Women’s Hockey Wraps Up
Friars Win Opening Round of Hockey East, Lose to Vermont in Second
Justin Bishop ’24
The Providence College Women’s Hockey team season has come to an end with a 4–1 loss in the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East Tournament to the University of Vermont.
The team had recently beaten the College of the Holy Cross 3–1 in the opening round of the tournament, success in part as a result of goals from captain Caroline Peterson ’22, Ashley Clark ’25, and the empty-netter from KC Brooks ’24.
However, they could not get past the Catamounts and the Hockey East Scoring Champion, Theresa Schafzahl, who also tallied two goals in the game. The bright spot in this game for the Friars was Lily Hendrikson ’25 scoring the lone goal for the Friars with less than six minutes to go in regulation. The team also outshot the Catamounts 32–27 and went 1-1 on the power play.
The Friars ended the season with an overall record of 16–14–6 and a conference record of 12–12–3 and placed seventh in the conference. The preseason rankings anticipated Providence placing second and predicted the team would compete for the Hockey East title.
With a veteran group such as assistant captain Hunter Barnett ’22, Haley Lunny ’22GS, and Peterson, and with young talent like Lindsay Bochna ’24 and Brooke Becker ’24, the team was poised to dethrone the reigning champs in the Northeastern University Huskies.
PC started out on a tear, beating a professional women’s team, the Boston Pride, in exhibition and then went on to start the season 3-0-2 beating then-ranked no. 2 Northeastern 3–0, earning a no. 9 ranking.
Then the team stalled out and went 1-5-2 over the next eight games. They split wins with most home-and-home series and could not seem to keep a win streak going to propel them in the standings.
The Women’s Hockey team had a head-to-head winning record against two teams in the conference, 4-0-0 against Holy Cross and 3-0-0 against Merrimack College, where both of those schools rank no. 9 and no. 10 respectively in Hockey East.
They struggled on the road going 7-9-3 when away from Schneider Arena along with an 8-14-5 record when not leading after the second period. Paired with a middle of the pack special teams’ units, powerplay and penalty kill, the team relied heavily on scoring first.
The team was riding a 6-1-1 record into the playoffs after taking down Merrimack twice, Holy Cross twice, splitting with the University of Connecticut, and going 1-0-1 against Boston University.
The reason was not because of goaltending, as both Sandra Abstreiter ’22, an assistant captain, and Mireille Kingsley ’24 did their jobs soundly. Abstreiter was the starter and played 27 games while posting a 1.73 GAA and a .945 SV percent along with three shutouts, making her a semi-finalist for Goaltender of the Year and a Hockey East All-Star goaltender.
Kingsley also had a season to remember as she played in nine games and put up a 1.65 GAA and a .939 SV percent and was the Hockey East Goalie of the Week twice, the week of Nov. 14 and the week of Dec. 5.
Amongst other nominations and awards, Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 was named to the Swedish Olympic Hockey team where they finished in 8th place.
Providence’s associate head coach Ali Domenico was chosen to be an assistant for the Canadian Olympic Hockey team where they edged the U.S.A 3-2 to win Gold.
The PC Women’s Hockey team will look to rebound next year with a lot of the younger players taking this year to learn from the older girls.
Seeing names like Barnett, Abstreiter, Peterson, and Lunny depart at the end of this year will have head coach Matt Kelly searching for his next leaders. It seems he has already found his next goalie in Kingsley, but he will have to look for his next top scorers.
Bochna was the second leading scorer on the team as a sophomore, scoring 19 points, nine goals, and 10 assists, and the next closest non-senior was fellow sophomore Brooke Becker as the defenseman with 12 points, two goals, and 10 assists.
Other than Becker and Bochna, the rest of the team will have to step up if the Friars want to stay relevant in a jam-packed Hockey East conference that houses two top-10 teams in no. 3 Northeastern and no. 10 Vermont.
Above and Beyond: Friars Make Playoff Run
Coach Kelly, Friars Always Competing
By Scott Jarosz ’21
The 2020-2021 season has been one to remember for head coach Matt Kelly and the Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team. After the team’s 2019-2020 campaign came to a close with a loss to the University of New Hampshire in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, both Kelly and his team were itching to get back on the ice to prepare for this season.
Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, the team’s return to the ice was delayed. The delay was certainly not what PC wanted, especially after the team’s early exit from the Hockey East Tournament. However, despite the team’s strange offseason, they made the most of it and focused on controlling what they could. Their hard work has produced great results thus far in the 2020-2021 season.
