PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In a carbon copy of last Friday’s meeting between the same two clubs, Providence netted a pair of opportunistic goals and received a healthy dose of netminding from sophomore Bobby Goepfert to post a 2-1 win over Boston University on Saturday night at Schneider Arena.
Stephen Wood and Jonathan Goodwin each scored a first-period power-play goal, Luke Irwin assisted on both and Goepfert made 33 saves to stymie the Terriers just eight days after shutting them out, 2-0, on the strength of 36 stops in Boston.
The victory was Providence’s fourth straight, all in Hockey East play, as the Friars — winners of six of their last seven overall — tightened their grip on fifth place in the league standings. They are now 14-9-6 overall and 6-8-5 in the league.
“We’ve built some confidence the last five or six games, and we’ve taken a lot of Hockey East wins, which we’ve needed,” said Wood, who has eight goals this year, five on the power play. “If you look at the standings, we’re right there battling for fourth. You never know what’s going to happen down the stretch run.”
“It has to be a 60-minute thing,” PC coach Paul Pooley said. “I don’t care how boring we look. It’s just a matter of winning a hockey game.”
Wood put Providence on the board at the 11:01 mark of the opening period, snapping a short-side wrister past Fields from the edge of the left circle. On the only other PC power play in the same stanza, Goodwin did a good job of picking a Wood rebound out of the pads of Fields and shoveling a backhander between the near post and the goalie’s back.
Neither team scored in the second period, but Boston University found some life in the form of a Matt Radoslovich goal less than five minutes into the third.
It was one of 15 third-period shots for BU, which lost for the 12th time in Hockey East play this season. The Terriers are now just 8-14-6 overall and 4-12-2 in the league — closer to ninth place than seventh.
“This was the third time we’d played Providence this year, and I liked the way we played every time,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “I don’t like the outcome of the last two … Other than that, there’s nothing else to say. I thought all my guys played well. I liked everything about my team this time and last time against Providence, except that we lost.”
It’s been one of those years for the Terriers, who have scored two goals or fewer in nine of their last 12 games, going 3-9-0 during that time.
“I’ve never been involved with a team with a record like this that’s playing so well,” Parker said. “They are so down, because they’re not getting any individual rewards. And they know because they’re not getting any goals or individual rewards, they’re not helping their team and we’re losing. It isn’t because of a lack of effort or lack of time spent in the offensive zone.
“It’s the inability to put it by goaltenders, and you’ve got to give Bobby Goepfert a lot of credit. He played great against us the other night, and he played calm and cool out there again tonight.”
Providence was more than happy to hold on in the late going.
“Coming down the stretch for the last six minutes, I was thinking that we were in our zone but playing pretty good defensively,” Pooley said. “Bobby was playing pretty well, so it did cross my mind that we were just going to ride this thing out for the last six minutes. That’s just what we did.”