Jankowski, Gilles Lead Friars Past Maine 3-1
Saturday, March 15, 2014
PROVIDENCE, RI-- Sophomore Center Mark Jankowski had a goal and an assist, fellow sophomore Goaltender Jon Gilles stopped 34 shots, and the Providence College Friars earned a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Maine Black Bears in Game 1 of their best-of-3 Hockey East Quarterfinal series Friday night at PC’s Schneider Arena.
The Friars scored 2 goals in the first 7 minutes of the first period and never looked back.
“Basically the game was lost in the first 10 minutes,” said Maine Head Coach Red Gendron. “The game was relatively even after the first 10 minutes.”
The game was exactly even scoring-wise the rest of the way, with each team adding a goal in the 2nd period. Maine finished with 35 shots to the Friars’ 32, so while the scoreboard didn’t reflect it at the end of the game, it was an evenly matched contest.
Providence earned the #3 seed in Hockey East by posting an 11-7-2 league record this season. Maine compiled a 9-8-3 record in conference play and earned the #6 seed in the tournament.
The winner of the series advances to next weekend’s Hockey East Finals Weekend at TD Garden in Boston. 2 single-elimination Semifinals on Friday night determine which 2 teams play in the single-elimination Championship Game on Saturday.
The Friars got on the board a few shifts in when Trevor Mingoia sniped a wrist-shot past Maine Goaltender Martin Ouellette from the left slot. PC broke out of the defensive zone and had a 2 on 1 break, and Mingoia beat Ouellette blocker-side.
Providence added to the lead minutes later. Kyle McKenzie slid a pass from the blue line to the point, where Brandon Tanev put a shot on goal that was redirected into the net by Derek Army.
The Black Bears fought back in the 2nd period. Defenseman Ben Hutton beat Gilles high and glove-side with a wrist-shot from the blue line. It was the only blemish on Gilles’ performance all night.
Maine began to build momentum and pushed hard offensively to tie the game. Black Bears’ Defenseman Conor Riley was called for holding and provided PC with a Power Play. The Friars wasted no time in regaining control of the game, as Jankowski found the back of the net after finding a lane to the crease and beating Ouellette 5-hole.
The Black Bears threw the kitchen sink at Providence in the last 10 minutes of the 3rd period, but Gilles turned aside every chance and kept the Friars comfortably ahead.
PC didn’t get much production from their top line Friday night, but Friars Head Coach Nate Leaman wasn’t discouraged.
“This time of year, your second and 3rd lines have to be productive,” said Leaman. “If our secondary guys can chip in it’s going to be helpful.”
Gendron was disappointed with the sloppiness of his team in such a big game.
“Our fore-check wasn’t what it should’ve been, our battle could have been better, our passing was atrocious,” said a frustrated Gendron.
Both coaches were adamant that their team would need a better effort on Saturday night to pick up a win.
“I think we’re going to have to be much better tomorrow to be successful,” said Leaman.
“That was not a championship effort by our team,” said Gendron. “Unless we give a championship effort tomorrow night our season will be over.”
Game 2 of the 3 game series is Saturday night at 7 p.m. If necessary (if Maine wins Saturday), Game 3 will be held Sunday at 4:30 p.m. All games in the series will be held at PC’s Schneider Arena.
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