Despite the different feel of this season, Kelly approached the year with the same game plan as always. When asked about his approach, Kelly responded, “When it comes down to just the game and our game plan, it was the same mentality going into it. It’s ‘win as many games as you can, win the league, get to the NCAA tournament, and compete for a national championship.’” He continued, “Those are our goals every year and that’s our vision every year and we don’t waver from that.” Kelly has also ensured that his players and staff stay healthy, reiterating that everyone’s health during the pandemic is the top priority.
Kelly’s determined game plan paid off from the very start. PC began the season on a seven-game winning streak, starting 6-0-1 during that stretch. Kelly attributed much of the team’s success during those first seven games to an excellent power play and exceptional goaltending. Kelly emphasized, “Whenever you can chip in a special team’s goal and then you’re able to get two or three more five on five [goals], you’re putting yourself in a good [position] to win the game.”
He added, “We were getting great goaltending too. Great goaltending can take you a long way, especially early in the season.” Kelly explained that goaltending is especially important early in the season when other areas of the team’s game are still developing, and that a few extra saves can be the difference maker. Both an effective power play and great goaltending definitely gave PC a boost during the opening stretch of the season, and the team has continued to build off of that.
Sometimes, teams rely on one or two key players to propel them throughout the season and lead the team to victory. However, when asked if there was any one player on the team who has exceeded expectations this season, Kelly could not point to one specific player. “I would say everyone on our team [has exceeded expectations] from last year to this year. Their game has developed and grown.”
Elaborating on this point, Kelly said, “We talk a lot in our program about having a beginner’s mindset. Get better every day [and] learn something new every day.” Kelly concluded his response to this question by emphasizing how impressed he is by his players. “Each year that I’ve come back and started a season, I’m surprised by everyone.” He continued, “It’s fun to see as a coach that we have a group of [players] that are very dedicated to improving their craft and always getting better.”
While Kelly stressed that every single player on the team has done a great job of working hard and improving every day, he highlighted one player in particular that has truly been a catalyst for the team’s success this season. “To compete at a high level, to win a Hockey East Championship, to win a National Championship, you need an elite goalie, and I feel like she [Sandra Arbstreiter ’21] has been playing very elite this year and we’re very impressed with how she’s come along over the last two years.”
Arbstreiter’s statistics certainly prove that she has performed at an elite level this season. Through 17 regular-season games, Arbstreiter has recorded 424 saves and boasts an impressive save percentage of 92.8 percent. PC has won 10 of those 17 games and Arbstreiter’s excellent goaltending has been a major reason for PC’s success.
The Friars finished the regular season with a record of 10-6-1, good enough to rank No. 10 in the country and also earn a No. 3 seed in the Hockey East Tournament. As a No. 3 seed, PC was matched up against No. 6 seed Boston University in the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
This matchup between PC and BU marked the first time the two teams would meet this season. When asked what his team would need to focus on to be victorious over BU, Kelly spoke highly of the visiting Terriers. “They’re a really good team. They’ve got really good goaltending and they have a very high-end forward in Jesse Compher. I know Brian Durocher, the coach, very well…and he always has his team prepared and ready to go, so we [need] to make sure we’re ready to go too.”
In addition to preparing to combat BU’s strengths, Kelly discussed the importance of focusing on his own team’s strengths, as well. “Defense is huge,” he emphasized. “You want to limit their opportunities and chances. [Our defense] has been good all year but [we want to] keep tightening that up and working on that.”
Along with focusing on the team’s strong defense, Kelly explained the importance of staying competitive during the final stretch of the season when teams begin to get fatigued. He explained that everything comes down to, “Are you willing to outcompete your opponent every shift, every puck battle, every period, every minute of the game?” He concluded, “If you’re willing to do that, more times than not, you’re going to come out on top.”
When asked what his biggest takeaway from the regular season was, Kelly expressed how proud he is of his team for what they have accomplished and how they have adjusted. He continued, “They’ve been incredible at doing all the right stuff to get us to this point… Some teams out there don’t have this luxury to be playing this weekend in the playoffs. I’m just super proud of them and all they’ve done and overcome this year to get to this point.” Kelly certainly has a great deal to be proud of with his team. Not only have they exceeded and outperformed expectations on a daily basis, but they have also done everything in their power to beat adversity in an unprecedented season.
