PROVIDENCE, R.I. — John Gilmour paced the Providence attack with two goals and an assist and Mark Jankowski added a pair of goals as 14th-ranked Friars defeated 11th-ranked Minnesota State 5-1 on Friday night.
Jon Gillies allowed an early goal, but made 25 saves in the winning effort.
It did not take long for Minnesota State to silence the undersized, yet raucous crowd at the newly-renovated Schneider Arena. Just under five minutes into the game, sophomore Bryce Gervais slipped in behind the Providence defense for a partial breakaway. Gervais was able to snap a quick shot off the post and into the goal to beat Gillies from the bottom of the left circle. The loan assist on the play went to sophomore Jon Jutzi, who started the play by lobbing a clearing pass that eluded the Providence defense and sprung Gervais.
“I thought we were really tight to start the game” said Providence coach Nate Leaman. “I thought they were winning all the races to loose pucks, and all the stick battles. we were lucky to get out of the first only down one. Jonnie [Gillies] held us in there and made some big saves and we were able to regroup from there.”
Minnesota State carried the pace of play early, but Providence fought back into the game in the middle of the first period thanks to several heavy body checks. Providence carried a 10-7 shot advantage into the second.
Much as Minnesota State did in the first period, Providence was able to tally early in the second on a partial breakaway of their own. Junior alternate captain Ross Mauermann stole the puck at the blue line and skated in on a breakaway shorthanded. Mauermann deked to the backhand before lifting the puck over the outstretched left pad of sophomore netminder Stephon Williams to tie the game at 1-1.
Moments later, sophomore Steven McParland found himself on a shorthanded breakaway of his own trying the same move as Mauermann, but was stopped by Williams.
With Providence buzzing and the crowd reenergized, Providence took the puck in on a two-on-one and Gilmour ripped a shot over Williams’ glove and into the net to give the Friars a 2-1 lead with just under eight minutes left in the second period. McParland recorded the lone assist.
The third period started as the previous two with a fast pace and an early goal. Less than three minutes into the period, Jankowski found himself with the puck after Gilmour was forced off the puck and lifted a backhand shot over a sprawling Williams. The goal was assisted by Gilmour and senior alternate captain Derek Army.
Less than a minute later, junior Shane Luke intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and made a nice net drive, only to be thwarted by Williams. Gilmour made no mistake with the rebound and put a backhander of his own into the back of the net to give the Friars a 4-1 lead.
Gilmour has a newfound confidence this season after being selected by the Calgary Flames in the seventh round of this year’s NHL Draft.
“I just had the opportunity to jump into the rush and shoot the puck,” Gilmour said. “Good things happen when you put the puck on net.”
Just under eight minutes into the third, the Friars were able to salt the game when Jankowski snapped home his second goal of the night, this time on the power play. Army made a move to the net and chipped the puck off of Williams’ glove, but Jankowski was able to pounce on the rebound, putting the Friars ahead 5-1. Sophomore Tom Parisi also recorded an assist on the goal, which marked the end of Williams’ night.
The Friars won the special teams’ battle, which proved to be the difference in the game, as they tallied a shorthanded goal as well as a power play marker and held the Mavericks scoreless on special teams.