PROVIDENCE -- College hockey fans in the great state of Rhode Island saw a good one as the state's two Division 1 teams met at Schneider Arena on Saturday night.
The fourth-ranked Providence College Friars (11-2-2), on the strength of local native and senior assistant captain Derek Army (North Kingstown, R.I.), held on for a 3-2 win over the Brown University Bears (3-6-1) in the 28th Annual Mayor’s Cup clash. The Friar women earned the trophy earlier in the day with an overtime win by the same score.
To those in the hockey crazy state, the match-up between its two Division I programs is a big one and one that is circled on calendars annually. For coach Brendan Whittet (East Providence, R.I.) and his Brown Bears, it is equally as important to help the team remain at a competitive level.
"It's a big rivalry," Whittet said. "I am a Rhode Island guy, I played at Mount Saint Charles. To me and to our team and Providence College, it's a huge rivalry. We see what they've done. Nate (Leaman) has done a wonderful job and we want to make sure we are a program that continues to be on the rise and challenge."
After the first half of the opening stanza was played very evenly, the Friars jumped ahead and took a 1-0 lead with just 3:00 remaining. PC gained a pretty substantial territorial advantage over the final few minutes and sophomore Nick Saracino cashed in on the rebound, beating Italian Brown netminder Marco De Filippo in front.
"We had to grind out an ugly one," PC head coach Nate Leaman said. "We (finished) a tough stretch with four games in seven days. I don't think we're playing our best hockey right now. ... (Sophomore goaltender) Jon Gillies and (junior Ross) Mauermann have been the horses that have kept us going."
The Bears held much of the play in their favor during the middle stanza, but came out another goal back as PC junior Drew Brown slammed homed the rebound on second-year center Mark Jankowski's shot from the left side at the 5:58 mark.
"I thought we played the game really hard," added Whittet. Obviously, you don't want to lose but I am proud of how we responded. ... As long as we play hard, with that energy and a determination, I am proud of the guys. Not happy with the result, but we'll work from it."
All the pressure paid off for the visitors from three miles down the road as the third period began. Brown junior assistant captain Matt Lorito blasted a one-time shot low on Gillies (South Portland, Maine) - who was still able to finish with 32 saves - to break the shutout bid at 3:44. It marked the Oakville, Ontario native's sixth goal of the season and the 32nd of his career.
The Friars regained their two-goal lead for a bit at the 9:17 mark of the third as Army snapped a shot by De Filippo with fellow local native Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) skating on his other side, but the Bears chipped back within one at 11:10 when junior Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, Mass.) launched a puck that had eyes and eluded Gillies through a screen.
"This rivalry is a special one," said Army, whose dad Tim was the Friars' head coach from 2005-11. "I went to school at Moses Brown, so it's right across the street from Brown. ... This is a big game, especially in my last year to win it."
Boston University 3, Cornell 2
Three different Terriers (7-6-1) found the back of the net, but they held on by the very skim of their teeth in a 3-2 win over the Cornell Big Red (7-4-1) in the fourth installment of Red Hot Hockey at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden. Sophomore Mike Moran (Marshfield, Mass.) scored 17:50 into the proceedings for BU, before rookies Robbie Baillargeon (Enfield, Conn.) and Nick Roberto (Wakefield, Mass.) also found the back of the net in support of second-year Matt O'Connor's 37 saves. BU is 3-0-1 in the RHH rivalry, which has been played in front of sold-out crowds every other year since 2007.
Northeastern 3, Notre Dame 2
Rookie Dalen Hedges' goal in the final three minutes of regulation propelled the Huskies (9-5-1) to a comeback victory over the No. 11/10 Fighting Irish (9-6-1) which captured the Shillelagh Tournament title at Compton Family Ice Arena. Junior Clay Witt made 31 saves in the contest that also allowed NU to match the nine wins it captured all last season. Witt and senior Braden Pimm were named to the All-Tournament Team for the Huskies, which became the first team to beat Notre Dame in their new building three times.
Dartmouth 2, Harvard 1
Junior Eric Neiley's goal with 2:41 remaining in regulation lifted the Big Green (1-8-0, 1-6-0 ECAC) from the winless in their 198th meeting against the ancient Ivy League rival Crimson (4-6-1, 2-5-1) at Thompson Arena. Sophomore Charles Grant emerged victorious for DC with a 22-save effort. Harvard sniper Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, Mass.) was the lone player to beat the Nova Scotian netminder in the game, at 10:13 of the second.
Quinnipiac 6, Massachusetts 1
After surrendering an early goal to Minutemen (3-10-2) senior Michael Pereira (West Haven, Conn.), the No. 5 Bobcats (13-2-2) turned on cruise control for a non-conference win at High Point Solutions Arena. QU received scoring from six different players, including the game-winner from junior Bryce Van Brabant, as it completed a season sweep of the UMass system after defeating Lowell twice in mid-October.
Yale 3, Merrimack 2 (OT)
The Bulldogs (6-2-2) and Warriors (3-9-1) went forward and back all night long at Ingalls Rink, but freshman Chris Izmirlian sent the New Haven faithful home happy with the overtime winner at 4:14. Rookie Hampus Gustafsson scored both goals in the loss for the Warriors, but it was not quite enough to stop Yale's Alex Lyon who made 13 stops.
New Hampshire 3, Colorado College 0
Junior Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) pitched a 32-save blanking and senior Kevin Goumas tallied two goals and an assist for the Wildcats (9-7-1) as they completed a weekend sweep of the CC Tigers (1-10-2) at World Arena.
Vermont 5, Maine 2
At Burlington's Gutterson Fieldhouse, UVM (7-5-1) earned its fourth win in as many games with much thanks a nine-point night from the senior trio of H.T. Lenz, Anthony DeCenzo and Connor Brickley (Everett, Mass.). Once again, Black Bears (6-6-1) netminder Martin Ouellette was solid in the losing effort with 25 saves.
Bentley 2, Air Force 2 (OT)
AFA (7-5-2, 4-2-1 Atlantic Hockey) survived being swept thanks to a late goal in the final 40 seconds of regulation, salvaging a point in a 2-2 stalemate with Bentley (5-7-1, 4-2-1 Atlantic Hockey) at Cadet Ice Arena. Both of Bentley's goals came in the first period as junior Alex Grieve and senior Brett Gensler found the back of the net.
Mercyhurst 6, American International 1
The Yellow Jackets (3-7-0, 3-4-0 AHA) scored just one goal, off the stick of junior Brandon Fagerheim, and were outshot 53-26 in the second game of a weekend series with the Lakers (7-7-1, 5-1-0) at Olympia Sports Center in West Springfield, Mass. Veteran Ryan Kerpan made 47 saves in defeat, but dropped his second contest in as many decisions.
Canisius 2, Connecticut 2 (OT)
Senior captain Brant Harris scored with 1:25 left in the third period to lift the Huskies (4-5-2, 3-2-1 AHA) to a Saturday tie with the host Golden Griffins (4-7-1, 3-3-1) in Buffalo, N.Y.
RIT 4, Sacred Heart 0
The Tigers (4-7-2, 3-3-0) earned the Atlantic Hockey weekend sweep over the host Pioneers (4-10-0, 3-5-0 AHA) with a decisive victory in Milford Ice Pavilion. Sophomore Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) made 31 stops, despite falling to 2-8-0 on the season.