Hockey East QF Game Notes
The second-seeded Friars host the seventh-seeded UConn Huskies in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Games are set for Friday, Feb. 23 (7:00 p.m.), Saturday, Feb. 24 (7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, Feb. 25 (4:00 p.m.) if needed.
Scouting the Friars
The Friars concluded the regular season 16-11-7 overall and 12-7-5 in Hockey East. Providence finished the schedule out with a 1-0 victory over Northeastern to earn a regular season sweep of the Huskies. Madison Myers (Colchester, Vt.) posted 35 saves in her third shutout of the season. Cassidy MacPherson (Oakville, Ontario) scored the lone goal and was assisted by Kathleen McHugh (Billerica, Mass.) and Blair Parent (Blaine, Minn.).
Brooke Boquist (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and Maureen Murphy (Buffalo, N.Y.) lead the team offensively with 26 points apiece. Boquist has 14 goals and 12 assists, while Murphy, who leads the team in goals, has 19 goals and seven assists. Cassidy MacPherson, the team’s assist leader with 16, has 21 total points. Christina Putigna (Grimsby, Ontario), who has only played 26 games, has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points. In net, Madison Myers has played 32 games. She holds a .925 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average.
Regular Season vs. UConn
This season, the teams split the series 1-1-1 and went to overtime twice. The Friars tied 2-2 at UConn (Dec. 1), won 4-1 at home (Dec. 2) and then fell 3-2 in overtime on the road (Feb. 3). This season against UConn, Boquist has two goals and two assists (4 points), Murphy has two goals and an assist (3 points) and Parent has two goals. Additionally, Putigna has a goal and an assist, while Whitney Dove (Port Moody, British Columbia) has two assists.
Providence in the Hockey East Tournament
Providence has made eight total appearances in the Hockey East quarterfinal round. The Friars have a 5-7 record in those appearances. The team’s overall playoff record in Hockey East is 14-15. Last season, they were the #4 seed and fell to fifth-ranked Vermont in three games. Providence won the first game (5-4) before falling in 5-1 and 5-2 in the final games.
Providence has won three Hockey East titles. The team hoisted the Bertagna Trophy in 2003, 2004 and 2005. These were the first three Hockey East Championships in the history of the league.
UConn in the Hockey East Tournament
UConn has also made eight total appearances in the Hockey East quarterfinal round. The Huskies have a 5-6-0 record in those appearances. The team’s overall playoff record in Hockey East is 7-13. Last season, they were the #7 seed as well. UConn fell to #2 Northeastern in two games. The first game was a 6-2 loss, while the second was a 3-2 overtime heart-breaker.
The Huskies have appeared in two championship games (2005, 2010). They fell 3-1 to Providence in 2005 and fell 2-1 in overtime to BU in 2010.
Meeting of PC and UConn
The Friars and Huskies have met in five Hockey East Tournament games. Providence holds a 4-1 edge over UConn. Providence is 1-0 in the quarterfinals, 2-1 in the semifinals and 1-0 in the final against UConn. The last quarterfinal meeting was back in 2009, while the last post-season meeting between the teams came in 2010. That semifinal game in 2010 featured an upset, as #5 UConn defeated #1 Providence, 3-2.
The Last Advance
The last time Providence advanced from the quarterfinal round was 2013. The Friars defeated UNH, 5-4 in overtime to take on Boston University in the semifinal. For UConn, their last semifinal appearance was in 2016. The Huskies took down New Hampshire in two quarterfinal games, including a 4-3 thriller in three overtimes to sweep the series.
Friars in the Polls
The Friars returned to the top-10 of both the USCHO.com and USA Hockey polls after two weeks of receiving votes. They are currently #10 in both polls. Providence entered the polls on Oct. 30/31 at No. 9. The Friars were then ranked in 11 consecutive polls, through Jan. 29/30. The team’s highest ranking in both polls was #7 on Jan. 8/9.
Boquist is tied for the team lead in points and is just 10 away from reaching 100 in her career. She currently has 49 goals and 41 assists for 90 career points. Additionally, she has played more games than anyone currently on the roster (136).
