April 16, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The Providence College Men’s Hockey team was ranked 18th in the country in the final 2012-13 USCHO.com Div. I Men’s Hockey Poll, which was released on Monday (April 15).
It marks the first time since 2001 that the Friars have been ranked in the USCHO.com season-ending poll. In that final poll 12 years ago, Providence was ranked eighth (March 19, 2001) just prior to appearing in the NCAA Championship field.
This past season, the Friars posted a 17-14-7 overall record and a 13-8-6 mark in Hockey East play to tie for third. Providence’s 17 wins was its highest win total since 2005-06 (17-16-3). With their third-place finish, the Friars hosted a Hockey East Quarterfinal series for the first time since 2002-03.
Led by freshman Nick Saracino’s four goals, the Friars defeated New Hampshire in a dramatic three-game series (two games to one) to win a home ice quarterfinal series for the first time since 2001. Providence then made the Hockey East Championship Semifinals for the second consecutive season, marking the first time the Friars made back-to-back semifinal appearances in 17 seasons (1994-95 and 1995-96). At the TD Garden in Boston, Mass., the Friars were then edged by eventual Hockey East Champion and Frozen Four participant UMass-Lowell in the semifinals, 2-1.
Last weekend at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, Pa., freshman goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) was named a Second Team All-American and the HCA National Rookie of the Year. He was the first Friar All-American since 2003-04 (Stephen Wood) and the program’s first national Rookie of the Year. Also announced at the Frozen Four, senior captain Kyle Murphy (Fairhaven, N.J.) was named the 2013 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award Winner, as announced by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA).
Additional team highlights from the 2012-13 season included tying for the third-most Hockey East wins in program history (13) as the Friars posted their first winning Hockey East record since 2005-06. The Friars also went 8-8-4 away from Schneider Arena, their highest road win total since 2003-04. Providence also entered the last weekend of the season with a chance to win the regular-season title for the first time in program history.
Following the conclusion of the 2012-13 season, seniors Alex Velischek (Kinnelon, N.J.) and Chris Rooney (Canton, Mass.) made their professional debuts with the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Senior Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.), the 2013 Hockey East Defensive Forward of the Year, then signed a two-year entry level contract with the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Friars will hold their annual end of the year banquet on Sunday, April 21, at which the team awards will be announced.
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