Lowell, MA – The Northeastern University Huskies pulled the plug on a third-period surge by the UMass-Lowell River Hawks in front of 4,344 at Tsongas Center Arena to earn three points in Hockey East play on Friday night. The Huskies blew a two-goal first-period lead throughout the second and early third periods only to pull ahead on a four-on-four Tommy Miller snipe halfway through the third.
“A big three points for us to come up here on the road against a very good Lowell team,” said Northeastern Head Coach Jerry Keefe. “I liked how we started the game. I thought we got on our heels a little bit. They made a hard push in the third period. T.J. (Semtimphelter) was excellent in goal.”
The Huskies Julian Kislin buried a Tyler Spott pass through the legs of Owen Savory (14 saves) for the first goal of his NCAA career for the 1-0 lead at 12:05 of the first period. The 6′-1″ defenseman from Manalapan, N.J., hadn’t scored in 103 previous games for Northeastern.
Sam Colangelo deposited a feed from Kislin at the blue line past Savory for the 2-0 lead. Colangelo was all alone at the side of the UML net to quickly tally his eighth of the season at 17:23.
“Kis (Julian Kislin) is a four-year guy, he’s been a great player for us for four years,” said Keefe of Kislin’s night. “He’s won a lot of hockey games, he’s won some championships here. He knows what it takes.”
“I’m excited for him,” added Keefe. “He scored a big goal. He obviously made a great play on the assist. I thought he battled defensively tonight. He had a really good game for us tonight. I’m proud of him. He’s been a great leader and he’s been an excellent player for us for three-and-a-half years now.”
A big hit by River Hawks freshman defenseman Isac Jonsson on Colangelo along the boards led to a Jack Hughes retaliation call for Hitting After the Whistle at 12:31 of the second period.
The River Hawks took advantage of the power-play opportunity when Jon McDonald beat T.J. Semptimphelter (25 saves) in front of the Huskies net at 13:37. Lucas Condotta and Andre Lee assisted McDonald’s first of the season.
Ryan Brushett assisted on Cole’s second goal in three games. UMass-Lowell tied the game at 2-2 after freshman Owen Cole rifled a rebound from the side of the Huskies net past Semptimphelter at 3:05 of the third. Ryan Brushett assisted on Cole’s second goal in three games.
Things took a turn for the chippy at 4:19 when N.U.’s Kislin hit UML’s Carl Berglund from behind into the boards. The referees reviewed the hit but did not penalize Kislin.
A few minutes later, the Huskies forward Aidan McDonough tussled with River Hawks defenseman Ben Meehan in front of the team’s benches. A four-on-four resulted from each earning a penalty at 9:04. High-Sticking for McDonough and Roughing for Meehan.
That’s when the Huskies pulled ahead on Miller’s first goal of the season at 10:28. Colangelo carried a River Hawks turnover in the neutral zone into the offensive zone where he deked on a back-checking Brushett and fed Miller for the one-timer in the slot to make it 3-2 Huskies.
“We knew we needed to make a play and on our third goal Sam Colangelo made a heck of a play to Millsy (Tommy Miller) for that goal,” said Keefe. “We’re excited. It was a big win, we needed to find a way to win today and I’m proud of the guys for finding a way tonight.”
Ty Jackson made it 4-2 Northeastern with an empty-net goal at 18:03. Jayden Struble assisted on Jackson’s fourth goal.
“It certainly wasn’t the type of game we were looking for today,” said UMass-Lowell coach Norm Bazin. “I didn’t think we started the game well enough to have success tonight. However, we crawled back into it late. I give full credit to our opponent. Northeastern was a better hockey team than us today and they deserve the points.”
“When you crawl back in and you come across a self-inflicted error like the goal against, the winning goal, it’s just, it’s on you,” added Bazin.
“There were way too many instances tonight where we went ourselves. We were doing it to ourselves,” said the 11-year bench boss. “We were over-handling, not moving it up the ice, not fast enough. It just wasn’t a great game for us and we proved it.”
The River Hawks will face-off against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. at 2:00 pm on Sunday.
Northeastern, meanwhile, will defend their Beanpot title against the Boston University Terriers on Monday at 8:00 pm at T.D. Garden in Boston, MA. The Huskies have won three straight Beanpot titles after a thirty-year draught.