With all of this, PC entered their Hockey East Quarterfinal matchup on Feb. 28 ready to play. PC took the lead over BU at Schneider Arena just two minutes into the first period thanks to a wrist shot goal by Brooke Becker ’24. PC did not slow down from there, as Caroline Peterson ’22 notched the second goal for the Friars just over two minutes later. Then, on a power play in the second period, Hayley Lunny ’21 scored PC’s third goal of the contest.
Entering the game, BU had killed off a remarkable 97.1 percent of opponent power plays, making Lunny’s goal all the more impressive. The Terriers scored the following goal in the second period, but Peterson answered with her second goal of the game to extend PC’s lead to 4-1 heading into the third period. BU attempted a comeback, scoring two goals in the third period to cut the score to 4-3. However, BU’s valiant effort proved to be too little too late, as the Friars secured the victory by a final score of 4-3.
The impressive win earned PC a spot in the Hockey East Semifinals, where they will take on the University of Maine. PC will look to continue to build on its already impressive season by making a deep postseason run, as they are now just one game away from the finals. Doing so will mark a great success for a team that has exceeded expectations all year, just as coach Kelly emphasized.
“This article was printed prior to the semifinal game against UMaine. You can visit Friars.com for full results”
Men’s Hockey Finds Their Stride
Team Sweeps Weekend Series with UNH
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
After picking up a pair of ties last weekend against the No. 8 University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Providence College Men’s Hockey Team matched up against the University of New Hampshire in a home-and-home series.
Coming into the game, the Friars had moved up a spot in the rankings from No. 18 to No. 17. The Friars’ weekend began in Durham, NH on Jan. 29. UNH led the visiting Friars 1-0 early in the second period. That would change dramatically, however, as PC would score five unanswered goals, including four in the third period
Friars’ forward Jamie Engelbert ’23 started off the scoring barrage to tie things up at one in the second period. The goal was his first of the season. Greg Printz ’21 and Nick Poisson ’24 then scored goals just 52 seconds apart to start the third period, followed by Davis Bunz’s ’21 first career goal to make it a 4-1 game. All three goals were scored in a span of three minutes and 18 seconds. The final goal was driven home by New Jersey Devils draft pick Patrick Moynihan ’23, who scored a power-play goal with just under two minutes left, sealing the 5-1 victory.
Both squads then matched up again on Jan. 31 in Providence at Schneider Arena. Once again, the Friars went down early to the Wildcats, via a goal in each of the first two periods by UNH. The Friars would have been trailing by a lot more if it was not for their defensive prowess on the penalty kill. PC warded off a five-on-three penalty and were a perfect seven-for-seven on the penalty kill in the game.
A five-minute major penalty towards the latter half of the second period against Kohei Sato of UNH allowed the Friars to crawl back into the game. PC would score two quick goals thanks to Brett Berard ’24 and Tyce Thompson ’22 in the first 3:32 of the third period off the penalty. Thompson continues to be the leading goal scorer for Nate Leaman’s squad, with this being his sixth goal of the season.
A few moments later, Engelbert struck again. His second goal of the weekend was in fact the game-clinching goal as the Friars held on for the rest of the period to sweep the weekend series.
“I like the belief in the locker room that we can do that…I like the fact that guys believe that they can come back and win games,” Leaman said after his team’s win on Sunday. “But I think our starts certainly need to get better…[and] us getting to our game quickly is something that we definitely need to work on,” he added. It has been a theme many Friar hockey fans have witnessed this year. Nevertheless, the Friars are still producing results. Currently, PC is tied for the second most points in the Hockey East, alongside the nation’s No. 1 team in Boston College.
Jaxson Stauber ’23 continues to produce strong results in between the pipes for the Friars. Stauber was recently named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week alongside Filip Linderg of UMass. Stauber stopped 26 of 27 shot attempts on Friday and followed that performance up with 29 saves on Sunday. He has allowed just four goals in the last four games.
The Friars are now 7-5-4 on the season and are unbeaten in their last four games. The Hockey East Conference is reverting to a week-by-week schedule, so their opponent for this upcoming weekend will be announced at a later time. Whoever their opponent is, the Friars will look to push their unbeaten streak to five.
