By Cam Smith ’21
The Providence College Men’s Hockey Team was looking for a win this past week after two straight losses. In their meeting against Brown University, the Friars did just that.
The annual matchup against the Brown Bears, known for the past 33 years as the Mayor’s Cup, has historically gone PC’s way. The Friars came into this year’s Cup with a 51-46-3 advantage. Last year’s matchup on the Schneider Arena ice ended with a PC win as five different Friars scored in a 5-0 shutout.
There was much of the same this year, as PC won the Mayor’s Cup taking a 5-1 victory. The game was decided soon after it had begun, as PC caught the Bears off-guard with an onslaught of early offensive plays that resulted in four goals in just the first nine minutes of play.
Kasper Björkqvist ’20 started off the festivities as he hammered home a rebound off the post to make it 1-0. The goal was Björkqvist’s 10th on the season, a total that puts him second in goals scored on the team. Just a mere 39 seconds later came the second goal of the night, as Greg Printz ‘21 fired a shot past the goalkeeper off a centering feed from Jacob Bryson ’20. Josh Wilkins ‘20 would get in on the action a couple minutes later with a wrister to the right corner, and Jack Dugan ‘22 would cap off the flurry of first period offense by sneaking one through the Bears’ keeper’s pads for his eighth goal of the season.
PC never looked back after their first period blitz, as they dug in on the defensive end en route to their 5-1 victory. The quick burst of goals and resulting lead allowed for a total team effort the rest of the way, as all three PC goalkeepers saw action in the third period as the game remained firmly in control. The Friars have now held ownership of the Cup since the 2015-16 season and will look to continue that trend in next year’s 34th annual Mayor’s Cup.
The other game on the schedule last week did not go nearly as well for the men’s hockey team, as they fell to Boston College 1-4. It was the second meeting of the year between the perennial Hockey East powerhouses. PC also fell to the Eagles on Jan. 11 by a score of 2-4.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a Michael Kim powerplay goal. The Friars would then go on to give up a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 BC after the first period. The second period of the game went to the Friars, as goalie Hayden Hawkey ’19 made several superb saves while Jason O’Neill ’21 tapped in a Bryan Lemos ‘19 shot to make it 2-1 BC after two.
Unfortunately, the rally would come up short as BC responded in the third period with two additional goals, placing the game firmly out of reach.
The new year hasn’t been so kind to the Friars, as they now hold a 2-3-1 record in the month of January. However, a return to Schneider Arena might help to cure the January blues. PC takes on no. 8 Northeastern University Huskies on Jan. 25 in a battle between Hockey East heavyweights.