March 21, 2014
BOSTON, Mass. -- The third-seeded Providence College men's hockey team (21-10-6, 11-7-2 HEA) fell 3-1 to the fourth-seeded New Hampshire Wildcats (22-17-1, 11-9-0 HEA) in the Hockey East Semifinal at the TD Garden. It was Providence's third consecutive trip to the Garden, marking the first time in program history the Friars advanced to the semifinal round three straight years.
The first period remained scoreless after two successful penalty kills by the Friars. Providence kept the Wildcats to four shots on goal in four minutes of power play time for New Hampshire. Sophomore Friar goaltender Jon Gillies(South Portland, Maine) finished the period with nine saves.
The two teams exchanged chances throughout the first 20 minutes, including a quick shot by red shirt sophomore Trevor Mingoia(Fairport, N.Y.) in the slot that was stopped by Wildcat goaltender Casey DeSmith, who finished the period with five saves.
Gillies kept the score even with a pad save on a deceptive low shot taken by Grayson Downing along the wall with 11:00 minutes left to play in the first period.
The Wildcats were first on the board with a shorthanded strike from leading scorer Kevin Goumas at 7:05 of the second period. Goumas entered the Friars' defensive end, driving wide around the Providence defender and putting away his 18th goal of the season on a wraparound. Eric Knodel collected the lone assist on the play.
New Hampshire went on to add on two more goals before the end of the period to take a 3-0 lead into the locker room. The Wildcats second goal came at 13:31 from Justin Agosta, when he fired a point shot on net that deflected off of two Providence skates before finding its way past Gillies. Agosta was assisted by Matt Willows and Maxim Gaudreault on the play.
Goumas notched his second wraparound goal of the game with 00:00.4 left in the second frame. Goumas and Nick Sorkin entered Providence's defensive end on a 2-on-1, when Sorkin's shot went wide of the net for Goumas to collect and put away. Willows collected the second assist on the play.
The Friars continued to battle as they entered the third period. Sophomore Kevin Rooney (Canton, Mass.) notched his second career goal at the TD Garden with a tally at 4:22 of the third period. Rooney dumped the puck into the Wildcat's defensive end for junior linemate Drew Brown(Grass Lake, Mich.) to chase down. While being pulled down, Brown moved the puck for Rooney to collect to the side of the net and put home for his third goal of the season.
With Gillies out and the extra skater, Providence continued to put the pressure on the Wildcats but could not find a way to best DeSmith to close the gap as time expired.
The Friars finished with 26 shots on goal, as they outshot the Wildcats 12-5 in the third period. Gillies would finish the game with 28 saves for Providence. New Hampshire would outshoot the Friars in the game, 31-26, with DeSmith collecting 25 saves.
Providence will now wait and see if it is named to the 16-team NCAA Championship field as it entered the night ninth in the Pairwise rankings (criteria used for NCAA selections). The NCAA Selection Show will air on ESPNU at noon on Sunday, March 23.
Derek Army set the Providence College record for consecutive games played (147), surpassing Tony Zancanaro '06 (146).