Nov. 9, 2007
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
Junior Matt Taormina (Washington Township, Mich.) scored two goals, including a short-handed game winner in the second period , and added three assists to lead the Providence College men's hockey team to a 6-2 upset victory over No. 11 Maine Friday night in Orono, Maine. It marked the most goals that the Friars have scored at Alfond Arena since March 24, 1989 when they tallied eight goals. With the win, the Friars improve to 2-5-1 overall and 2-2-1 in Hockey East. Maine fell to 4-3-1, and 2-1-1.
The Friars carried the play early on and were rewarded at 3:58 as they took a 1-0 lead. Taormina collected a loose puck behind his won net and swept it along the right wing boards to classmate Nick Mazzolini (Alaska, Anchorage) at the red line. Mazzolini skated into the Maine zone and dropped a pass to junior Pierce Norton (South Boston, Mass.), who ripped a quick wrist shot from the right face off circle that beat goalie Ben Bishop to the blocker side. The lead increased to 2-0 at 10:53 when junior Cody Wild (North Providence, R.I.) cleared the puck down the left wing boards and sophomore Greg Collins (Hingham, Mass.) then played ahead to senior Jon Rheault (Deering, N.H.). Rheault took advantage of a Maine defenseman who had fallen at the blue line and skated in on a breakaway before firing a high wrist shot past Bishop. The Black Bears quickly responded and cut the lead in half at 12:25 as Andrew Sweetland pounced on a rebound and scored from in close for his first tally of the season.
Sweetland struck again, this time on the power play at 9:36 of the second period to even the score at 2-2. Billy Ryan collected a rebound at the bottom of the left face off circle and slid a pass across the crease to Sweetland who tapped the puck into the empty net. The Black Bears had the momentum as they were on another power play shortly thereafter. However, it was the Friars who took the lead with their third short-handed goal in two games. After a turnover at the Maine blue line, Mazzolini collected the puck and skated in on a three-on-one rush down the right wing. Mazzolini waited for Taormina who was trailing the play and slid a pass to the slot to Taormina whose one timer found the back of the net at 10:47. It marked Taormina's fourth goal of the season, two of which are short handed.
The Friars scored three power-play goals in the third period to seal the win. Mazzolini scored his first of the season at 6:03 to make the score, 4-2. The lead moved to 5-2 at 7:13 when Wild also added his first tally of the season. Taormina completed the scoring at 15:49 with his fifth goal of the season.
The Friars outshot the Black Bears, 39-17. PC junior goalie Tyler Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.), who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, made 15 saves to earn his first win of the season. Bishop and Wilson combined to make 32 saves.
The two teams will face each other again on Saturday, November 9 beginning at 8:00 p.m. in Orono, Maine.