BOSTON — The 10th-ranked Providence College Friars scored three consecutive third period goals and held off the surging Northeastern Huskies for a 4-3 win.
In a hard-hitting, tightly played game, the two teams were deadlocked at 0-0 through 30 minutes of action due some strong goaltending by PC’s Boyd Ballard and Northeastern’s Mike Gilhooly.
At the 14:34 mark of the second period, the Friars broke the 0-0 tie with a power-play goal by Devin Rask. Rask redirected Jay Leach’s blast from the left point high into the top of the net for his team leading 14th goal of the season.
Despite being out shot 7-2 to open the third period, the Friars took a two-goal lead on a tally by Regan Kelly at 4:56 of the third. Jon DiSalvatore broke down the right wing and sent a nifty pass across the front of net to Kelly who wristed home his second goal of the season.
Peter Zingoni added to the Friar lead in the third period when he took a long pass from Dominic Torretti and broke in on Gilhooly. Zingoni faked to his backhand and then wristed a high shot over a sprawled Gilhooly.
The Friars opened up the game and took a 4-0 lead on Kelly’s second goal of the period at the 9:55 mark.
However, the game got interesting when Northeastern pulled its goaltender during a five-on-three power play and had six skaters on the ice. After peppering Ballard for 50 minutes, Northeastern’s Jim Fahey scored on a shot from the right point during the power play at 12:11 of the third. The Huskies made the game close on consecutive goals by Joe Mastronardi at 13:45 and Arik Engbrecht at 18:47, but Ballard and the Friars hung on for a 4-3 victory.
Ballard made a career high 43 stops, including 21 in the third period, to earn his sixth win of the season. Gilhooly registered 19 stops in the loss.
With the win, Providence improved to 14-7-4 overall and 8-5-2 in Hockey East action, while Northeastern fell to 10-11-4 overall, 5-8-4 in league play.