Hockey East Stays in Scheduling Limbo
Friars Remain Prepared for Eventual Season Opener
by Ryan Carius ’21
In September, the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) delayed the 2020-2021 NCAA men’s hockey season due to a nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases and the virus’s ongoing effects. Recently, the HCA stated that each of the 11 conferences would have the autonomy to decide when it would be safe for college hockey to commence. Friar fanatics should expect an intense season with challenging opponents; however, it seems that the HCA will inhibit out-of-conference competition. At this moment, the Hockey East Association has not yet announced an opening date, a regular season schedule, or a location and date for the Hockey East Tournament.
The Hockey East Association plans to ensure the safety, mental, and physical well-being of all student-athletes, coaching personnel, on-ice officials, and administrators. An important factor in the potential success of a Hockey East season during the pandemic is the proximity that the colleges and universities have to one another, as members of the league play most conference games in the northeast. The league proposed creating multiple balanced schedule models, a move that the Hockey East hopes will increase safety and flexibility during the uncertainty of the pandemic. They also must cooperate with the guidelines established by federal, state, and local authorities, which could prove to complicate transportation to and from games.
Steve Metcalf was appointed as the new commissioner of the Hockey East Association in February, shortly before the season was abruptly canceled due to COVID-19. The commissioner expressed his optimism in regards to the Hockey East’s return to play and highlighted the advantages of the northeast. Metcalf made the point that the league is “taking advantage of our geography and our current situation we are in in New England. COVID-related [we have it] a lot better than other situations,” given that New England has fewer cases than many other regions in the country. Although the schedule has been delayed and is yet to be released, the Hockey East has worked relentlessly to ensure that there will be a season. Metcalf understands the challenges of the Hockey East, saying that there is “a lot of work to be done— what the module looks like, what our return play protocols are like, how we are going to handle all that for sure—and that is work that is happening everyday.”
This season, the Friars are looking to redeem their previous season that was cut short and compete for their third Hockey East Championship. The Hockey East will be very competitive, as both Boston College and Boston University are stacked with talented prospects and great coaching. However, the Friars added multiple elite transfers and have three new draftees in the 2020 NHL draft.
These three recent draftees consist of Brett Berard ’24, Chase Yoder ’24, and future Friar Riley Duran. Each should bring a unique style of play to the ice. Berard and Yoder will look to make an immediate impact and will greatly help the Friars’ scoring attack this upcoming season. However, Friar fans will have to wait another season to watch Duran grace the ice, as he will spend this upcoming year with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.
This NCAA season will present all kinds of challenges for the Friars; however, the Hockey East is working diligently to create a safe environment for these student athletes. In no time at all, Friar hockey will be back.
Women’s Hockey Splits Weekend against UMaine
Team Needs to Boost Record before Hockey East Playoffs
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.
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.
Abstreiter ’21RS Earns Hockey East Honors
Goalie Sets Career-High in Saves
By Eileen Flynn ’20
Born and raised in Freising, Germany, Sandra Abstreiter ’21RS is starting to get comfortable in her new home between the pipes for the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team. As a redshirt sophomore, Abstreiter was recently recognized as the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career. You might be curious as to what it takes to reach this milestone, and in this case, it was not an easy feat. Abstreiter spent a weekend getting peppered in net against a top Hockey East team, the University of New Hampshire. She made a total of 64 saves and allowed just two goals during 120 minutes of play, helping her team sweep the series.
Abstreiter reflected on her accomplishment, “Obviously, it is a great honor to get this recognition and all the congratulations from friends.” She was quick to refocus on what is really important: the next game. “The more important part to me is to win games. I would say it is an indirect goal of mine to get selected for this because it means I was doing my best to help my team win which is always the main goal as a goalie.”
The two teams joined each other on the ice in Durham, NH on Friday, Jan. 17. PC was hungry to avenge the 2-6 loss UNH handed them earlier in the season in their first Hockey East match up.
Ciara Barone, ’22, tallied her second goal of the season for the Friars and netted the first goal of the night. Assists came from Annelise Rice ’21 and Kathleen McHugh ’20. UNH snuck in a goal just before the end of the first period, sending both teams into their locker rooms with one goal under their belt. A power play opportunity in the second period helped the Friars gain the momentum they were looking for all game. Lauren DeBlois ’23 hit line mate Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 in stride as she skated up the ice, finishing with a wrist shot that leapt up over the UNH’s goaltender. Hayley Lunny’s ’21 empty net goal sealed the victory for the Friars, as Abstrieter stood strong in the Friars’ defensive zone snd skated away with a career-high 32 saves.
