Men’s Hockey Falls to UMass
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
Following a loss at Northeastern University the previous weekend, the 10th ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team had a chance to move themselves up in the Hockey East standings this weekend as they faced off against the 8th ranked University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen.
Last year, all three matchups with UMass finished with a final score of 3-2 with UMass taking two. The Friars’ lone win came at home against the then top-ranked Minutemen. The two had a chance to meet in the National Championship game in Buffalo, but the Friars fell to Minnesota Duluth University, who would go on to knock off UMass.
This year, the two teams would only meet twice, and both meetings took place this past weekend. Coming into Friday’s game at the Mullins Center. UMass was tied with Boston College for first place in the conference. The Friars were in a four-way tie for fourth place, just two points off of first place.
The Friars have struggled over the years playing at Amherst. Before Friday’s game, PC had a 16-15-5 record and had lost three straight games playing at UMass. On Friday, it was no different. UMass outshot PC 17-3 in the first period which featured a goal by Reed Lebster just 5:35 in. The Friars struggled to generate offense for most of this game.
The Friars, who average just under 35 shots per game, were held to just 15 shots while UMass recorded 36 shots. Michael Lackey GS made a series of highlight reel saves in the second period to keep the game at a one-goal deficit, but the Minutemen were too much. Matt Koopman ’21 would score the lone point for the Friars. UMass would go on to win 3-1, although Lackey had one of his best games in a Friar uniform with 33 saves and kept the game closer than what it could have been. Greg Carvel, the UMass head coach said after the game, “That’s as solid a game as we’ve played in this building probably since I’ve been here.”
Each team resumed their matchup the next evening in Providence where the Friars were seeking to split the series. The Friars came out firing with an early power play opportunity just 35 seconds into the game. Tyce Thompson ‘22 smashed a line drive off the post, sending a booming echo throughout the arena. However, a goal by John Leonard put UMass ahead 1-0 after the first period. In the second period, the Friars were only able to muscle two shots on goal, while Leonard struck again for UMass with a short-handed goal. In the remaining minutes of the second period, Oliver Chau recorded a goal on a hustle play, putting the game seemingly out of the Friars’ reach. However, PC made a push halfway through the third period, as Thompson netted his 18th goal of the season on a Jack Dugan ‘22 assist.
Shortly after the goal, the Friars had another chance to gain some momentum on a power play opportunity, but UMass soon shut the door on the Friars with two more goals. Leonard completed the hat-trick for UMass and his four-point night led UMass to a 5-1 victory. The Friars once again did not take advantage of their opportunities, as they went 1-6 on the power play. “It’ll change when we get sick of losing,” said coach Nate Leaman after the game. “We’re a really young group and we’re playing like it.” PC will look to rebound Friday against the University of Vermont.
Desharnais ’19 Nominated for Humanitarian Award
Defenseman Raises Money to Fight Against Cancer
by Sam Scanlon ’19
Every eye in Schneider Arena is fixated on the home bench, as one by one the Friars enter the spotlight and take the ice, anchored by defenseman Vincent Desharnais ’19.
Standing at 6’6”, Desharnais plays the role of intimidator and aggressor on the ice, protecting his teammates at all costs. However, it is his contributions off the ice that have gotten him nationally recognized this year.
Desharnais is one of 17 nominees for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award, which recognizes college hockey’s finest citizens for their efforts in their communities through leadership in volunteerism. Donning the “A” on his chest as the team’s alternate captain for the second straight year, Desharnais is no stranger to leadership on and off the ice.
In December, with the help of two classmates, Desharnais held an event at Schneider Arena called “PC Beats Cancer” to benefit the Gloria Gemma Resource Foundation.
“We decided to partner up with the Gloria Gemma Resource Foundation, because they specify in providing free services for individuals and families who are affected by breast cancer,” explained Desharnias.
This event was also hosted in honor of Providence College Women’s Hockey Team goaltender, Clare Minnerath ’20. “She was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lymphoma Cancer last April,” Desharnais said, “Her story was so inspirational that we decided to center our event around her.”
In order to raise funds during the event, $20 tickets were sold to members of the PC community, which allowed attendees access to food and beverages, as well as a raffle ticket for an autographed Noel Acciari ’15 jersey. Around 80 tickets were sold during the event.
“At first, our team’s goal was to raise $2,000…We ended up raising over $5,000 through our events and gofundme page within three weeks,” recounted Desharnais. The amount of money raised is certainly a terrific feat, but the leadership and determination of Desharnais is what set him apart and truly showed his character.
