PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Junior netminder Jon Gillies stopped all 27 shots he faced as the No. 16 Providence College men’s hockey team defeated the No. 10 Vermont Catamounts, by a score of 3-0 on Friday night at Schneider Arena (2,358).
Providence (4-4-1, 3-2-0 HEA) struck first at 6:47 of the first period when senior Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) tallied what would prove to be the game winner. Juniors Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) and Kevin Rooney (Canton, Mass.) each contributed a goal in the second period, widening the lead to 3-0 to eventually secure the Hockey East win over Vermont (6-2-1, 4-2-1 HEA).
The Friars grabbed a 1-0 lead at 6:47 of the first period when Luke netted his third goal of the season. The play began with a battle for the puck along the boards as junior Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.) gained possession and connected a pass to classmate Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario). Jankowski skated behind the Catamounts net and spun a pass towards Luke. Luke, open in front of the Vermont net, fired the game-winning goal past Vermont goaltender Brody Hoffman.
Saracino notched his team-leading fourth goal of the season at 1:55 of the second frame. For the second time in the game, Jankowski and Mingoia combined to set up the Providence goal. Jankowski slid a pass to Mingoia as the two skated into the Vermont zone, with Saracino trailing. Jankowski got the puck back to Saracino, who beat Hoffman from the slot.
The third goal, scored at 9:39 of the final period, was scored off a great individual sequence by Rooney. Freshman Jake Walman (Toronto, Ontario) fired a shot on the Vermont goal that was kicked out to center ice where junior Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Ontario) picked it up. Tanev circled through the neutral zone to feed Rooney. Rooney skated up the wing and deked a Vermont defenseman with a set of moves before firing a shot into the top corner of the net past Hoffman.
Gillies (South Portland, Maine) extended his program record with the 10th shutout of his career, as he made 27 saves in the winning effort. Vermont goalies Brody Hoffman (18) and Mike Santaguida (9) combined to make 27 saves as Providence outshot Vermont, 30-27.
Both teams had strong games on the penalty kill as neither team could capitalize with the man advantage. Providence killed off seven penalties while the Catamounts killed off six.
The two teams will meet tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 15) at 7:05 p.m. to play the second half of their weekend series at Schneider Arena. The game will be televised on CoxSports on OSN.