Friars down Maine 5-2

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Tied 1-1 after one period of play, the No. 13 Providence College men’s hockey team scored three goals in the second period and went on to defeat Maine 5-2 at Schneider Arena on Friday night.

Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) scored the game-winning goal and added two assists, while Brian Pinho (North Andover, Mass.) also had a goal and two assists to lead the Providence (20-11-2, 12-8-1 HEA) offense.

With the win, the Friars reached the 20-win plateau in the regular season for the first time since the 1991-92 season. The win was also Providence’s fifth in a row versus Maine (13-19-3, 8-11-2 HEA).

Maine opened the scoring at 4:54 of the first when Stu Higgins netted his first goal of the season. Brady Campbell forced a turnover in the Providence defensive zone and dropped a pass back to Higgins, who then gave Maine a 1-0 lead.

Mauermann’s 10th goal of the season evened the score at 1-1 at 7:23 of the first. Pinho fed a pass to Luke, as he entered the Black Bears’ zone. Luke reached the top of the face-off circle before setting up Mauermann, who beat Maine goaltender Matt Morris with a one-timer from just inside the blue line.

Pinho gave the Friars the lead for good at 11:18 of the second period. Mauermann carried the puck into the offensive zone and got a shot off that Morris saved but could not gather in. The loose puck was near Morris’ skate and after Luke tried to lift the puck over Morris, Pinho gained possession and capitalized with a wraparound goal to make it 2-1.

Providence’s lead widened to 3-1 at 15:55 of the second period as Luke netted his tenth goal of the season. Jake Walman (Toronto, Ontario) got the puck to Steven McParland (Schreiber, Ontario), who then skated in from the boards and sent a feed across to Luke. Luke waited until Morris was down on the play and shot high for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

Junior Brooks Behling (Pittsburgh, Pa.) notched one more goal for the Friars before the conclusion of the second period, scoring his second of the season at 19:30. Junior Kevin Rooney (Canton, Mass.) got the puck to Behling as the forwards skated up the ice on a 2-on-1 rush. Behling waited before electing to take the shot and his low wrister gave the Friars a three-goal cushion at the end of 40 minutes of play. Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Ontario) also earned an assist on the goal as he passed the puck to Rooney at center ice.

The Black Bears made it a 4-2 game at 8:01 of the third when defenseman Ben Hutton scored a shorthanded goal. Devin Shore recorded the lone assist.

On the same power play, Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) capped off the game’s scoring. From the face-off circle, Pinho connected a pass to Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) at the blue line. Parisi’s shot was redirected by Acciari on its way on goal, giving the Friars a 5-2 lead at 8:45 of the third period.

The Friars doubled the shot total of the Black Bears in the game, outshooting Maine 42-21. Gillies finished the night with 19 saves in the Providence net, while Morris had 37 saves for the Black Bears.

Providence was 1-for-5 on the power play, while Maine was 0-for-2.

The Friars close out the regular season tomorrow night against Maine at 7:05 p.m. at Schneider Arena. The game will include a pregame ceremony to honor seniors Mark Adams, Stefan Demopoulos, Luke and Mauermann.

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