At first, not much money was being raised for their charity, which caused Desharnais plenty of frustration. Through positivity, he and his classmates were able to start raising more and more money. “I think my biggest takeaway is to have high goals and always stay positive,” a mentality that Desharnais utilized to have such a successful fundraiser.
“Also, if you want something, go get it. I sent over 150 personalized emails to my teachers, coaches, teammates, friends, and family members to let them know that I needed their help to make a difference.” Desharnais’ impressive motivation and leadership behind raising money for a cause that he is passionate about certainly shows why he is nominated for the Hockey Humanitarian Award.
Being nominated for an award for both on and off the ice contributions is assuredly a humbling experience, and Desharnais is well aware of that. He explained, “Being nominated for this award is truly an honor. I feel like not too long ago I was still in high school back home in Laval, Quebec. Now, here I am nominated for the Humanitarian Award.”
Since coming to Providence four years ago, Desharnais has matured significantly. From being a bottom defensive pairing player, to a two-year captain, to being recognized for community service, Desharnais has made the most of his college experience. It is clear that the Edmonton Oilers draft pick has mades strides both on and off the ice.
He is not planning on stopping here, however. As he enjoys his time reading to children in Providence schools, Desharnais has bigger plans for his community service. He stated, “I was passionate about the event and I would really like to hold an event yearly.”
Desharnais has demonstrated a tremendous amount of character throughout this entire process, and is incredibly deserving of this prestigious award. If you would like to support Desharnais and the Gloria Gemma Resource Foundation, visit www.gloriagemma.org to make a donation and find out more about this incredible cause.
PCI: Northeastern Will Win Hockey East Tournament
Huskies Look to Continue Strong Season
by Jeremy Perrigo ’18
March is here at last, and with its arrival comes the beginning of the Hockey East Tournament. This year, the Hockey East Association announced it would be reverting back to a playoff structure which was last used in 2014.
In this structure, all 11 Hockey East teams are guaranteed a spot in the tournament, with the top five teams getting a bye to the second week of competition. Seeds four and five are guaranteed to play each other in the second week, while the teams seeded in first, second, and third await the results of the bottom six seeds in week one.
The first week of action will feature seeds six, seven, and eight, who will host seeds nine, ten, and eleven respectively. The teams will be reseeded for week two depending on the outcomes of each best-of-three series.
This means No. 1 Boston College, No. 2 Northeastern University, No. 3 Providence College, No. 4 Boston University, and No. 5 University of Connecticut all have a week to rest before they face competition.
While all three top-seeded teams have had impressive seasons, the Northeastern Huskies are thus far the team to beat. With a record of 15-6-3 against Hockey East opponents, the Huskies have put together a strong campaign in a year that saw them win the Beanpot Tournament for the first time since 1988, taking down Boston University by a score of 5-2.
Northeastern is backstopped by rookie goaltender Cayden Primeau, a seventh-round pick for the Montreal Canadiens in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In 30 games this season, Primeau has a goals against average (GAA) of 1.85 and a save percentage of .933. Against conference opponents his numbers are even more impressive. His GAA drops to 1.79 and his save percentage rises to .937 over the span of 22 games.
On offense, Adam Gaudette leads the way with 56 points (29 goals, 27 assists) in 34 games. The 2015 fifth-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks leads all of Division I in points, averaging 1.65 points per game.
Second on the list of Division I top scorers is Gaudette’s teammate, Dylan Sikura. Sikura has scored 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists) in 31 games played. The Aurora, Ontario native is in his final year of collegiate hockey and is likely looking to become a full time member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization in the near future. The Blackhawks drafted Sikura in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
With impressive goal-scoring up front and a rock solid goaltender in net, Northeastern presents a challenge for any team that is forced to face off against them come March 9. On March 2-4 No. 6 University of Maine will host No. 11 University of New Hampshire, No. 7 University of Massachusetts Lowell will take on No. 10 Merrimack College, and Univserity of Massachusetts Amherst (8th) challenges University of Vermont (9th) for the rights to advance to the semifinals. Keep an eye on these matchups as each team battles it out for a chance to face off against the best Hockey East has to offer.
Foley, Pinho Get Prestigious Nod
Both Named Finalists for Hobey Baker Award
by Sam Scanlon ’19
It is hard to think about the Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey Team without thinking of Brian Pinho ’18 and Erik Foley ’19. The two Friar superstars have been integral parts of the Friars’ offense since they joined the squad in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Their preliminary nominations for the Hobey Baker Award, which celebrates college hockey’s top player, should come as no surprise.
