PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Despite erasing a two-goal, third period deficit, the No. 11/12 Providence College Men’s hockey team was edged at No. 14/15 Boston College, 3-2, on Friday night at Conte Forum.
Boston College (16-8-2, 9-5-2 HEA) moved ahead 2-0 at 4:24 of the third. Providence (16-9-1, 8-6-0 HEA) responded with back-to-back goals from Kyle McKenzie (Aston, Pa.) and Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba), but Zach Sanford scored the eventual game winner at 10:52 for the Eagles. In net,
Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) made 33 saves for the Friars.
Offense was hard to come by in the first period, but when chances arose Gillies and Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko were there to keep it a 0-0 game after 20 minutes of play. One of Gillies’ best saves came with just over nine minutes remaining in the first period when he got a blocker on a Sanford breakaway chance.
Demko’s best save of the first came after Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Ontario) dropped a puck off to Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) in the slot. Demko was able to get a shoulder on Acciari’s shot and the rebound bounced to the corner.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead at 2:36 of the second period when, just after a Friar power-play chance expired, Alex Tuch’s snap shot from the top of the circle found its way past GIllies. Adam Gilmour assisted on the play.
The teams traded power-play chances for the remainder of the second period.
Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) was setup down low by Acciari for a great scoring chance midway through the second, but Demko was able to make a left pad save.
One of Gillies’ best saves of the period came with just over two minutes to play when he gloved down Noah Hanifin’s backhander from just outside his goal crease.
Gillies opened the third with back-to-back-to-back point blank saves on Sanford. But Hanafin got a chance alone in front and gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead at 5:08, with assists going to Michael Matheson and Sanford.
McKenzie cut the Boston College lead to 2-1 at 5:08 when he took a pass from Anthony Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) and wristed it on net to beat Demko high for his first career goal. Saracino had the other assist on the play, and provided the screen in front.
The Friars knotted things up, 2-2, at 8:01 of the third. Mark Jankowski won a defensive zone faceoff to Florentino, who skated up the boards and found Luke in the neutral zone. Luke skated into the Boston College zone, deked past Hanafin and beat Demko low for his ninth goal of the season.
Boston College regained the lead at 10:52 when he wristed home a rebound in front for his fifth goal of the season. Adam Gilmour and Tuch assisted on the play.
The Friars generated several chances over the final minutes, including an Acciari shot that hit the goal post to Demko’s right on a rebound chance, but were unable to even things up.
Providence finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Boston College was also 0-for-5. Demko made 23 stops in the BC net, including 12 in the third period.
The Friars play the first half of their two-game Hockey East series versus Connecticut at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at the Xcel Center in Hartford, Conn. The teams will then finish the series at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Schneider Arena.