Nov. 22, 1997

Freshman Goaltender Leads Friars to 5-3 Win Over UMass

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--....Freshman goaltender Boyd Ballard made 42 saves and junior center Mike Omicioli had two goals and an assist to lead the Providence College Friars to a 5-3 win over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in HOCKEY EAST action Saturday night.

The win runs PC's winning streak to six straight games and improves the Friars to 7-2-0 overall and 3-2-0 in HOCKEY EAST action. UMass falls to 2-7-0 on the year and the Minutemen are now 0-6-0 in league play.

Ballard, the Friars' 5-10, 180-pound goaltender from Weyburn, Saskatchewan ran his personal winning streak to six straight games in making the career high 42 saves. The acrobatic goaltender was at his best in the second period when he stopped 18 of 19 UMass shots until PC could get its offense rolling.

Omicioli got the Friars on the board just 18 seconds into the game when he deflected a Jay Leach wrist shot past UMass's Brian Regan on his stick side.

The Friars had a chance to go up 2-0 when UMass' Mike Gaffney went off for hooking at 9:39, but things didn't work PC's way as Tim Hirsch put Nathan Sell in on a shorthanded breakaway and he scored between Ballard's pads to even the game at one apiece.

Providence rebounded less than a minute later on the same Gaffney penalty as Omicioli got his second of the game, blasting the rebound of a Josh MacNevin slapshot over the fallen Regan. For Omicioli the two goals give him five on the season.

The pesky Minutemen came back though. Senior center Tim Lovell got his fifth of the season when he pounced on the rebound of a Chris Fawcett shot at 16:59 to close out the first period scoring at 2-2.

UMass would up the lead to 3-2 early in the second period during a 19-shot barrage. Kris Wallis came out of the right corner and stuffed the puck past Ballard at 2:29. The Minutemen poured on the offense, but Ballard was equal to the task, making 18 saves in the period.

Providence tied the game at 5:22 of the period when Doug Sheppard one-timed a beautiful centering feed from junior Jon Coe past Regan. PC hustle helped Troy Lake put Providence ahead 4-3 at the 12:00 minute mark of the second period. As Coe raced in on a breakaway chance at the UMass blueline, he was pulled down. With a delayed penalty called, Coe got up and continued toward the UMass goal where he fired a low wrister at Regan. The UMass goaltender got a pad on it but Lake backhanded the rebound ove him for the goal.

PC would add a Josh MacNevin power play goal at 16:35 of the second period for a 5-3 Friar lead. The third period was all goaltending as Ballard made 14 saves on the way to 42 for the game. Regan stopped 13 of his 31 saves in the game in the final period as both goaltenders held the opposition off the scoreboard.

The Friars return to action on Tuesday, November 25th when they travel to Northeastern for a 7:00 p.m. game at Matthews Arena in Boston.

Saturday, November 22, 1997
Schneider Arena, Providence, R.I.
UMass-Amherst (2-7-0)       2        1       0      -   3         6-12     0-2
Providence (7-2-0)          2        3       0      -   5         4-8       2-4
Per      Time   Team    Goal Scorer (Assists)       
1       :18     PC      Mike Omicioli (4)   (Jay Leach)
1       9:49    UMA     Nathan Sell (1)         (Tim Hirsch, Dean Stork)    SH
1       10:40   PC      Mike Omicioli (5)   (Jason Ialongo, Josh MacNevin)   PP
1       16:59   UMA     Tim Lovell (5)  (Chris Fawcett, Dean Campanale)
2       2:29    UMA     Kris Wallis (2) (Steve MacKinnon, Tom O'Connor)
2       5:22    PC      Doug Sheppard (4)   (Jon Coe)
2       12:00   PC      Troy Lake (2)   (Jon Coe, J.J. Picinic)
2        16:35  PC      Josh MacNevin (1)   (Fernando Pisani, Mike Omicioli)   PP
Brian Regan (UMA)              8-10-13-    31
Boyd Ballard (PC)             10-18-14-    42
Attendance: 2,484 (Schneider Arena)

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