Senior captain Pinho, a North Andover, Massachusets native and product of the Catholic Conference’s St. John’s Preparatory School, has been a dominant force in all three phases of the game throughout his career. In an interview with New England Hockey Journal’s Jeff Cox, Foley spoke highly of his comrade Pinho, saying, “He’s a great player. He never makes a mistake. It’s hard to find a player like him.” A player like Pinho is certainly hard to find considering his roles on the top-line power-play and penalty-killing units, in addition to being the top line center.
As a sixth round draft pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft to the Washington Capitals and an offensive powerhouse, Pinho’s style of play is definitely a solid fit if he can work his way up to the big leagues after his graduation. His offense has been nothing short of outstanding over his four-year career; he recently surpassed the 100-point benchmark in his career for the Friars. So far this year, Pinho has notched 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists, trailing only Foley for the team lead.
Currently heating up, Pinho has registered 11 points in the first eight games of the second half of the season, dating back to their matchup against Arizona State in the opening round of the Three Rivers Classic. His efforts during this span have earned him national recognition as the Hockey East Offensive Player of the Week, as well as the third Star of the Week for all of NCAA men’s hockey players.
Friars Head Coach Nate Leaman told Cox, “Pinho is really going right now. There’s no doubt about it. He’s come back after break and he really has his legs going.” Having the senior captain and first line center playing his best hockey right now is crucial for the Friars to make a deep playoff run.
Pinho is the type of player who excels all over the ice by getting into the dirty areas, making plays, and scoring goals. Speed kills, a fact Pinho certainly knows. Perhaps the fastest skater on the ice at all times, his size and speed has allowed him to be recognized as one of the nation’s best players, so his nomination is deserved.
Foley, the Friars’ other Hobey Baker Award nominee, has emerged as one of the nation’s best goal scorers as he is in the midst of his junior season for the Friars, seemingly always appearing on the scoresheet. Another Massachusetts native, hailing from Mansfield, has slid into the top scoring role for the Friars with 29 points in 24 games. His 29 points are from his team leading 13 goals and 16 assists.
The Winnipeg Jets’s 2015 third round pick has a heavy shot and a knack for getting into positions that allow him to score. His quick first step and long strides enable him to elude defenders and get time and space to get off an open shot, which he rarely misses.
Like Pinho, Foley is a force all over the ice and in the dirty areas. He concurred in that same interview with Cox admitting, “I’m trying to be heavy down low, take pucks to the net, and use my shot. I just want to make plays.” A natural playmaker and goal scorer, Foley seems to be doing his job perfectly.
In the second half of the season, the same eight game span as Pinho, Foley has picked up eight points on three goals and five assists. With 82 points thus far in his career, Foley is well on his way to join Pinho in the 100 club.
Foley has been heavily relied on for offensive production for the Friars since his career started here at PC, and he has certainly stepped up to his expectations. When the two of them start picking up their play simultaneously, it is an absolute nightmare for opposing teams.
As the Friars face off against another offensive powerhouse in the eighth-ranked Northeastern University Huskies this weekend, Foley and Pinho will be heavily relied on to match their weaponry in Northeastern’s lineup. After a Friday night game at Northeastern, the Huskies come to Schneider Arena on Saturday night. Support our Hobey Baker Award finalists by coming to the game, and vote for them at voteforhobey.com.
Men’s Hockey Goes 5-1 and Brings Home Mayor Cup
Foley, Hawkey, and Pinho Help Team Find Success
By Sam Scanlon ’19
What a winter break it was for the Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey Team.
After being shutout on home ice by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the Friars went undefeated with a record of 5-0-1 over winter break and brought home some hardware while they were at it.
First and foremost, the Friars welcomed a new member to the squad, Davis Bunz ’21, a defenseman hailing from Middleton, Wisconsin. Bunz joined the team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania shortly after Christmas as they were a part of the Three Rivers Classic Tournament along with Arizona State, Robert Morris University, and Lake Superior State University.
The Friars opened up the tournament against Arizona State, a relatively new Division I program that has impressed in recent years. However, the Friars handled the Sun Devils with a 6-0 win with six different goal scorers, including Erik Foley ’19 and Brian Pinho ’18. Scott Conway ’18, Greg Printz ’21, Josh Wilkins ’20, and Ben Mirageas ’21, also provided offense for the Friars, and all three goaltenders made appearances in the combined shutout, including Jake Beaton ’18 who made his collegiate debut. With continued offensive production, Mirageas is seemingly filling the defensive goal scoring void left by the departure of Jake Walman at the conclusion of last season.
