Friars and RedHawks battle in rematch from last March’s NCAA East semifinal.
Friars take home two awards on Tuesday for their championship performance of last season.
The Friars usher in the 2015-16 campaign on Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m.
Saracino and Jankowski will serve as alternate captains in 2015-16.
The Friars garner two first-place votes.
Fifth-year Head Coach Nate Leaman has led a resurgence of the Providence College men's hockey program, highlighted by winning the 2015 NCAA Championship, marking the first NCAA title in program history.
In 2014-15, Leaman guided the Friars to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in program history and Providence posted its second-highest win total of all-time (26). He became the youngest head coach to win the NCAA title since 1993 (Shawn Walsh) as Providence College became the 20th institution to win the NCAA Div. I Men's Ice Hockey Championship. The 2015 championship also marked Providence College's first NCAA team title in a men's sport and the College's third overall NCAA Championship in a team sport.
The Friars have advanced to the Hockey East Championship semifinals at the TD Garden in three of Leaman's first four seasons and holds a 5-1-0 record in six NCAA Tournament games with Providence.
During the 2014-15 National Hockey League season Josh Jooris (Union College) and Tim Schaller '13 (Providence College) became the most recent former Leaman players to reach the NHL when they debuted for the Calgary Flames and the Buffalo Sabres, respectively.
Leaman has coached 117 All-Conference Academic selections, 25 NHL Draft picks, 16 All-Conference selections, eight All-Conference Rookie Team honorees, seven All-Americans, three ECAC Student-Athletes of the Year, two CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honorees and one Hobey Baker finalist.
The 2011 Spencer Penrose Award winner, Leaman also was a Spencer Penrose finalist in 2015 and was named the 2015 USCHO.com Coach of the Year. Providence finished the 2014-15 season ranked No. 1 in the national polls (USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine). The Friars last cracked the top two-places in the national polls in January of 1990, when they were ranked No. 2 in the Times Union poll.
The Providence College Years
After leading Providence through the 2015 NCAA East Regional (Providence, R.I.) with wins over No. 1 seed Miami, 7-5, and No. 2 seed Denver, 4-1, Leaman and the Friars headed to the Frozen Four for the fourth time in program history and first time since 1985.
At the 2015 Frozen Four (Boston, Mass.), Providence downed No. 2 seed Nebraska Omaha, 4-1, in the national semifinals to advance to the NCAA Championship game for the second time in program history. Leaman then guided the Friars to their first-ever NCAA Championship with a thrilling, come-from-behind 4-3 victory over No. 1 seed Boston University at the TD Garden (April 11). Junior goaltender Jon Gillies made a career-high 49 saves en route to being named the Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player. Junior forward Brandon Tanev netted the game-winning goal with 6:17 remaining in the third period.
The Friars finished the 2014-15 season with a 26-13-2 record, marking the second-highest win total in program history. Providence also finished the 2014-15 regular season with a 21-11-2 mark, which tied for the second-most regular-season wins in program history. The Friars finished the regular-season with a 13-8-1 mark in Hockey East play and tied for second in the league standings, matching their best-ever Hockey East finish. Providence earned the No. 2 seed in the Hockey East playoffs, its highest seed in the Hockey East Tournament, and appeared in the Hockey East Quarterfinals for the fourth-consecutive season. Providence also finished the season ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense, yielding just 2.05 goals-against per game.
Junior forward Nick Saracino (14-24-38) led the Friars in scoring, while Gillies (24-13-2, 2.01 goals-against average, .930 save percentage) was named an American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Second Team All-American for the second time in his career, becoming the fifth Friar to earn multiple All-America honors. Gillies also was named a First Team Hockey East All-Star, becoming just the fifth goaltender in Hockey East history to earn multiple First Team honors and the first Friar goaltender to do so. He became the second Friar to earn multiple First Team Hockey East honors, joining Mike Boback `92. Gillies, who signed with the NHL's Calgary Flames following the season, finished his Friar career as the program's record holder for career shutouts (13), career goals-against average (2.08) and he posted a .931 career save percentage. He recorded three of the top-four single season goals-against averages in program history, ranks second in wins (60) and saves (3,000) and fourth in games played by a goaltender (108).
Ross Mauermann '15, who was one of Leaman's first recruits at Providence, became the 49th Friar to reach the 100-career points plateau and he set the program record for games played after appearing in all 156 games of his Friar career. Mauermann (52-60-112) was the 35th Friar to score at least 50-career goals and ranks 36th on Providence's all-time points list.
Noel Acciari '15 was named the Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year, marking the third-consecutive Friar forward to earn Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year honors under Leaman. He went on to sign with the Boston Bruins after the season.
In addition, seven of Leaman's players went on to earn Hockey East Academic All-Star honors after winning the NCAA championship in 2015.
In 2013-14, Leaman guided the Friars back to the NCAA Championship field for the first time since 2001 and Providence went on to record its first NCAA win since 1991.
