#5 PC Hockey Earns Weekend Sweep Of #7 Notre Dame

Providence College Press Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior goaltender Nick Ellis made 18 third period saves and 34 stops overall as the fifth-ranked Providence College men’s hockey team earned a two-game sweep over No. 7 Notre Dame with a 3-1 victory at Schneider Arena on Saturday night.

With the win, the Friars vault into sole possession of second place in the Hockey East standings, clinching a first-round bye in the league playoffs, and guaranteeing at least the No. 3 seed.  Providence trails first-place Boston College by two points, with a two-game set against UMass coming up in the final regular season weekend.  The Eagles will face UMass Lowell in a home-and-home series next weekend.

Ellis denied a Notre Dame surge in the third period with several banner saves.  The junior improves to 21-5-4 this season, while Cal Petersen fell to 18-7-7 after making 28 saves for the Irish.

The Friars were able to draw first blood on Saturday thanks to Erik Foley’s sixth tally of the season at the 7:45 mark of the first period.  Mark Jankowski gained the Irish blue line and dropped it to Mingoia, who feed it across to the Foley and he fired a low, hard wrister through the legs of Petersen to give the Friars a 1-0 lead.

Ellis had to be sharp in the opening 20, especially on the Notre Dame power play when he forces to make a terrific stop on Thomas DiPauli’s shot from close range.  Moments later, Dennis Gilbert’s slapper from the point beat Ellis but rang off the crossbar to keep the Friar lead at 1-0.

The Irish began the second with a flurry of chances that Ellis managed to stave off, before Providence kicked things into gear, eventually outshooting Notre Dame 13-7 in the middle period.

With Bobby Nardella serving a minor for hooking, the Friars went to work on the power play and extended their lead to 2-0 thanks to Brandon Tanev’s 13th of the season and second in as many nights.  Tanev appeared to fool Petersen as he looked cross-ice, but fired a low shot on goal that snuck between the pads of the Irish netminder.

Notre Dame closed within one in the latter stages of the second off the heels of a tremendous save by Ellis.  Off a faceoff win by Steve Fogarty, he got the puck along the boards and fired a quick shot that snuck through the short side to make it a 2-1 game at 15:48 of the second.

The Irish held an 18-8 edge in shots during the final frantic 20 minutes, but Ellis turned in a flawless third with a memorable save on Thomas DiPauli, the third time Ellis robbed the Notre Dame senior winger on the night.

Dogged work by Kevin Rooney on the forecheck forced a turnover and he capped the Providence win with a whirl-around backhander past Petersen with just 4:08 to play.

Up next, the Friars will take on the Minutemen of UMass in a home-and-home series next weekend.

HOW THEY SCORED

1-0 (PC) Goal scored by Erik Foley (Mingoia, Jankowski): Snap shot from the top of the circles through the five-hole of Petersen.

2-0 (PC) Power play goal scored by Brandon Tanev (Monk, Lemos): No-look shot from the half-wall that snuck through the five-hole.

2-1 (ND) Goal scored by Steven Fogarty (Wade): Shot from the half-wall that beat Ellis short side.

3-1 (PC) Goal scored by Kevin Rooney: Forced a turnover in the Notre Dame zone and flung a no-look backhander past Petersen.

NOTES

The Friars improve to 12-1-2 at Schneider Arena this year and 19-0-4 when holding a lead after 40 minutes … Rooney has now scored three goals in his last four games against Notre Dame … Brandon Tanev now leads the Hockey East with five game-winning goals … Josh Monk notched his third assist of the weekend on Saturday … Foley now has two goals and four assists in his last five games … Power Plays: Providence – 1/5, Notre Dame 0/2 … official shots on goal: Notre Dame 35, Providence 31 … Attendance: 3,232 (sellout).?