March 1, 2014
ORONO, Maine -- Jon Gillies made 35 saves and goals by Shane Luke, Brandon Tanev and Anthony Florentino sent the Providence College men’s hockey team to a 3-2 win and weekend sweep at 18th-ranked Maine on Saturday night at Alfond Arena (4,623).
With their fourth win in a row, the Friars (19-9-6, 11-7-2 HEA) moved into third place in the Hockey East standings. Providence will be off next weekend before hosting a best-of-three quarterfinal series at Schneider Arena, beginning on Friday, March 14.
Specialty teams proved pivotal for the Friars as they netted a short-handed goal, a power-play tally and successfully killed off a five-on-three Maine (15-13-4, 9-8-3 HEA) power play opportunity.
The Friars took a 1-0 lead at just 1:49 of the first when Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) got a quick wrist shot off from the far circle that beat Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette high to the glove side for his ninth goal of the season. Ouellette tried to play the puck behind his own net, but an aggressive Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) forecheck forced the goaltender to shoot the puck towards the boards where Luke intercepted the pass. Saracino, who deflected Ouellette’s pass, earned an assist on the play.
Following some quality scoring chances at both ends, Maine tied it up at 12:18 of the first period on a goal by Ryan Lomberg, who one-timed a Connor Leen pass from the slot past Gillies for his 11th goal of the season. Eric Schurhamer also assisted on the goal.
The Friars answered with a shorthanded tally at 16:43 of the first frame to retake the lead, 2-1. Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) sprung Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) down the far boards, who beat a Maine defenseman and then skated in on a two-on-one chance with Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Ontario). Acciari drove the net and Ouellette kept the initial shot out, but Tanev buried the rebound for his second goal in as many nights. It was Providence’s seventh shorthanded goal of the season.
In the second period, Maine had a great chance to tie it up with a 2:00 minute five-on-three power play following a pair of simultaneous minor penalties against the Friars called at 4:45. But five saves by Gillies and a big effort by Steven Shamanski (Carberry, Manitoba), who played the full two minutes of the penalty kill, kept the Friars up, 2-1.
The Friars extended their lead to 3-1 when Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) let a one-timer fly from the point for his fourth goal of the season, scored at 11:10 of the second while on the power play. Parisi curled around the net to Ouellete’s left and found Florentino open at the point for his second assist of the night.
Maine cut it to a 3-2 game early in the third period when Steven Swavely scored his ninth of the season at 3:39, with assists going to Leen and Shore. It was as close as the Black Bears would come as Gillies made 15 of his 35 saves in the third.
For the game, Providence went 1-for-5 on the power play and held Maine to an 0-for-5 mark with the man advantage. Ouellette made 17 saves in the Maine net, while Dan Sullivan stopped all 13 shots he faced in relief.
Tickets for Providence’s home quarterfinal series will be available by clicking here, or by calling the ticket office starting on Monday, March 3 at 401-865-GOPC. Tickets are $15 each.
The Friars posted their first sweep at Maine since Nov. 9-10, 2007 … The Friars are unbeaten in six straight versus Maine (5-0-1) for the first time since winning eight in a row against the Black Bears from 1981-84 … Providence finished the regular season 9-3-3 on the road this season … After notching seven points (3-4-7) in the first 30 games of the season, Brandon Tanev has six points in the last four games (3-3-6) … Derek Army skated in his 144th-consecutive game for the Friars, while Steven Shamanski played in his 126th-straight and Ross Mauermann his 110th-straight ... With an assist, Noel Acciari extended his career-long point streak to four games (3-3-6) … The last time the Friars posted 19 wins in a season was 2002-03 (19-14-3) ... The win was Head Coach Nate Leaman's 50th behind the Friar bench.
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