PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Saturday night was one of history for the Providence Friars as they blew past Iona, 11-0. The 11-goal margin of victory was the largest for Providence in more than 20 years since, the Friars bested Maine by the same score in 1982. It was also the last time that the Friars scored 11 goals in a game since 1990 in a win over Merrimack.
It doesn’t stop there for Providence. Senior co-captain Jon DiSalvatore tallied his 100th career point, joining fellow linemates Devin Rask and Peter Fregoe as the only 100-point line in recent memory.
The night also featured two firsts: junior forward Peter Zingoni notched his first career hat trick and freshman goaltender Bobby Geopfert stopped all 20 shots he faced to record a shutout victory in his first collegiate start.
“I talked to Peter Zingoni earlier in practice this morning, telling him to
let the game come to him,” said Providence coach Paul Pooley. “I feel like he did. He got two goals on one shift, a nice rebound goal too. The second goal he scored was a beautiful shot he zipped to the top shelf. He’s got the skills and he’s working as hard as anyone else on the team right now.”
“We’ve always known that we could be explosive,” said Zingoni. “It’s been a
long offseason and we really expect nothing less than coming out and
starting like this.”
Pooley was equally impressed with his young goalie.
“Bobby did a great job for us tonight,” said Pooley. “He added a lot of energy. He was alert, especially with moving the puck when he needed to, even in just realizing how he left the puck for defensemen and things like that.”
Said Goepfert, “My job is pretty simple just stop the puck. [The only difference is that] I’ve got a new jersey on. I’m excited to contribute on this team and obviously it’s really nice and relaxing to get those goals and that kind of support from the guys.
“It’s extremely difficult to face this number of shots. I’d prefer to face a lot of shots, but the guys really helped me keep my focus.”
Despite all of the history and the accolades, Providence really wanted to focus on giving a strong, 60-minute effort in order to continue to move toward where they would like to be as the season progresses.
“Our objective was to keep them under 20 shots in the game and our guys did. We’re proud of that in this game,” said Pooley. “We went out and played stronger and tighter as the game went along. I think we wore them out and I can’t remember the last time we had a game like that.”
Said DiSalvatore, “We were really just trying to focus on opening the game up and making sure that they didn’t come back. Our intensity had to increase as the game went along and sometimes when the score gets that lop-sided it’s very hard to remain focused. We wanted to concentrate on team goals like keeping the shots down and working on shutting them down. Just because you have a lead doesn’t mean that we can be allowed to fall into bad habits.”
Iona coach Frank Bretti, of course, had to endure the flip side of it all.
“We were very, very impressed with their forwards and just how hard they were to handle down low,” said Bretti of the Friars. “This was the most embarrassing lost we’ve ever had as a D-I college hockey program. We had some chances in the first ten minutes, but we just can’t sit around and make excuses about being young or unfocused.”
Looking to the future, Bretti said, “The only thing that we can do to take out of this game is to hope that we can come back in practice and work hard and focus. There aren’t very many positives in a game like this.”
Providence will look to keep the momentum running strong as they host MSU-Mankato next weekend while Iona will use a trip out to Alaska in the Nye Frontier Classic to right the ship.