DENVER — The 10th-ranked Providence Friars were defeated by the Denver Pioneers, 2-1, in in the Championship Game of the 2000 Denver Cup on Saturday at Magness Arena.
The Pioneers’ Matt Weber netted the only goal of the first period when he redirected Ryan Caldwell’s slap shot from the blue line past Providence’s Nolan Schaefer at the 16:19 mark.
For the second consecutive night, the Friars were on a five-minute man advantage, but unlike last night, Providence was unable to capitalize on their opportunity.
The Pioneers increased their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Chris Paradise tallied his 10th goal of the season at 13:26. Schaefer made an initial save on Lukas Dora’s wraparound attempt, but Paradise collected the rebound and fired it into the empty net that was vacated by a sprawling Schaefer.
The Friars got on the scoreboard 9 minutes into the third period. Sophomore Doug Wright won a faceoff in Providence’s offensive zone and fired it to Matt Libby at the right point. Libby controlled the pass and ripped a low slap shot past Denver goaltender Wade Dubielewicz for his seventh goal of the season. The Friars controlled play for the remainder of the period but were held scoreless by Dubielewicz who finished the game with 23 saves.
Schaefer stopped 21 shots in the loss. Friars Matt Libby and Devin Rask were named to the Denver Cup All-Tournament team.
With the loss, Providence dropped to 9-5-3, while Denver improved to 11-7-2.
The Friars will return to Hockey East action for a home-and-home series against UMass-Amherst on January 6-7.