from close range on the left side before Colleen Murphy fired a shot just under the crossbar, off an assist from Mottau, to give the Red and Black a 2-1 lead at 15:04 of the first period.
The Friars, though, had an immediate answer just 55 seconds later. Haley Frade drilled a shot on goal from above the right circle. Desjardins made the save, but Corinne Buie cleaned up the rebound in front to level the score, 2-2.
Providence put 12 shots on goal in the second period. None more threatening than a point-blank opportunity for Liv Halvorson, who made a nice move at the blue line, with 9:00 remaining. Desjardins was true to the test, denying Halvorson's one-timer. Bryant, for her part, stopped six NU shots in the period to keep the score knotted, 2-2, heading into the third.
Just over five minutes into the final frame, the Huskies appeared to gain momentum when PC's Buie was whistled off for tripping. A minute into the power play, though, NU mishandled a puck at the blue line and Providence's Allison Micheletti, on a breakaway, scored a shorthanded goal to give the visitors a 3-2 lead.
Cassidy Carels had two point-blank opportunities to widen the margin for the Friars, but Desjardins again denied the scoring bid to keep the Huskies within striking distance with eight minutes to play.
As the clock ticked under five minutes, Northeastern again gained a player advantage when PC's Maggie Pendleton was called for holding. Just over 30 seconds later, Katie MacSorley buried Northeastern's first power-play goal of the season to level the score, 3-3. Mottau started the scoring bid with a shot. Savage slid the rebound to MacSorley on the right side, who rifled home the game-tying goal.
Just over three minutes later, with NU's Mottau in the box for holding, PC's Beth Hanrahan gained possession of the puck and went the length of the ice to score the game-winner at 18:11 of the third.
Northeastern and Providence will return to action tomorrow, when the Huskies visit Schneider Arena in Providence. That game, set for 3 p.m., will be televised live through COX Sports on OSN.