#10 Friars Lose First Game of Second Half, 3-1 to UConn

The No. 10 Providence College men’s hockey team fell for the first time in the second half after a 3-1 setback to UConn on Saturday night at Schneider Arena.

No. 10 Providence – 1 | UConn – 3

Providence – 16-8-2 (9-5-2 HEA) | UConn – 9-16-2 (6-11-1 HEA)

Schneider Arena – Providence, R.I.

Hayden Hawkey (PC) – 19 saves
Tanner Creel (UC) – 26 saves

– The Huskies carried momentum through the majority of the first period and cashed in on their second power play of the evening on a goal from defenseman Johnny Austin.
– The Friars looked to even the score as Vimal Sukumaran and Shane Kavanagh broke in on a 2-on-1 but Creel denied Sukumaran’s bid with the left pad.
– UConn out-shot the Friars by a 12-8 margin in the opening period.
– The Huskies extended their lead to 2-0 with their second power play goal of the night. Joseph Masonius’ shot from the slot beat Hawkey to the blocker side.
– The Friars began to storm the UConn zone in the latter stages of the second period and we’re finally rewarded as captain Brian Pinho brought the hosts within one with a one-timer from the high slot. Erik Foley and Tommy Davis were credited with the assists on the play.
– Despite attempting 21 shots in the third period, the Friars couldn’t find the back of the net as Creel and the UConn defense held Providence at bay by blocking seven shots in the final 20 minutes.
– Max Letunov added an empty-net goal with 53 seconds remaining give the Huskies a 3-1 lead.
– Providence out-shot UConn by a 14-4 margin in the second period.
– Providence’s seven-game unbeaten streak was snapped at 6-0-1.
– The Friars suffered their third loss on home ice this season.
– Kasper Bjorkqvist’s six-game point streak came to an end on Saturday.
– The teams combined for 45 penalty minutes including 25 in the third period.

1-0 (UC) – 10:44/1st – PP – Johnny Austin (Naas/Kalter) – Austin fired a shot from the half-wall through traffic.
2-0 (UC) – 8:05/2nd – PP – Joseph Masonius (El-Mir, Payusov) – Snap shot from the slot through a screen.
2-1 (PC) – 14:19/2nd – EV – Brian Pinho (Foley, Davis) – One-timer from the high slot off a feed from the corner from Foley.
3-1 (UC) – 19:07/3rd – EN – Max Letunov (Pratt) – Empty-net goal.

Goals: Pinho (1)
Assists: Foley, Davis (1)
Points: Davis, Foley, Pinho (1)
Shots: Conway (6)

Providence – 0/7
UConn – 2/4

Providence – 27
UConn – 22

Providence returns to action next weekend with a pivotal home-and-home series with Northeastern beginning on Friday (Jan. 26) at Matthews Arena.

For more updates on the Providence College men’s hockey program, follow the team on Twitter @FriarsHockey.