HARTFORD, Conn. – Josh Wilkins scored twice in the opening minutes and Hayden Hawkey stopped 23-of-24 shots as the No. 10 Providence College men’s hockey team downed UConn, 3-1, at the XL Center on Thursday night.
No. 10 Providence – 3 | UConn – 1
Providence – 16-7-2 (9-4-2 HEA) | UConn – 8-16-2 (5-11-1 HEA)
XL Center – Hartford, Conn.
Hayden Hawkey (PC) – 23 saves
Tanner Creel (UC) – 27 saves
- The Friars struck for a pair just 1:02 apart on the strength of Josh Wilkins’ 10th and 11th tallies of the season. Jacob Bryson assisted on both of Wilkins’ goals to give him a team-high 18 assists this season.
- Hawkey made a key stop on the UConn power play as he denied Karl El-Mir’s bid from the slot to keep the Huskies off the board.
- Vimal Sukumaran put the Friars up 3-0 at 18:04 of the first with his sixth goal of the season. Assists were credited to Shane Kavanagh and Robbie Hennessey.
- Providence out-shot the Huskies by 13-9 margin in the opening period.
- Hawkey held strong the in second period as he turned away all eight UConn shots in the middle frame. The fifth-ranked Friar penalty kill denied the Huskies on both power play opportunities of the second period and one power play chance in the third period after the Huskies drew within two.
- The Friars carried momentum through the final 10 minutes of the third to hold off the Huskies from cutting the score any closer.
- Providence currently rides a season-high seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1).
- The Friars have surrendered just seven goals in seven games in the second half of the season, out-scoring opponents by a 27-7 margin over that span.
- Wilkins now has scored in three-consecutive games (4-0-4), while Kasper Bjorkqvist extended his point streak to six games (4-3-7).
- Hayden Hawkey is 6-0-1 with a 1.01 GAA and .951 save percentage in six games since the holiday break. In 15 Hockey East games, Hawkey has posted a 1.88 GAA and .930 save percentage.
- Sukumaran found the back of the net for the first time since Dec. 1.
HOW THEY SCORED
1-0 (PC) – 3:55/1st – EV – Josh Wilkins (Bryson, Björkqvist) – Centering feed from Bryson to Wilkins in the high slot and he finished a wrister over the glove of Creel.
2-0 (PC) – 4:57/1st – PP – Josh Wilkins (Mirageas, Bryson) – Wilkins one-timed a rebound off a Mirageas shot.
3-0 (PC) – 18:04/1st – EV – Vimal Sukumaran (Kavanagh, Hennessey) – Net drive by Kavanagh and Sukumaran cleaned up the loose rebound on the short side.
3-1 (UC) – 3:46/3rd – EV – Alexander Payusov (Masonius) – Wrap-around that beat Hawkey to the post.
PC GAME HIGHS
Goals: Wilkins (2)
Assists: Bryson (2)
Points: Bryson, Wilkins (2)
Shots: Wilkins (5)
Providence – 1/2
UConn – 0/4
Providence – 30
UConn – 24
The Friars return home on Saturday night for the back-end of the home-and-home series with the Huskies. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Schneider Arena.
For more updates on the Providence College men's hockey program, follow the team on Twitter @FriarsHockey.
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