The 2013-14 season saw the Friars post a 22-11-6 record, tying the mark for the third-most wins in program history. Providence placed third in the regular-season Hockey East standings and, after a home, quarterfinal-series sweep of Maine, advanced to the Hockey East Championship semifinals for a program-record third straight year. After defeating Quinnipiac in NCAA First Round play, Leaman and the Friars advanced to the NCAA East Regional final where they fell to eventual national champion Union, 3-1. Leaman became the 16th NCAA Div. I men's hockey head coach to lead two different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Led by Mauermann, the Friar offense scored 115 goals in 2013-14, the most since the 2002-03 season. Mauermann scored 19 goals and added 17 assists for 36 points to become the highest scoring Friar since the 2003-04 season when three players topped the 36-point plateau. Mauermann, who has led the Friars in scoring in each of Leaman's first three seasons, was also named the Hockey East's Co-Defensive Forward of the Year in addition to being named the League's Len Ceglarski Individual Sportsmanship Award winner.
Gillies set the Providence record for career shutouts (9), surpassing the seven career shutouts that Tyler Sims `08 posted from 2004-08. Gillies became the second Friar to take part in multiple World Junior Championships after he started for Team USA at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden and won gold with Team USA at the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia. Gillies finished the 2013-14 season with the nation's fourth-best save percentage (.931).
Other 2013-14 highlights included the program's first six-game winning streak since 2005-06 and a regular-season-ending sweep at Maine, which marked Providence's first sweep at Maine since 2007. That sweep put the Friars in position to host a Hockey East Quarterfinal series for a second consecutive season. The Friar penalty kill ended the season ranked third-best in the country with an 87.2 success rate, while the team defense's 2.26 goals-against per game ranked seventh nationally.
In 2012-13, Leaman led the Friars to a 17-14-7 overall record and a 13-8-6 mark in Hockey East play. It marked the most wins for a Friar squad since the 2005-06 season. The 13 Hockey East wins tied for the third-most in program history. The Friars entered the last weekend of the regular season in contention for the league title for the first time ever and went on to win a home quarterfinal Hockey East playoff series for the first time since 2001. The Friars then made a second consecutive Hockey East semifinal appearance, marking the first time in 17 seasons that Providence made back-to-back Hockey East semifinals appearances.
In 2012-13, Leaman coached Providence College's first All-American since 2004, then freshman goaltender Gillies, who was named a Second Team All-American. Gillies was also named the Hockey Commissioner's Association (HCA) National Rookie of the Year, a First Team Hockey East All-Star and the Hockey East Rookie of the Year. He was just the third freshman all-time to earn First Team Hockey East honors. In addition, senior Kyle Murphy was named the 2013 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award Winner by the HCA, Schaller became just the second Friar to earn Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year honors and six Friars were named to the 2013 Hockey East All-Academic Team.
During the 2012-13 season, the Friars reached as high as 16th in the USCHO.com poll. Providence was then ranked 18th in the season-ending USCHO.com poll, marking the first time since 2001 the Friars were ranked in the year-end USCO.com poll. The Friars were able to move into the polls on the strength of several marquee wins, including their first win at New Hampshire since 2004 and their first win at Boston College in 18 tries.
In his first season at Providence (2011-12), Leaman led the Friars to the Hockey East Semifinals for the first time since 2001. Providence defeated No. 2 seed UMass Lowell in a best-of-three quarterfinal series to become the first No. 7 seed to ever win a Hockey East Quarterfinal series.
Leaman, who was appointed the 12th coach at Providence on April 22, 2011, guided Providence to 14 victories during the 2011-12 season. Among those wins was a two-game, weekend sweep of then No. 1 ranked Merrimack on December 3-4. The 2-1 overtime triumph on Dec. 2 was PC's first over a No. 1 team since 2003. After their successful weekend against Merrimack, the Friars were ranked in the USCHO.com national poll for the first time since 2008. In all, Providence recorded seven wins against nationally ranked teams, including five victories against squads in the top-10. Mauermann was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, becoming the first Friar to earn the honor since 2007.
Leaman's Providence College teams have been very involved in the Providence College community and beyond. In 2012, the Friars added Kevin Rich to their squad as part of Team IMPACT, which is a non-profit chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Rich has remained involved with team activities throughout the past three seasons. The Friars also have regularly taken part in Rhode Island's Reading Week, hosting a holiday pasta dinner at Schneider Arena for season ticket holders and served by the players and hosting an annual outdoor youth clinic in downtown Providence at Kennedy Plaza.
Leaman received the Reverend John McMahon Award from the Providence College Student Congress in April of 2013. Recognizing members of the PC community for outstanding dedication and service to the student body, the Reverend John McMahon Award is the highest honor that Student Congress awards.
The Union College Years
Prior to Providence, Leaman spent eight seasons as the head coach at Union College (2003-11) and he was instrumental in helping to build Union's 2014 NCAA Championship winning squad.
