Friars one win away from Frozen Four

Providence College hockey players, from left, Steven McParland, Noel Acciari , Trevor Mingoia and Stefan Demopoulos celebrate a third period goal during their NCAA east regional hockey tournament game against Miami Ohio Saturday, March 28, 2015 in Providence, R.I. Providence won 7-5 (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Shane Luke scored two goals and Providence held off top-seeded Miami of Ohio 7-5 on Saturday night the East Regional semifinals of the NCAA hockey tournament.

The Friars (22-13-3) will play Denver on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four in Boston. Denver beat Boston College 5-2 in the first semifinal.

Providence took a 6-2 lead with four straight goals in the second period, with Luke, Steven McParland, Brian Pinho and Noel Acciari connecting for the Friars.

“I thought we played a terrific second period,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “We executed our game plan well. We got some goals. … I thought the first period was a pretty even period. I was very happy with the period considering we hadn’t played in two weeks. I thought we struggled a little bit in the first period coming off that break. We were happy to get out of that period with a 2-2 game.”

The Friars needed the second-period outburst because Miami’s Matt Caito, Devin Loe and Sean Kuraly scored in the third with goalie Ryan McKay on the bench in favor of an extra skater.

“We lost our competitive edge just a little bit,” Leaman said. “Miami is a (conference) champion for a reason. They kept pushing and they kept pushing. We got on our heels a little bit and I think the momentum swung in the game. We missed three or four empty nets and weren’t able to finish the game.”

Trevor Mingoia and Brandon Tanev also scored for Providence.

Cody Murphy and Anthony Louis added goals for Miami (25-14-3).

“I just think they went harder to the net,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “They outworked us down low and buried their chances. We had a couple of opportunities but we didn’t do a good job of sustaining any pressure and they did. Obviously, they did a great job in the second period.”

The teams set East Regional records for most combined goals (12) and combined assists (20).

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