Nov. 30, 2011
FRIARS PLAY WEEKEND SERIES VERSUS NO. 1 MERRIMACK... Providence will play a weekend series against unbeaten and No. 1 nationally ranked Merrimack on Friday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Schneider Arena. The game will be aired live on Cox Sports. The following night, the Friars will travel to North Andover, Mass. to face the Warriors at Lawler Arena in a game that will be televised by Universal Sports Network.
HOME SWEET HOME... The Friars have a 6-2-1 record at home this season, including a 4-1 mark in Hockey East games at Schneider Arena. In the nine home games, the Friars have outscored opponents, 34-24, and are 12-for-50 (24.0 %) on the power play.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS MERRIMACK... In 111 meetings between Providence and Merrimack, the Friars lead, 75-28-8, including a 43-15-2 mark in Providence. Last season, Providence posted a 2-1 record against Merrimack with both Friar wins coming at Schneider Arena.
SCOUTING MERRIMACK... Merrimack comes into the weekend as the top-ranked team in the country for the second consecutive week. It is the first time in program history that the Warriors have been ranked No. 1. Most recently, Merrimack, the lone unbeaten (9-0-1) team in the nation, defeated Alabama-Huntsville, 6-0, on November 23 at Lawler Arena. The Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on two goals by Connor Toomey and never looked back. In goal, Joe Cannata earned the shutout by making 13 saves. Ryan Flanigan leads the team in scoring with 11 points on six goals and five assists, while three other Warriors are tied for second with nine points each. Cannata has played in nine of the 10 games and has a 1.32 goals against average and a .944 save percentage.
FRIAR QUICK NOTES... Providence's participation in the Denver Cup Classic last weekend was its first in-season tournament since the 2007-08 season when the Friars played in the Great Lakes Invitational. Saturday's game at Merrimack will mark Providence's first Hockey East road game since Oct. 29. The Friars are seeking their first road win since November 27, 2010 and their first Hockey East road win since October 31, 2009 at UMass. The Friars will play three games, including two road contests, in five days to close out 2011. Junior Chris Rooney (Canton, Mass.) has one assist in four of the last five games. Freshman Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.), who missed five consecutive games, scored one goal in his second game back on Saturday.
FRIARS VERSUS NO. 1 TEAMS... The Friars have not played a No. 1 ranked team since the 2008-09 season when they faced Boston University twice. Providence is seeking its first win over a top-ranked team since January 3, 2003 when it defeated No. 1/2 Maine at Schneider Arena. Prior to that, the Friars had not defeated a No. 1 team since February 9, 2001 (5-3 home triumph over Boston College).
AGAINST THE RANKED... Providence has posted a 1-1-1 record against ranked teams this season. The Friars defeated No. 7 Boston University to start the season, before losing and tying No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth. Last season, the Friars recorded one win against a ranked team (No. 7/9 Merrimack).
SPECIAL TEAMS... The Friars are sixth in Hockey East on the power play at 18.1% (13-for-72) and third on the penalty kill at 85.7 % (60-for-70). The Friars have scored at least one power-play goal in nine of the 13 games. Junior Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) is tied for second in the county with five power-play goals and two short-handed scores.
LAST TIME OUT... The Friars are coming off a 3-1 loss against Princeton on Saturday, November 26 in the second game of the Denver Cup Classic played at Magness Arena in Denver, Colo. Freshman Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.) scored early to give the Friars the lead. Sophomore Derek Army (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Kevin Hart (Cumberland, Maine) assisted on Demopoulos' third goal of the season. Princeton scored the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead after one period and added a second period goal for a two-goal advantage (3-1). Providence finished with a 38-26 advantage in shots. Senior Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.) made 23 saves for the Friars.
SCORING EARLY AND SCORING LATE... The Friars are outscoring their opponents, 15-10, in the first period. Providence has scored at least one goal in the first period in 11 of the first 13 games, including three goals in the opening period of a 5-3 victory over No. 7 Boston University on October 14. The Friars also have scored 15 goals in the third period, but have the best scoring margin (+5) in the first period.
SPREADING THE SCORING... The Friars are spreading the scoring around as 21 skaters and goalie Alex Beaudry have at least one point. In addition, 17 Friars have at least one goal. There are 18 Friars with three points or more, including freshman Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) who leads the team lead with 12 points.
SCHALLER SETS CAREER HIGH... Tim Schaller, who totaled seven goals in his first two seasons (67 games), has a team-high eight goals in 13 games this season. He scored his first career hat trick on November 4 versus Vermont and for his efforts he earned Hockey East Player of the Week honors on November 7 and Inside College Hockey National Player of the Week on November 8. The three-goal effort was the beginning of a four-game stretch (11/4 - 11/12) in which he recorded seven goals. Most recently, Schaller had two goals against Alabama-Huntsville on November 12. He is second on the team with 10 points.
FRIAR FRESHMAN LINE LEADING THE WAY... The Friar second line of freshmen Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.), Ross Mauermann and Damian Cross (Nepean, Ont.) is the highest scoring line on the team. Mauermann leads the team in scoring with 12 points (4 g, 8 a). He is also eighth in the nation in points per game (0.92) among rookies. Cross is third on the team with nine points (2 g, 7 a) and Demopoulos is tied for sixth with seven points (3 g, 4 a).
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