ORONO, Me. — Maine played probably its worst game of the season as Derek Army had three assists to help clinch a 4-2 victory for Providence over the Black Bears.
After the game, Maine coach Red Gendron was understandably upset.
“This was the first time this year I’ve been disappointed with the team,” said Gendron. “I can live with losing – it’s part of the game – but our compete level and the effort weren’t there. We didn’t battle. The guys were a little tight under the collar. And we didn’t get what we needed from our best players.”
Providence scored the only goal of the opening period at the 12:32 mark.
Army fed the puck to Brandon Tanev, who fired a poor-angle shot on net that sneaked past Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette.
“We knew we had to get off to good start because Maine’s a great team and this is a tough place to play,” said Army.
The Friars capitalized on a Maine defensive lapse just 30 seconds into the second period when Noel Acciari deflected a pass from Army into the net.
An individual effort from Maine’s Blaine Byron cut the lead by one midway through the second period. Byron cut across the slot to release a backhanded shot past Providence goaltender Jon Gillies.
The Friars were quick to respond, capitalizing on the power play with a goal from Nick Saracino. Army had taken the initial shot on Ouellette, who couldn’t hold onto the puck, and Saracino was able to push it past the netminder.
At the 14:58 mark of the third period, Trevor Mingoia put the game away for the Friars when he added another goal on a two-on-one play to make it 4-1.
Maine’s Jon Swavely teamed up with Bryon and Cam Brown to collect a late third-period goal.
Providence will be without Kyle McKenzie tomorrow after he received a game misconduct for a hit on Devin Shore late in the third period. The hit led to a pileup behind Gillies net and led to a slew of penalties for both teams.
“It was one of our worst games of the year,” said Shore. “We didn’t match their intensity all game.”
Providence leaped over Maine to move into fourth place in the Hockey East standings. Maine can still finish third or fourth with a win over the Friars Saturday night.