By Meaghan Cahill ’20
The Providence College Women’s Hockey Team, which is ranked fourth in Hockey East, split last weekend’s series against the no. 7 team, the University of Maine.
In the first game on Friday, February 7, the Friars skated to a 2-2 tie despite having a 2-1 lead for the majority of the second period. UMaine skater Liga Milijone put the Black Bears on the scoreboard first after sniping one past PC goaltender Sandra Abstreiter ’22RS five minutes into the game. Three minutes later, Isabelle Hardy’s ’23 wrist shot soared into the top left corner of the net after passes from Hayley Lunny ’21 and team captain Avery Fransoo ’20. Hardy’s goal was her fourth of the season and third in the last five games.
The Friars finished the first period with a goal from Neve Van Pelt ’20 in the final 23 seconds of the period. Van Pelt netted a backhand over the Black Bear goalie’s shoulder for her sixth goal of the season. Meaghan Rickard ’20 recorded her ninth assist of the season.
Van Pelt concluded the scoring for the Friars this game. With just under four minutes left in the second period, UMaine player Celene Tedeny scored a power-play goal to even out the score to two apiece.
The Friars outshot the Black Bears 35-25 but they could not capitalize on their three power plays and were unable to go 4-4 on the penalty kill. Defenseman Whitney Dove ’20, who leads PC in assists and is ranked fifth in Hockey East for defenseman scoring, recorded a game-high six shots on net. Abstreiter concluded the game with 23 shots saved and two goals against. She is currently ranked third in Hockey East for her 1.65 goals against average.
The Friars returned to Schneider Arena again the next day where they were unable to gain momentum to garner the full two points. PC lost to UMaine 1-2. Abstreiter was once again in net, making 18 saves throughout the game.
PC fell two goals behind quickly into the first period after the Black Bears scored 26 seconds apart about seven minutes into the game.
Despite having a man advantage four times throughout the game, PC did not find their way onto the scoreboard until midway throughout the third period. The goal came from Lauren DeBlois ’23 who ripped a slap shot from the right point that notched the lone score for the Friars in the game. This was DeBlois’s third goal of the season.
Once again, PC outshot UMaine 44-20. The team also saw more success at the face-off circle, winning 35-64 faceoffs compared to UMaine’s 29-64. Unfortunately, the Friars were unable to dig themselves out of the hole that they got into early in the first.
The team has just four more games remaining in their regular season before they will partake in the 2020 Hockey East Tournament. This upcoming weekend, they will be facing off against No. 1 Hockey East team Northeastern University in their second to last home-and-home series. They will travel to Boston on Friday, February 14 and then return to Schneider on Feb. 15. The following weekend, PC will wrap up their regular season in another home-and-home series against the College of the Holy Cross, playing in Worcester, MA on Friday and back in Friartown on the Saturday for not only their last game of the season, but also the team’s senior game which will honor the team’s seven seniors.
The team will need to pick up some much needed points in their final four games if they want to have a chance to pull ahead of the University of Connecticut, who is currently tied for fourth place with the Friars in Hockey East.