Murphy Making an Impact
Freshman Maureen Murphy has made an immediate impact for the Friars in her first season. She is the team leader in goals scored with 19. The forward notched a hat trick against Boston University (Jan. 13). The Friars are 12-3-3 when she tallies a point. Additionally, she is seventh in Hockey East in goals scored, and second among freshmen.
Cassidy MacPherson is the Friars’ leader in assists through 34 games. She has 16 assists, which pushes her to 41 total in her career.
Killing Off Penalties
Providence is first in Hockey East and 10th in the nation in penalty kill percentage with a 87.2% success rate. The Friars have killed off 123 of 141 penalties through 34 games.
Providence has struggled scoring goals as of late, averaging just 1.22 goals per game in the last nine games. The last time the team scored more than two goals was in a six-goal outburst against Boston University (Jan. 13). A strong start to the year in scoring still has the Friars ranked 16th in the nation in scoring offense (2.68 goals per game).
Offense from the D
The Friars have had excellent offensive production from their defensemen so far this season. Avery Fransoo (North Battleford, Saskatchewan) and Kate Friesen (Altona, Manitoba) lead the defense with 13 points apiece. Fransoo has two goals and 11 assists, while Friesen has four goals and nine assists. Additionally, Whitney Dove has scored six goals, including three on the power play, and grabbed six assists. Lastly, Rachel Rockwell (Broadview Heights, Ohio) has recorded 11 assists from the blue line.
Madison Myers has been excellent in net for the Friars so far this season. She holds a 15-10-7 record and a 2.04 goals against average (4th in Hockey East). She has made a total of 813 saves for a .925 save percentage.
Hockey East Award Winners
In the first week of the season, Whitney Dove was recognized as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. She recorded two goals, two points and 13 shots on goal in Providence’s opening weekend.
On Oct. 30, Madison Myers was awarded Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. Two days later, she was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Month. Her weekly award came after a sweep over then-No. 7 Northeastern. During those games (Oct. 28 & 29) she recorded 78 saves. Her monthly award came after leading the Friars to a 6-2-2 start. Myers held a 1.97 goals against average (4th in Hockey East) and a .926 save percentage (6th in Hockey East) at the time of the award (Nov. 1). Myers grabbed her third award of the season as Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 19. The award came following a 35-save shutout against NU in the final game of the regular season.
On Jan. 3, Maureen Murphy was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month. She racked up five points on three goals and two assists, while helping the Friars to a 2-1-0 record in December. Most recently, she was named Rookie of the Week for the third time this season (Feb. 12). Her award came following a two-goal performance that lifted the Friars over the Black Bears in OT (Feb. 11).
Scouting the Huskies
The Huskies finished the regular season with a 13-12-9 overall record and a 7-11-6 mark in Hockey East (seventh place). A highlight of the Huskies’ season included two ties at home against top-ranked Boston College (Oct. 20: 2-2, Nov. 18: 3-3). UConn was fighting for a playoff spot in the last weekend of the season, and clinched with a home sweep of Merrimack. UConn’s longest winning streak of the season was from Jan. 26 to Feb. 3. It featured four wins, including two over Maine, one over Northeastern, and the OT win against Providence.
Who to Watch
Freshman Natalie Snodgrass leads the Huskies offensively with 33 points off 17 goals and 16 assists. Senior Leah Lum, who recently eclipsed the 100 career point mark, has 28 points on 10 goals and 18 assists. Sophomore Briana Colangelo is the third Husky above 20 points. She has 11 goals and 14 assists on the season. In net, senior Annie Belanger has played 25 games. She holds a .935 save percentage (1st in Hockey East), a 1.89 goals against average (2nd in Hockey East) and has a 10-9-6 record.
All-Time Series with the Huskies
The Friars lead the all-time series against UConn with a 42-17-7 record. At home, the Friars are 24-4-4.
Hockey East Preseason Poll
The Friars were picked to finish fourth in the Hockey East Preseason poll, which was released on Sept. 26. Providence received 41 points and was picked to finish behind Boston College (63), Northeastern (56) and Boston University (51).
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