College Hockey:
Northeastern blanks Providence

Netminder Rawlings saves 29 in victory

— Northeastern goalie Chris Rawlings led his team to a 5-0 shutout over Providence Saturday night in front of a crowd of nearly 2,500 at Matthews Arena.  The win marks the Huskies first in front of a home crowd and second overall win this season.

“Over the last few games our team identity has developed and I’m happy for our guys,” said Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin.  ”It was a little bit more visible last night and I thought tonight for the most part it was there.  If we can get that, then we can get some sort of reliability for what we’re doing.”

Despite recent troubles on their power play, the Huskies managed to go 3-5 on their one-man advantages while Providence went 0-5.

The Huskies were the first to strike with six minutes left to go in the first period.  Garrett Vermeersch brought the puck into Friar territory and passed to Rob Dongara, who shot a quick pass across the circles to Wade MacLeod.  The senior alternate captain gave the puck the power it needed to find the back of the net past Providence goalie Alex Beaudry.  The goal marked MacLeod’s 101th career point in a Husky uniform.

The Friars started the second period a man short as Ian O’Connor served the rest of his slashing penalty he picked up with 30 seconds to go in the first period. Not wasting anytime, the Huskies picked up their second goal of the night 31 seconds into the second.  Steve Silva finally shoved the puck past Beaudry’s stubborn leg pads after multiple attempts in front of Providence’s net for the power play goal.  Anthony Bitetto and MacLeod also earned assists on the play.

Nearly six minutes into the third period, Aaron Jammick was sent off the ice for hitting from behind.  Just over a minute later, Anthony Bitetto notched his first collegiate goal on a hard shot front just in front of the blue line. MacLeod picked up his second assist of the night and Brodie Reid also earned a helper on the play.

Two minutes later, Derek Army was sent off the ice for the remainder of the game for hitting Drew Daniels from behind and taking a game misconduct.  Braden Pimm sent a quick tap past Beaudry to earn his first collegiate goal with a little help from teammates Steve Morra and Mike Hewkin.

The Huskies’ final strike came from another freshman, Jamie Oleksiak, who sent the puck across the crease into the far corner of the Friars’ net to make the score 5-0.  Daniels and Hewkin both earned their third season assists on the play.

As solid as the Huskies looked on their offense, their defense was just as tough.  Rawlings earned his first shutout of the season notching 29 saves. Of the total 59 shots attempted by the Friars’, Northeastern’s defense blocked 14 of them.

Despite the loss, Providence head coach Tim Army sees a silver lining on his team’s loss.

“Our special teams weren’t very good tonight and we took too many penalties all weekend,” said Army.  ”Sometimes it’s good to go out there and get whacked.  We started off strong all season and I think we got too comfortable.   Losing a game like this will help bring us back to reality for next weekend.”

Northeastern will look to keep their newly gained momentum going next weekend as they travel to the University of Vermont to take on the Catamounts on Friday, Nov. 26.  Providence will play next Saturday, Nov. 27 on the road at Holy Cross.  Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

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