By Joe Nolan
Braden Pimm scored to tie the game with only 34 seconds remaining in the third period and again just 12 seconds into overtime to lead the Huskies past the #6 Providence Friars at Schneider Arena Tuesday night. Outplayed most of the game, the surprise win improves Northeastern to 5-4-1 in Hockey East and 12-6-3 overall. The team sits at third place in the conference behind Providence and Boston College, but don’t look now, because seven other teams have games in hand.
It was far from the Huskies best effort, and they were out-shot by Providence in each of the first three frames, 39-29 overall. The hustle advantage put the Friars on the board 7:57 into the contest, when Ross Mauermann flipped a rebound over Clay Witt’s left pad. The assist came from Stefan Demopoulos, who muscled his way down the right side boards and made a nice spin play to beat Dustin Darou and throw a high shot on net. For Mauermann, it was his 14th goal of the season, and the impressive junior currently ranks as the #3 point scorer in Hockey East.
Northeastern’s play improved in the second period, but turnovers, penalties, and weak face-offs prevented them from any real sustained offensive pressure. Cody Ferriero was injured on an open ice, seemingly high hit early in the period and did not return, making things more difficult for the struggling third and forth lines.
Back and forth play continued into the third, but minor penalties by Darou at 2:14 and Saucerman at 8:21 again limited the Huskie’s chances. Witt was at his best late in the game, and Providence finished 0 for 3 with the man advantage. After a NU timeout with one minute remaining, Witt stayed on the bench and Coach Madigan sent out his potent top line along with Dalen Hedges, Mike Szmatula, and lone defenseman Colton Saucerman. Braden Pimm scored 23 seconds later, beating star goaltender Jon Gilles glove side high. Pimm entered the zone with speed and fired a quick wrist shot from just outside the right circle for his 11th of the season.
Overtime was short and sweet, as the Huskies gained possession and set up a quick neutral zone play to get Kevin Roy the puck at the blue line. A perfect soft pass dropped the puck in the slot just as Pimm jumped in behind the Providence defenders. Coasting towards the crease, the Husky hero made a subtle juke to freeze Gilles before tucking the puck under the crossbar, this time stick side, for goal #12 and a Northeastern win, final score 2-1.
The next game will see the boys make the short trip from Huntington to Fenway Park this Saturday, to take on the UMass Lowell River Hawks on an outdoor ice surface. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:15 PM.