action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

March 15. 2013 10:24PM

College Hockey: Providence gets jump on UNH


 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Nick Saracino's eyes light up when he sees the University of New Hampshire on the schedule.

The Providence College winger ran his personal tally to five goals against the Wildcats during his freshman season, including the game winner in the Friars' 3-2 victory over UNH on Friday night.

Saracino's screened bullet from the top of the left circle - his ninth of the campaign - beat Casey DeSmith 8:06 into the third period to give Providence a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 Hockey East quarterfinal series. Game 2 will be today at 4 p.m. and the Wildcats will be attempting to stop a slide that has seen them win just two of their last 11 games.

"It was a tough one to take," UNH coach Dick Umile said. "I thought the team battled pretty hard."

Saracino and linemates Ross Mauermann and Shane Luke were a thorn in No. 7 UNH's side all night, accounting for all three of No. 17 Providence's goals. Luke racked up three assists after missing the previous six games with a lower body injury and joined Saracino in finishing plus-3.

"We missed him a lot," Saracino said. "We've been playing all year together, so it was good to get him back."

Saracino first made his mark against the Wildcats by scoring twice in a 6-5 Providence win at the Whittemore Center on Jan. 19, a victory that snapped the Friars' 17-game winless streak in their program's personal house of horrors. Included in that streak was the last time the two teams met in the playoffs, a dominant two-game UNH sweep by a combined 10-0 in the 2006-07 season.

"I thought Nick was the guy on our team that wanted the puck the most out there," PC coach Nate Leaman said. "Each time he was out there he did something with it."

The Wildcats drew into a 2-2 tie with 18 minutes to play on Austin Block's team-leading 16th of the season, setting up what looked to be a tense finish. The senior winger beat Providence goalie Jon Gillies from close range in a 4-on-4 situation and UNH carried the play from there, pinning the Friars in their end for most of the next six minutes until a turnover in the Wildcats' own left wing corner helped Saracino produce his game winner.

"We had great zone time and the puck just came out," Umile said. "We had possession and we lost it. The kid made a great shot."

Gillies made the difference over the first two periods and finished with 35 saves in his playoff debut. The 6-foot-5 freshman kept it scoreless with Providence being outshot, 15-4, in the first and stopped breakaway chances by Dan Correale and Block in the second. Correale was sent in alone after van Riemsdyk caught the Friars in a bad change and Block picked John Gilmour's pocket in front of the Providence student section for a shorthanded bid that was denied.

"The shots were a little lopsided, but I did have a lot of help," Gillies said. "Even the breaks we gave up, it was just first saves and the guys were there to clear the rebounds."

UNH (18-10-7) never led despite a 37-25 advantage in shots on goal, as Saracino's rocket under the crossbar and Gilmour's shot from the top of the left circle gave the Friars a 2-0 lead with 6:33 left in the second. The Wildcats halved the deficit just 23 seconds later when Grayson Downing netted his 14th of the season, a power-play goal that made it a one-goal game into the intermission. Block's equalizer gave UNH all the momentum until Saracino proved to be the Wildcats' nemesis yet again.


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

UNH research behind NFL crackdown on non-standard facemasks

Kings sign former Monarch to $20M extension

UNH's McDonnell seen as prospect to replace fired Buffalo coach

Republican candidate Scott Brown mobbed at UNH homecoming tailgate

Myrtle Beach Caddy Girls owner NH native Meghan Tarmey to be featured on ABCs Shark Tank

At Dartmouth, sidelines robot could be key to quickly diagnosing football concussions

Portland named best minor league baseball town in nation; Manchester #25

Hampton police: Motorist exposed himself to jogger

More than a decade in the making, motorsports-themed country club to open next September

Hampstead driver closing in on Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship

N.H. husband, wife coordinate, run Army 10-Miler Shadow Run

Seabrook's Charles Rosa steps up fighting game, signs with UFC

Nashua boxing pilot program for Hollis Brookline students this fall

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. driving fan experience initiatives, partners with Sporting Innovations

Undefeated Middleweight Antoine Douglas to take on Tilton's Jose Medina on October 24

UNH's Thompson takes leave of absence

Toronto Maple Leafs James van Riemsdyk still has plenty of room to grow after breakout season

Keene State hoops program mourns death of former teammate killed on duty

Keene State College alumnus killed in NYPD van crash on way to providing security for climate change march

Grantland.com: 15 Questions for San Antonio's Matt Bonner

Former KSC basketball player killed months after joining NYC police in patrol van crash

Speed and thrills at Kingston hydroplane races

NHMS, Miller Lite extend deal for another 3 years

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!