Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

No. 9 UMass hockey outlasts No. 4 Providence Thursday

Minutemen win 3-2 at Mullins.
(Caroline O’Connor/UMass Athletics)

No. 4 Providence hasn’t had to battle from behind often.

But on Thursday night, there was no choice.

In the first top-10 matchup at the Mullins Center since 2008, the No. 9 Massachusetts hockey team came out on top, defeating Providence, 3-2, after a late third period goal from Ty Farmer lifted the Minutemen (7-1-0, 4-0-0 Hockey East Association) to their fourth straight win.

The Friars (5-2-1, 2-1-0 HEA) clawed back from a 2-0 deficit with back-to-back goals in the second and early third period before Farmer blasted home his second goal of the season just inches in front of the blueline, to secure the win with just over a minute left in regulation.

“We’ve only been down one other game all season,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said, “to go down 2-0 quick, I thought our guys did a good job with sticking with it. I thought we played our best period the third period.”

Three different Minutemen registered goals in the victory with John Leonard and Marc Del Gaizo notching the other two. The duo also each tied for a team-high three shots while Leonard added an assist, for his fourth-straight multi-point game.

Providence capitalized on two of its five man-advantage opportunities and outshot UMass 31-21, holding the Minutemen to under 10 shots per period.

“We knew going in that Providence throws a lot of pucks at the net and they score ugly goals,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said, “We told Matt [Murray], ‘we need you to clean everything up tonight, cover as many pucks as you can, limit rebounds, get pucks in the corners for us,’ and he did a good job.”

Murray turned aside 29 shots, including 12 in the third period alone.

The Minutemen got to work early, with Bobby Trivigno making it known that he was back from his one-game suspension after getting under the skin of Friar left winger Vimal Sukumaran and drawing a roughing call.

Just 40 seconds into the first power play, Marc Del Gaizo buried one behind Providence netminder Hayden Hawkey off a sharp pass from Jacob Pritchard to notch the first goal of the evening.

Leonard doubled the score a little over seven minutes later after the puck broke loose. No. 9 gained control before backhanding it five-hole at the 9:50 mark to carry two-goal advantage into the middle frame.

A Mitchell Chaffee interference penalty allowed the Friars to capitalize on their second power play of the night when Jacob Bryson sniped the puck top shelf over Murray to cut the deficit in half.

In the third, UMass got hit with back-to-back penalties that took the wind out of the Minutemen’s sails. First, Brett Boeing was called for tripping before the UMass was called for too many men on the ice, just two minutes later.

Providence was much more patient on the latter man-advantage and capitalized on a Kasper Bjorkqvist tally, tying the game at two a piece with just under 13 minutes remaining in regulation.

“[This team has] a confidence about them that they know they are a good team, I think we’re a really balanced team,” Carvel said. “I like the fact that my team, they don’t get rattled.

“They just play consistently and we talked about, after the second period, if we get the puck to the points, we have to get it to the net as soon as possible.”

UMass rounds out the series Saturday at Schneider Arena with puck drop set for 7 p.m.

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MWalker2019.

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