MINNEAPOLIS — Bolstered by Nolan Schaefer’s 31-save performance, Providence defeated Western Michigan, 4-1, in the first game of the Mariucci Classic Friday.
The Friars began the scoring in the second period when freshman center Chris Chaput slipped a shot from the low slot past Western Michigan goaltender Mike Mantua.
Sophomore defenseman Regan Kelly added to the lead, scoring his second goal of the season at the 19:07 mark of the period when he converted on a feed from junior forward Mike Lucci.
The Broncos cut the Providence lead to one goal when Shaun Rose fired a power-play goal past Schaefer, but PC re-established the two-goal margin when junior captain Devin Rask broke in all alone on Mantua and flipped a backhanded shot over the goaltender’s left shoulder.
Sophomore Jonathan Goodwin scored the game’s final goal, an empty-netter with 26 seconds remaining in the contest.
Schaefer earned the win for PC, while Mantua recorded 25 saves in the loss for WMU.
The Friars play in the championship game of the Mariucci Classic against host Minnesota, a 3-2 winner over Ferris State, at 7 p.m. CST Saturday.