PC Friars Take Down 5th Ranked UMass Lowell

 LOWELL, Mass. — The No. 18 Providence College men’s hockey team posted a 7-3 win at No. 5 UMass Lowell on Friday night at the Tsongas Center (6,750), including power-play goals by Noel AcciariNick Saracino and Trevor Mingoia.

Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.) finished with two goals and an assist, while Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) and Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) each had a goal and two assists to lead the Providence (15-8-1, 7-5-0 HEA) offense.

The Friars took a 1-0 lead at 9:14 of the first period when Acciari pounced on a loose puck in front and slid his seventh goal of the year past River Hawk goaltender Kevin Boyle. The power-play tally came after John Gilmour (Montreal, Quebec) let a shot fly from the point that Boyle saved. Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) crashed the net and got the rebound to Acciari.

Early in the second period, Stefan Demopopulos (La Mesa, Calif.) deflected a UMass Lowell breakout pass that Jake Walman (Toronto, Ontario) picked up, skated down the boards with and fired on net. Boyle made the save but Mingoia got to the rebound first and notched his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 6:54.

Just 58 seconds later, Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Ontario) finished off a series of quick passes at the far post for his fifth goal of the season. Saracino and Acciari assisted on the play.

UMass Lowell’s Michael Fallon cut Providence’s lead to 3-1 at 11:46 of the second when he finished an Adam Chapie pass from just outside Jon Gillies’ (South Portland, Maine) goal crease.

The Friars struck next when Steven McParland (Schreiber, Ontario) forced a puck past Boyle. Brooks Behling(Pittsburgh, Pa.) got possession of the puck along end boards and chipped it over to linemate Kevin Rooney(Canton, Mass.) behind the net at the far post. Rooney then fed a cutting McParland, who saw his first shot saved by Boyle but stayed with the rebound to score his third goal of the season.

With just 0.6 seconds remaining in the middle stanza, Lowell’s C.J. Smith fired a slap shot through a screen and past Gillies for his 10th goal of the season, with the assist going to Joe Gambardella. The second period came to an end with the Friars leading 4-2.  

Providence took a 5-2 lead at the 5:00 minute park of the third when Saracino’s one-timer from the high slot beat Boyle for his seventh goal of the season. The power-play tally was setup by a cross-ice feed from Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.). Mingoia also assisted on the play.

Mingoia netted his second goal of the night at 9:44 of the third to push the Friar lead to 6-2, with Saracino and Mauermann registering the assists. It was Mingoia’s sixth power-play goal of the season.

Smith scored his second of the night for Lowell at 12:13 to make it 6-3. But with time winding down and the Friars on the penalty kill, Acciari sent a quick pass to Rooney, who skated past three River Hawks and sent the puck into an empty net to seal the win. It was Rooney’s third goal of the season.

In net, Gillies made 24 saves to earn the win, which was his 49th as a Friar. In the UMass Lowell net, Boyle (20) and Olli Kalkaja (4) combined for 24 saves.

The Friars were 3-for-3 on the power play, while UMass Lowell finished 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Game two of the weekend series between the Friars and River Hawks will be played tomorrow night (Jan. 24) at 7:00 p.m. at Schneider Arena.