The Northeastern men’s hockey team cut the University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s nine-game winning streak short Friday night in a 4-4 draw at Matthews Arena. The Huskies gave up a 4-2 lead and neither team was able pull ahead in overtime to come away with anything more than a single Hockey East point.
“I liked the effort of our team tonight,” head coach Jim Madigan said. “It’s disappointing we gave up a two-goal lead. We got it to 4-2, and they’re a good team, they play hard and they come at you.”
Northeastern got off to the right start with sustained pressure in Lowell’s zone through first five minutes. A slapper from senior assistant captain Robbie Vrolyk was rebounded by Lowell goaltender Doug Carr before landing in front of senior forward Garrett Vermeersch, but was cleared by a Lowell defenseman before Vermeesch could get a stick on it.
With Lowell sophomore Jake Suter off for high sticking at 11:41, the Huskies saw their first power play opportunity of the game, but couldn’t capitalize. Luckily for the Huskies, Suter’s teammate sophomore Scott Wilson was called for cross-checking with two seconds left in Suter’s penalty, so Northeastern had nearly four minutes of ice time with the man advantage.
Freshman forward Kevin Roy took a shot on goal with 8:13 left in the period, but junior goaltender Doug Carr was there to make the save. Lowell came alive after getting the penalty kill and peppered senior goaltender Bryan Mountain, who was given the start tonight over Chris Rawlings. Mountain was able to keep the River Hawks scoreless, but was rebounding shots rather than getting on top of them, allowing Lowell to take second chances.
Entering the second period scoreless, junior forward Cody Ferriero got an early chance with a breakaway during a power play. Approaching the net, Ferriero dangled the puck and shifted left, but the puck got away from him and went wide.
Northeastern was able to cash in with a power play goal from Vermeersch at 3:13 in the second with assists from freshmen forward Mike McMurtry and defenseman Mike Gunn.
The lead was short lived, as just over a minute later Lowell freshman A.J. White tied it up with his first collegiate goal at 4:30. The River Hawks continued the offensive pressure with a goal from junior defenseman Chad Ruhwedel at 6:48, making the score 2-1.
The Huskies countered as Roy turned it on with two in a row to put the Huskies back on top. His first came at 10:52 with assists from senior captain Vinny Saponari and sophomore defenseman Josh Manson. For his second, Roy went top shelf on backup Lowell goaltender Brian Robbins. With the goals, Roy became the leading rookie goal scorer in Hockey East with a season total of 12 goals.
Just as the third period got underway, the Huskies extended their lead with senior forward Steve Morra’s first collegiate goal. Morra poked it past Robbins after Ferriero slapped it towards the goal after teammate Braden Pimm took it off the faceoff at 1:31 to make it 4-2.
Defenseman Daniel Furlong closed the gap for Lowell at 4:38 in the third, and his teammate Derek Arnold got the tying goal to leave the teams locked.
“I don’t like the fact that we gave up two points at home, but I liked the effort and we got a point,” Madigan said.
Northeastern heads to Lowell tomorrow night to face the River Hawks on their own ice. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.