“The whole team was very excited to show how much we have improved together and to show UNH what we are capable of doing. It was a great chance to get revenge for the last game but also to jump them in the Hockey East standings because they were one point ahead of us before the weekend.” With this win, PC moves up to fifth place in the Hockey East standings.
It is tough to face the same team back-to-back, especially after such a close game. The Lady Friars, however, were ready to prove their toughness and stepped back onto the ice on Jan. 18 with the same attitude as the day before.
The first period remained scoreless, despite the Wildcats’ two-minute power play advantage. Providence trailed in shots 14-7 but Abstreiter kept the score even. Hjalmarsson scored her 13th goal of the season in the second period which put the Friars ahead. The tying goal came in the first couple of minutes in the third period, after the Wildcats continued to outshoot Providence. Caroline Peterson ’22 decided this game was not going to end in a draw, and with just two minutes remaining she helped the puck find the back of the net with a redirection. Abstreiter stopped another 32 shots and improved her record to 5-4-0 after an outstanding weekend performance.
“I think our team keeps improving and keeps getting better every day and every game. It is always challenging to get back into it after break but I think we set ourselves accomplishable goals for every game.”
Abstreiter is excited about playoffs, but her only focus right now is the next team up on the schedule. “I think, as I said, we cannot take anyone for granted and if we keep playing our game and stick together we don’t have to be scared of anyone.”
Jack Dugan Sets High Goals for Season
Sophomore Wants to Bring National Title to PC
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
“I just want to be the best player in college hockey.” That’s the personal goal that Jack Dugan ’22 has this year as he takes the ice for the nationally ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team.
Dugan was most recently awarded the Hockey East Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 28 and was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October. Dugan has been one of the most electrifying players to watch in college hockey this year, and he currently leads the country in assists (13) and points (18).
The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick has caught the attention of hockey fans including ESPN broadcaster and SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross. Buccigross, who coined the term ‘Cawlidge Hawkey,’ religiously follows college hockey and broadcasts the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four every year for ESPN. Buccigross attended the game on Saturday night at Schneider Arena against Boston College and went onto Twitter after the game and tweeted this:
“I enjoy watching @GoldenKnights draft pick #12 Jack Dugan play hockey. He is hard nosed, confident, has a good release & works well with his linemates. He digs deep & works to make a play even when he’s tired. The PC Friars are very young, so they need his example and consistency.”
Dugan would finish the game with a goal and an assist, and has now recorded points in seven of the eight games this year. In all seven of those games he has recorded at least two points.
The sophomore forward is coming off a promising freshman season during which he skated in 41 of 42 games and was an active part of the Friars offense. He notched a team high 29 assists which led all NCAA freshmen during the 2018-2019 season.
Dugan was a key part of the Friars’ run to the Frozen Four last year. He put up five assists in the Hockey East quarterfinals against Boston College and had two assists throughout the NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated the top-seeded Minnesota State University in the opener of the tournament and rolled over 3-seed Cornell University to advance to their fifth ever Frozen Four.
The Friars unfortunately fell to Minnesota-Duluth, who would go on to win the National Championship. Going to the National Championship is one of the goals that Jack Dugan and this Friar team have their sights set on.
Dugan also alluded to a Hockey East championship, since the Friars did not make it past the Hockey East Quarterfinals last season after being bounced by Boston College on their home ice.
“We were close last year…obviously came up a little bit short.” Dugan added, “We played a really good team that ended up winning the whole thing. Our focus hasn’t changed. If anything it’s a little more focused on ‘alright we know can get there…now what are the little things we have to do to break through and actually win it.’”
It is still very early in the season but so far Head Coach Nate Leaman’s squad has amassed a 4-3-1 record, including a 2-2 mark in Hockey East play. The Friars opened up their season with a thrashing of Maine 7-0 and followed it up with a sweep of St. Lawrence and No. 9 Clarkson. It will take until December-January for the Friars to try and hit their stride. Under the tutelage of Leaman and with promising play from Dugan, the Friars can only get better from here and boast one of the best scoring offenses in the country.
Hockey Returns to the Rink
Friar’s Dominate Maine 7-0
By Scott Jarosz ’21
The Providence College Men’s Hockey Team is ready to jump back into action for the 2019-2020 season after enjoying much success in its previous campaign. The 2018-2019 season was certainly one to remember for the Friars, as they made a deep playoff run which ultimately came to an end at the Frozen Four in Buffalo, NY. PC’s impressive playoff run was cut short in the semifinals of the Frozen Four with a 4-1 loss to no. 1-ranked University of Minnesota-Duluth, who would go on to win the 2019 National Championship over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Although a loss in the Frozen Four was certainly not the way the team and its fans would have liked the season to end, it was certainly not a reflection of the success that PC enjoyed throughout the entirety of the season.