With the win over Arizona State University, the Friars were set to face off against Robert Morris University in the Three Rivers Classic Championship Game. Goaltender Hayden Hawkey ’19 impressed in the cage yet again, while Conway added another goal, and Kasper Björkqvist ’20 provided the game winning tally late in the second period allowing the Friars to scrape by RMU to claim the Three Rivers Classic Tournament title with a 2-1 win.
Due to his impressive performance, Pinho was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, which also landed him a spot on the All-Tournament team where he was accompanied by Conway and Jacob Bryson ’20.
Hawkey was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week as he stopped 38 of 39 shots over the tournament.
The Friars returned home to Schneider Arena to claim yet another trophy to add to the case as they faced Brown University for the 32nd Annual Mayor’s Cup. This game went a lot like the Arizona State tilt as the Friars skated past Brown 5-0. Pinho tallied a goal and an assist in this game, notching career point 100 on his assist to Wilkins in the second frame.
Next up, the Friars welcomed Merrimack College for a big Hockey East matchup. Brandon Duhaime ’20 started off the scoring with a goal of the year candidate for the Friars. Pinho and Foley stayed hot and provided goals, as well as two goals off the stick of Björkqvist which lifted the Friars over the Warriors 5-2.
While Pinho’s name keeps appearing on the scoresheet, he earned Hockey East Player of the Week Honors as well as National Honors as college hockey’s third star of the week.
This past weekend was an extremely crucial one, as the Friars traveled to Boston to face both Boston College and Boston University in back to back nights. Björkqvist and Duhaime scored within eight seconds of each other, while Pinho and Wilkins provided empty net insurance as they defeated the Eagles 4-1.
Saturday night at BU was a typical game between the two teams. Foley and Wilkins struck the back of the net in this one, but were unable to break the 2-2 tie in the end, as the Friars go 1-1-1 against the Terriers this season.
With Foley’s team-leading 13th goal and Pinho’s dominance of late, the two Friar stars have earned Hobey Baker Award Nominations for the Friars in the preliminary stages.
Foley, Pinho, and the rest of the 10th ranked Friars are back this weekend with a series against University of Connecticut.
Lady Friars Split Weekend Against BU
By Eileen Flynn ’20
The Providence College Women’s Hockey Team has continued to skate hard and has situated themselves nationally in the number eight ranking. This past week the Lady Friars displayed the determination and grit this year’s team embodies in their showdown against a Hockey East rival Boston University. The two teams were scheduled to play each other Friday and then again on Saturday, making for a very anticipated weekend.
The Terriers from Boston University have accumulated a record of 8-13-4 (4-10-3 HE). On Jan. 12 the teams met for the first time this season under Boston University’s roof. Providence College maintains a 14-6-5 record, 10-2-3 in the Hockey East. The quality of the game deepens with the league rival, both teams knew what a win could do for their standings.
Boston University’s Victoria Bach decided to start the event off on the right foot for her fellow Terrier teammates. Just 28 seconds into the game, Bach received a pass from Breanna Scarpaci and followed with a shot that passed Providence’s goaltender Maddie Myers ’19. The Friars tried to redirect the momentum on their power play, testing the Terrier’s goaltender Shroeder four different times. Despite the pressure, Boston University was the next to score and increased their lead to 2-0 where it remained for the rest of the period. The next two periods were back and forth, both teams spending time in their opponent’s defensive zone. Brooke Boquist ’18 was the lone scorer for the Friars. After three periods of play, Boston University defeated Providence College 5-1.
The Friars are about three-fourths of the way done with their season. A tough loss against Boston University could have had the power to push Providence College in the wrong direction for the rest of the season, but instead, the team took the loss and used it as fuel for their redemption game on Saturday, January 13.
This time, the player to score first after the puck was dropped was Maureen Murphy ’21, a forward for Providence College. Madison Sansone ’18, copied her teammate and quickly increased the lead to 2-0. The score stayed here until Boston University capitalized on a power play in the middle of the second period. Scoring picked up in the third period, both teams increased their scores to a final score of 6-3, with Providence finishing on top. Providence scored twice on the power play, improving their 0/6 power play statistic from the previous day’s game. Myers stood strong in net for the Friars and made 29 saves.
This win over Boston University proved Providence College’s talent. The team is ready to take on the remainder of their season and finish stronger than they started. On Jan. 20 the Friars will face yet another strong Hockey East competitor, the University of New Hampshire. In honor of the outstanding rivalry between the two teams, a fundraiser has been started to coincide with the match-up. Both teams asked their alumni to donate with the hopes that their team will raise more money than the rival. Currently in second place in the Hockey East standings, the Friars will need to capitalize against the Wildcats to maintain their position behind Boston College.