PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After falling behind 4-0, the No. 13/14 Providence College men’s hockey team scored three straight goals to cut Brown’s lead to one goal after two periods of play, but the Bears held on for a 5-3 win to claim the 2015 Mayor’s Cup on Saturday night at Schneider Arena.
Senior captains Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) and Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) started the comeback bid for the Friars (14-7-1, 6-4-0 HEA) as each netted a second period goal. Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario) then scored at 17:25 of the period to cut Brown’s (4-11-0, 1-7-0 ECAC) lead to 4-3 after two periods play.
However, the Friars could not find a way to beat Brown goaltender Tyler Steel for a fourth time during the remainder of the game, as 20 of his 46 saves came in the third period.
Defenseman Joey de Concilys opened the scoring when he capitalized on a Brown power play opportunity at 15:25. Sam Lafferty and Ryan Jacobson each assisted on the goal that gave the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Brown widened the lead shortly thereafter as Nick Lappin put the puck past Providence junior goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) for a 2-0 advantage at 16:26. Mark Naclerio and Tyler Wood tallied the assists.
The Bears scored a pair of quick goals again in the second period as they built a 4-0 lead just before the midpoint of the game. De Concilys notched his second goal of the game for a 3-0 lead at 5:19 and Jacobson’s power play goal at 6:12 of the second made it 4-0.
Acciari ended the drought for the Friars at 7:42 of the second period as he netted his fifth goal of the season. While Acciari was battling for position in front of the Brown goal, senior Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) and junior Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) combined for a play along the boards to get the puck to Acciari. The captain spun around with the puck on his stick and got off a quick shot that beat Steel.
Acciari’s goal sparked the Friars offense for the remainder of the second period as Providence would score twice more to get make it a one-goal game heading into the third period.
Mauermann fired a shot over the shoulder of Steel at 14:32. Acciari sent a pass across to Mauermann as he was skating through the slot and he fired high glove side for his fourth goal of the season.
The Friars pulled within one goal of tying the game following Jankowski’s tally at 17:25 of the second period. Mauermann began the play when he won possession of the puck along the corner boards and connected a pass to junior Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.). Mingoia slid a beautiful pass to Jankowski, who tapped the puck in behind Steel for a 4-3 game.
Providence’s offensive zone pressure continued throughout the third period as the team registered 20 shots on goal, trying to find the equalizer.
But Matt Lorito sealed the win for the Bears at 13:43 when he notched Brown’s fifth goal of the game and regained the two-goal cushion.
Steel finished the game with 46 saves, including a huge stop on freshman Brian Pinho (North Andover, Mass.) in the third period to hold Brown’s lead and secure the win.
Providence goaltenders Gillies and Nick Ellis (Millersville, Md.) combined for 25 saves in the game.
The Friars outshot Brown, 49-30, in the game, including 37-15 in the final two periods. Providence finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while Brown was 2-for-4.
The Friars have a quick turnaround as they return to Hockey East play at New Hampshire on Tuesday night (Jan. 13) in a makeup game at the Whittemore Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.