Leaman's final team at Union, the 2010-11 squad, posted an impressive 26-10-4 overall record, including a 17-3-2 mark in the ECAC. The team captured the College's first Cleary Cup (ECAC regular season champion) and earned its first NCAA Div. I Tournament berth. Union's season came to end when it was defeated by eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth, 2-0, in the 2011 NCAA East Regional Semifinal. The Dutchmen went 14-1-1 in their final 16 regular season games to clinch the league title. Union had the top power play in the nation as it posted a 29.5 percent success rate. In addition, the team allowed just 2.10 goals per game, which ranked second in the nation. The Dutchmen also were ranked nationally for the entire season and reached as high as fourth. For his efforts, Leaman received the 2011 Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I Men's Coach of the Year and he also was named ECAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
In eight seasons at Union, Leaman's teams posted a 138-127-35 mark and Leaman became the first Union Head Coach to leave with a winning record (since the program moved to Div. I). His 138 wins are the most of any of the 14 head coaches in school history. Leaman guided Union to four consecutive winning seasons. In 2009-10, the team posted a 21-12-6 record, finished third place in the ECAC regular season and was the ECAC Tournament runner up.
The 2007-08 season began a stretch of four consecutive winning seasons for the Union program under Leaman. That team posted a 16-15-4 overall record and placed fourth in the ECAC, which at the time was the program's highest finish. In 2008-09, the team finished the season at 19-17-3 overall and it marked the first back-to-back winning campaigns in program history. That success carried over to the 2009-10 season as Leaman's squad was ranked in the top-20 nationally for 14 consecutive weeks.
As An Assistant Coach
Prior to taking the head coaching position at Union, Leaman spent four seasons as an assistant coach for Mark Mazzoleni at Harvard, where he was the top assistant and recruiting coordinator during his final season. Leaman helped rebuild the Harvard program into one of the top teams in the ECAC, taking the squad from eighth place in the league to an ECAC tournament championship and NCAA appearance in 2001-2002, and an ECAC runner-up finish and NCAA appearance in 2002-2003. During his four years on the Harvard coaching staff, Leaman had a hand in recruiting 13 NHL draft picks and helped the program to be consistently ranked near the top of college hockey in the number of players with NHL rights.
Before coaching at Harvard, Leaman served as a volunteer assistant coach under Shawn Walsh at the University of Maine in 1998-99. In helping guide Maine to a 31-6-4 record and the 1999 NCAA Championship, Leaman's responsibilities included working with the Black Bears' defense, video analysis, on-campus recruiting and monitoring of the players' academic progress. While in Orono, Leaman earned a Master of Science degree in biological sciences in 1999.
Prior to joining the staff at Maine, Leaman served as associate coach for one season at Old Town High School in Old Town, Maine, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of team practices and bench management during games.
Leaman also served as an assistant coach with USA Hockey for the US World Junior Team in 2007 and 2009. In 2007, he helped lead the team to a Bronze Medal in Leksand, Sweden.
Leaman is a 1997 graduate of SUNY Cortland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with a concentration in environmental science and received the Aldo Leopold Award for excellence in environmental science. Captain of the hockey team as a junior and senior, Leaman finished his career as one of the top-20 scorers in Red Dragons' history. He was inducted into the Red Dragons' Hall of Fame in September, 2014.
Prior to attending Cortland, Leaman spent a season with the Enkoping Sports Klubb in Enkoping, Sweden, and also played one year with the Indianapolis Junior Ice in the North American Junior Hockey League.
A native of Centerville, Ohio, Leaman and his wife, Alice, have three young sons, Ty, Bryce and Nolan.
Leaman's Year-By-Year Coaching Records Year Team Overall Pct. Conf. Pct. Finish 2014-15 PC 26-13-2 .659 13-8-1 .614 T-2
2013-14 PC 22-11-6 .641 11-7-2 .550 3 2012-13 PC 17-14-7 .539 13-8-6 .593 T-3 2011-12 PC 14-20-4 .421 10-14-3 .426 7 2010-11 Union 26-10-4 .700 17-3-2 .818 1 2009-10 Union 21-12-6 .615 12-6-4 .636 3 2008-09 Union 19-17-3 .526 9-11-2 .455 8 2007-08 Union 15-14-6 .514 10-7-5 .568 T-4 2006-07 Union 14-19-3 .431 7-14-1 .341 12 2005-06 Union 16-16-6 .500 9-9-4 .500 T-6 2004-05 Union 13-22-2 .378 8-13-1 .386 8 2003-04 Union 14-17-5 .458 8-11-3 .432 8 Total 217-185-54 .535 137-111-34 .546
The Nate Leaman File Name: Nathan G. Leaman Family: Wife, Alice; Sons, Ty, Bryce & Nolan Education: SUNY Cortland '97 - B.S. in biological sciences University of Maine '99 - M.S. in biological sciences
Coaching • Head Coach - Providence College, 2011- • Head Coach - Union College, 2003-2011 • Assistant Coach - Harvard University, 1999-2003 • Assistant Coach - U.S.A World Junior Team, 2007 and 2009 • Volunteer Assistant Coach - University of Maine, 1998-1999
Awards and Honors • Spencer Penrose Award (Division I National Coach of the Year) - 2011
• Spencer Penrose Finalist (Division I National Coach of the Year) - 2015
• USCHO.com Division I National Coach of the Year - 2015
• ECAC Coach of the Year - 2010 and 2011
• Inside College Hockey National Coach of the Year - 2010
• Spencer Penrose Award Finalist - 2010
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