PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Peter Fregoe netted three goals for Providence, leading the Friars to a win in their first contest of the season, 5-2 over Union in nonconference action.
For Fregoe, beginning his last season in college hockey on a strong note was important not only for himself, but also for team chemistry and confidence.
“It was the first game of the year and it’s important to keep things simple and work hard to get off to a good start. It’s not about being average anymore; it’s my last year and I want to go out there and give it all I’ve got,” said Fregoe. “Last year we started out with some losses and it really took away our confidence. Hopefully opening up with a win will give us the confidence to keep things rolling into tomorrow and next weekend and along the line.”
The simple fact that the hat trick came in a fashion so foreign to Fregoe made it a special night for himself and the Friars.
“Obviously Peter is one of our skilled players, and to see him put that type of physical effort into the game is something that can be very contagious,” said Pooley. “When the guys see Peter go out there and play like that, they think, ‘Why can’t I do that, too?’”
“I’m trying to go harder to the net this year and be a little bit more physical,” said Fregoe. “I’m not going to change my game, but I’d like to at a little something to it. Going to the net is something that I want to build on for this season.”
“You can talk all you want, but you’ve got to lead by example. Peter was in control the whole night with three goals and an assist. When you score goals off of that kind of physical effort, it becomes everybody’s game. It’s an example to the rest of the guys,” added Pooley.
Fregoe’s hat trick came in the midst of a four-goal second period that put the Dutchmen out of the game for good. Senior defenseman Shawn Weiman added the other goal in the second and Peter Zingoni chipped in an insurance goal in the third period on the power play.
“Defensively, we gave too much room to what might is one of the best lines in college hockey,” said Union coach Kevin Sneddon. “Fregoe and [PC captain Jon] DiSalvatore are very dynamic players and we allowed them to create. We came into the game focusing on shutting that line down, and obviously that didn’t happen for us tonight.”
The game was also an opportunity for Providence to understand the importance of a strong start, putting itself behind by a score within the first minutes of the game.
“College hockey is such a momentum game. We were luck to get that spark [in Fregoe] and we were able to take advantage of it,” said Pooley.
Despite the surrendering the early goal, Fregoe and DiSalvatore were able to swing the momentum in Providence’s favor in the second period. The ice appeared slanted for the Friars as they put 31 of their 38 shots on goal in the last two periods of the game, securing the win with confident, controlled hockey.
“We were forcing our goaltender to make the fourth and fifth save in front of the net and that’s going to come back to haunt you every night. There weren’t very many pretty goals tonight, but they all count,” said Sneddon “I really did see some positives out of our team. We know it’s going to take some time and we need to learn from our mistakes, especially tightening up in our own zone.
Union goalkeeper Tim Roth made 26 saves in the final 40 minutes and 33 overall in a losing effort. Providence netminder Nolan Schaefer was able to make the saves necessary to keep Providence ahead on the scoreboard, stopping 21 of 23 shots to record his first win of the season.
DiSalvatore assisted on all three of Fregoe’s goals.
The Friars will continue nonconference action on Saturday night hosting Iona, while Union will face off against Merrimack.