BOSTON — After the first period went scoreless, most of the 3,127 at Matthews Arena figured they were in for a good game.
They were wrong.
Providence College scored three unanswered goals in the second giving them a 3-0 lead. Northeastern added a late second period tally but PC prevailed, netting two more in the third to give the Friars a 5-1 win, the worst home loss for Northeastern since a 7-1 drubbing to the hands of the Maine Black Bears on December 9, 2006.
Providence took the lead on a short-handed goal scored by Nick Mazzolini. Northeastern defensemen Dennis Chisholm tried to keep the puck in the offensive zone but seemed to be handcuffed from the pass, Mazzolini powered through Chisholm kicking the puck forward and picked up speed. Near the red line, Mazzolini deked Thiessen before bringing the puck around to his forehand and slipped it by Thiessen.
The Friars kept the gas on when four minutes later Matt Taormina scored a power-play goal from the point on a two man advantage. The Huskies penalty kill was stifling Cody Wild and Taormina at the point, refusing the let them work the puck down low.
“There were kind of taking everything away from us, so Cody decided to switch. He called it out and fortunately he sucked one of their players over and I was wide open, he saw me. Fortunately I was wide open for the one-timer.” Taormina said after the game.
Cody Wild and John Cavanagh got assists on the play.
It only took Providence 19 seconds to get on the board again. Jon Rheult forced the puck through the legs of Brad Thiessen during a quick scrum in front to give the Friars the three goal lead. Kyle Laughlin and Joe Lavin received assists on the play.
Northeastern finally got themselves on the board when Ryan Ginand scored his sixth of the season on a power-play strike. Chad Costello was at the point and found a wide open Joe Vitale in the slot, Vitale then worked the puck to Ginand who was on the post. Once Ginand got the puck he moved across the top of the crease and banked the puck off the far side for the five-on-three goal.
Into the third period Northeastern has seemed to pick up some momentum but that was quickly stripped away then Matt Taormina sniped his second goal of the game from the point. There was lots of traffic in front that did not allow Thiessen to get a great look at it, but it might not have mattered as Taormina drilled the far top corner of the net with the shot, his second power-play goal of the game.
“Our special teams were strong, our power-play had struggled since Christmas but it was good tonight,” said PC coach Tim Army after the game. “We always talk about being resourceful, you have to find solutions. I am a big believer that you kind of give an idea of what you would like to do on the power play but you let good players play and we have ten good players who can play the power-play so it makes the coach look pretty smart, I just let them go play.”
The Friars struck again on an even strength tally, the first even strength goal of the night at 11:06 of the third when Ian O’Connor pushed the rebound off the Taormina shot into a wide open net. With the goal, Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin pulled Thiessen to make way for freshmen netminder Mike Binnington. Thiessen has given up ten goals in his last two games.
On the night PC took 41 shots, Thiessen made 34 saves, Binnington made two. Tyler Sims stopped 30 shots. The PC power play was an impressive 3-9, while NU went 1-7.
The two teams meet again tomorrow night in Providence, drop of the puck at 7 p.m.