Brandon Tanev Scores Pair as PC Friars Skate Past UMass

Providence College news release…

AMHERST, Mass. – Senior Brandon Tanev notched his first career two-goal game and Nick Saracino chipped in with two points as the fifth-ranked Providence College men’s hockey team earned a 4-1 win over UMass at the Mullins Center on Friday night.

With the win, coupled with Boston University’s win at Notre Dame, the Friars (24-5-4, 15-3-3 HEA) clinch the No. 2 seed in the Hockey East playoffs.  Providence can earn a share of the Hockey East title with Boston College if the Friars win and the Eagles lose in their regular season finales tomorrow.

Providence has now won seven straight and 11-of-13 overall.  UMass drops to 8-21-4, 2-15-4 HEA with the loss.

Nick Ellis was strong once again for the Friars in earning his 22nd win of the season, as he turned away 23 shots.  Alex Wakaluk made 31 saves for the host Minutemen on Friday night.

Neither team was getting much offensively in the opening period as both netminders turned away all 16 combined shots.  Brandon Tanev had the best opportunities of the period for the Friars, including finding himself all alone in front of the UMass goal with Alex Wakaluk just a getting a piece of his shot to send it over the crossbar.

Despite facing three shorthanded opportunities, the Friars and Ellis held strong as the junior turned away all seven shots he faced in the first period.

The Friars struck right away on the their second power play opportunity of the night as Mark Jankowski cycled the puck down to Nick Saracino down at the goal line and he stuffed it home past Wakaluk for his 10th of the season.

Special teams again led to a two-goal cushion for the Friars just 2:17 later as Trevor Mingoia went one-on-one with UMass’ William Lagesson and then fired a shot on goal and finished off the rebound out front for his second shorthanded goal of the season and 11th overall.

The Friar defense stymied the Minutemen in the middle frame as they only surrendered five shots on Nick Ellis.

Brandon Tanev’s 14th strike of the season just 2:20 into the third gave the Friars a 3-0 lead.  The senior found the back of the net for the third straight game after he gloved down an airborne puck and wired a wrist shot over the glove of Wakaluk and off the post.

UMass looked to close the gap minutes later when Anthony Petrella walked in alone, but Ellis flashed the glove to rob him on the backhander to keep it a 3-0 game.  The Minutemen did eventually break through, as Dennis Kravchenko re-direct a shot in from the point with nine minutes to play.

The Friar defense shut the door the rest of the way and Tanev iced the game with an empty netter with just 11 seconds remaining.

Up next, the Friars will conclude their regular season schedule against the Minutemen tomorrow at Schneider Arena on Senior Night.

HOW THEY SCORED

1-0 (PC) Power play goal scored by Nick Saracino (Jankowski, Gilmour): Shot by Jankowski, Saracino stuffs home the rebound at the right post.

2-0 (PC) Shorthanded goal scored by Trevor Mingoia (Florentino): Went one-on-one with the UMass defenseman and finished off his own rebound from the bottom of the circles.

3-0 (PC) Goal scored by Brandon Tanev (Saracino, Parisi): Wrister from the top of the circles over the glove of Wakaluk.

3-1 (UM) Power play goal scored by Dennis Kravchenko (Lagesson, Walsh): Re-direct out front off a point shot by Lagesson.

4-1 (PC): Goal scored by Brandon Tanev: Empty net on a breakaway.

NOTES

The Friars improve to 20-0-4 when holding a lead after 40 minutes … Brandon Tanev now leads the Friars with 15 goals … Mingoia notched his second shorthanded goal of the season and the third overall this season for the team … Jankowski runs his point streak to six-games (1-5-6) … Power Plays: Providence – 1/2, Massachusetts 1/5 … official shots on goal: Providence 35, Massachusetts 24 … Attendance: 3,011.?