PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Matt Germain and Ben Farrer scored third period goals for Providence College to lift the Friars to a 3-2 win over the Northeastern Huskies in the season opener.
Brodie Reid scored a late goal to bring the Huskies within one and Cody Ferriero also added a tally for Northeastern but Providence starter Alex Beaudry shut the door to make 20 saves in the opening night win.
“We kept a good pace for 60 minutes,” said Friars’ coach Tim Army. “We got the lead 2-1 and didn’t sit back. We played some good hockey those last six or seven minutes.”
The game entered the final frame of with both teams knotted at one, despite the Friars out shooting the Huskies. Germain’s tally would break the tie at nine minutes on a Providence power play
Derek Army was credited with his first career point on the goal that put Providence College up 2-1. However, the fans in Schneider Arena could not celebrate the goal immediately because a goal was not originally signaled and play continued on for over a minute. At the next stoppage officials reviewed the video replay before awarding the goal to Providence.
“The moorings stayed down,” said Army. “You play it like a hole in the net. But I told them that no matter what is decided, we got to keep going.”
Later in the period, Calgary native Ben Farrer put the Friars up 3-1 with an unassisted break-away goal at 16:25. Farrer took a Huskies’ turnover in the neutral zone to create the chance that proved to be the game winner.
“They deserved to win,” said Huskies head coach Greg Cronin. “We looked a little a bit unsure of what we were supposed to be as a team. We looked really good at times and really sloppy at times.”
Ferriero’s power-play goal came at 13:17 of the first period and put the Huskies up 1-0 before Providence’s Jordan Kremyr tied up the score with his first tally of the year at 18:27 of the second period.
Ferriero, a freshman, was playing in his first came for the Huskies. In fact, both Northeastern goals were scored by freshman. In all, Northeastern had seven players make their debuts in the season opener.
“We got to really focus on getting them familiar with what we’re trying to do as a team,” added Cronin.
The Friars managed to go 1-6 on the penalty kill against Huskies after leading Hockey East last season with a 84.4% success rate while a man down. This included a five minute penalty kill after Kyle MacKinnon was called for charging.
“You give them that much time and they are going to get some chances,” said Army. “Alex [Beaudry] had to make some big stops. But your goalie is always your best penalty killer.”
The Huskies also killed off five power plays but gave up the crucial go-ahead goal to Germain in the third. Chris Rawlings, who took the loss in this game, stopped 26 shots for Northeastern.
The Friars began the season after a disappoint finish to last season, not making the Hockey East playoffs, and this year they were ranked last in the league in the preseason poll. But the Friars showed no signs that these things would bother them.
“We’ve been building to this point,” said Army. “They’ve got a good motivation. We’re deeper now and our freshman class adds some good talent and speed. But we’re focused on one game at a time.”
The Friars will skate again next Friday when they visit Minnesota-Duluth while Northeastern will turn around and host the defending national champion Boston College Eagles tomorrow night at Matthews Arena.