PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Led by three assists by Nick Saracino and two goals from Mark Jankowski, the top-ranked Providence College men’s hockey team skated to a 5-2 triumph over Northeastern on Friday night at Schneider Arena.
With the win, Providence improves to 7-0-3 (1-0-2 HEA) and has now began a season with a 10-game unbeaten streak, the longest such streak in school history. Dating back to last season’s NCAA Tournament run, the Friars have now gone unbeaten in 14 consecutive games (11-0-3). Providence and Quinnipiac are the only remaining unbeaten schools in Division I hockey after the Bobcats earned a 1-1 tie versus Clarkson on Friday.
Nick Ellis improved his record to 6-0-3 in turning away 21 shots, while NU goaltender Ryan Ruck made 24 saves for the visiting Huskies to drop to 0-6-1. Northeastern dropped to 1-9-2 and 0-5-2 in Hockey East play with the loss.
The Friars wasted no time in finding the back of the net on Friday night, as they cashed in with an early power play goal to grab a 1-0 lead. Jake Walman’s wrister through traffic caused a scrum in front of NU goaltender Ryan Ruck, with Nick Saracino jamming away before Mark Jankowski came in to clean up the rebound just 3:47 into the game.
Undeterred, the Huskies responded with a power play goal of their own off the stick of Garrett Cockerill at 15:14 as his wrister through traffic sound a seam past Ellis and the Friar defense. John Gilmour appeared poised to re-gain the lead for the hosts, but his shot found the crossbar with the Friars looking to convert on a 5-on-3 late in the period.
The Huskies grabbed a lead 4:19 into the second after Zach Aston-Reese beat Ellis after a giveaway in the Friars’ end. Providence didn’t waste time in responding as John Gilmour snuck a shot through screens by Brandon Tanev and Bryan Lemos just 1:55 later to knot the game at two.
After a superb kill of a five-minute major assessed to Anthony Florentino, Providence regained momentum and the lead at the 18:29 mark of the second when Jankowski notched his second power play goal of the game and sixth of the season on assists from Walman and Saracino.
Just 2:17 into the third, the Friars registered an insurance goal from sophomore Robbie Hennessey after a brilliant centering feed from freshman Ryan Tait to make it a 4-2 game. Tait then found the back of the net himself off a slick feed through the seam from Saracino, notching Friars’ fifth goal of the night with 8:10 remaining.
Providence and Northeastern will resume the home-and-home series with a game at NU’s Matthews Arena tomorrow night (Nov. 21) at 7:30 p.m.