PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- In an exhibition game, the Providence College men's hockey team and the United States National Team Development Program U-18's played to a 3-3 tie on Thursday night at Schneider Arena.
The fifth-ranked Friars had a strong start to the game, as the team took a 2-0 lead after one period of play. Senior Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) and freshman Brian Pinho (North Andover, Mass.) each notched a goal for Providence. The U.S. team responded in the second period, matching the Friars first period output to even the game at 2-2.
The National Team grabbed its first lead of the meeting at of the third period when Jeremy Bracco capitalized on the power play but senior Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.) added one last goal for the Friars before the conclusion of regulation to eventually force a 3-3 tie.
The overtime period was not enough for either team to record the win. Sophomore goaltender Nick Ellis (Millersville, Md.) stopped three shots in overtime and a total of 38 in the game. U.S. netminder Michael Lackey made 33 saves.
Providence led 2-0 after the first twenty minutes of play, as a result of goals from Mauermann and Pinho. Mauermann's goal broke the scoreless tie at 9:27 when he capped off a good Providence shift in the U.S. zone. With senior Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.) acting as a screen in front of Lackey, senior Shane Luke (Dauphon, Manitoba) chipped the puck to Mauermann. Mauermann stickhandled through the U.S. defense and circled around the goal, netting a wraparound tally.
Pinho extended the lead in the closing seconds of the opening period, as he batted the puck into the net. The play leading to the goal began when freshman Truman Reed (Anchorage, Alaska) gathered the puck and fired it into the U.S. zone. Sophomore Conor MacPhee (Windham, N.H.) collected the puck behind the goal and sent the puck through the U.S. crease. Pinho redirected the puck past Lackey for a 2-0 Friars advantage at 19:54 of the first.
The U.S. responded by posting two goals in the second period. Troy Terry opened the scoring in the frame when he finished off a cross-ice pass from Christian Fisher at 6:35. Brendan Warren also assisted on the goal. Casey Fitzgerald evened the game at 18:28 of the second period. A feed across the ice from Tage Thompson found Fitzgerald, as he was open in the face-off circle to the right of Ellis.
A power-play goal by Jeremy Bracco at 9:58 of the third period put the U.S. ahead for the first time in the game. Just prior to the goal, Auston Matthews rang a shot off of the post, but regained his own rebound. Matthews saw Bracco stationed on the opposite side of the ice and created a set-up that Bracco finished off to grab a 3-2 lead.
Demopoulos answered with the game-tying goal at 12:44 of the third. After sophomore Josh Monk (Langley, British Columbia) started the rush up the ice, Mauermann continued the play as he drove towards the net, eventually backhanding a pass right in front of the crease to Demopoulos. Demopoulos tapped puck over the U.S. goal line to even the score.
Despite each team getting off at least three shots on goal in overtime, neither could secure the win. The Friars had a couple of quality scoring chances, including a partial breakaway for junior Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Ont.) that was negated by a diving play by U.S. defenseman Masonius.
The Friars will resume their regular season schedule when the team travels to Grand Forks, North Dakota for a weekend series to play the third-ranked North Dakota on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Ralph Englestad Arena.
The Friars hosted the U.S. National Under-18 team at Schneider Arena for the second time (first since Jan. 23, 2011) ... Providence has now played three consecutive overtime games ... Freshmen Alex Cromwell, Robbie Hennessey, and Truman Reed each had their first action in a Friar uniform.
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