PC finished with a record of 24-12-6, which consisted of wins over multiple ranked teams including an upset postseason wins over no. 3-ranked Minnesota State University, Mankato and no. 10-ranked Cornell University. These underdog wins are certainly something that PC will look back on and use to build momentum heading into the new season.
The Friars graduated six seniors last season, but are returning a core group of talented leaders that the younger players can look up to for guidance.
Key returning players for this year’s team include newly announced captains Michael Callahan ’22 and Spenser Young ’20, both of whom made significant contributions to the team’s success last season and showed promising leadership abilities. The presence of these experienced returning players helped PC get voted third-place in the Hockey East preseason coaches poll behind only Boston College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
In addition to the core returning group that will look to guide this year’s team, PC also boasts an impressive freshman class of 11 players that look to fill the gaps left by the graduating class. Another addition to the team will look to fill the place of former goaltender Hayden Hawkey ’19.
Michael Lackey ’19 GS will take on the starting goalie position this season. Lackey played four years at Harvard University prior to joining the team at PC.
Lackey started six games his first year for the Crimson and earned accolades such as Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week. Lackey was unable to play his second season due to an injury but returned for his third season and made 10 total appearances.
During this third season, Lackey had multiple memorable performances including 41 saves against Quinnipiac University and recording his first career shutout against Saint Lawrence University.
In his fourth and final season at Harvard University, Lackey stepped into the starting goaltender role and did not disappoint. In the 26 games that he started in net for the Crimson, he boasted a .918 save percentage, was recognized as the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week for the week of Jan. 14, and was a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award, which recognizes the best American-born Division I College Hockey Player in New England. Lackey also participated in the Buffalo Sabres Development Camp before making the move to PC. With a core group of returning players, a strong incoming class, and Lackey taking over as the starting goaltender for PC, the team took the ice on Oct. 5 for its opening game against the University of Maine with high expectations.
PC, sporting new gray uniforms, kicked off the 2019-2020 campaign and did not waste any time against the visiting Black Bears of the University of Maine.
After two early penalties against UM, PC had a five on three opportunity early on and took full advantage of it.
Just 2:23 into the opening period, Vimal Sukumaran ’20 notched the 25th goal of his college career as he knocked a rebounded puck into the back of the net to give PC the 1-0 lead.
PC did not slow down from this point, as just a few minutes later, Jack Dugan ’22 ripped a shot past UM’s goaltender on a swift assist from Greg Printz ’21 to double the lead to 2-0. Printz continued the scoring for PC into the second period as he tapped home an assist from Parker Ford ’23 and Dugan to make it 3-0. Tyce Thompson ’22 also got on the score sheet in the second period with a hard shot that slipped by UM’s goaltender. Printz would go on to score an additional three goals for PC in the third period for a total of four goals in the game, and the Friars would go on to win by a score of 7-0.
PC’s triumph over of a reputable University of Maine team provides a good indication of the level of talent that this year’s team possesses in all facets, and there is good reason to believe that PC will look to bring the positive takeaways from this game to its next contest against the College of the Holy Cross on Friday, October 11 and throughout the season.
Women’s Hockey Falls to Northeastern
Matt Kelly’s First Season as Head Coach Ends in Semifinals
By Sam Scanlon ’19
As the final buzzer sounded and the Northeastern University Huskies flooded the ice in celebration, the Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team’s incredibly successful season came to a disheartening end in the Women’s Hockey East Semifinals.
The #3 Huskies defeated the Friars by a score of 3-2 and eventually went on to take the Hockey East Championship. This was the first time since 2013 that Providence College was represented in the Women’s Hockey East Championship weekend.
A brand new coaching staff this season led the squad to a 24-11-2 record, an incredible feat given that the program has not had a 20-win season since 2010-2011. Unfortunately, the Friars fell just short of reaching the NCAA Tournament and their historic run came to an end.
This season was pivotal for the future success of the program. Under new leadership the bar has been set higher than ever for this talented group. Christina Putigna ’19 is certainly leaving her mark on Friartown as she became the 27th player in program history to eclipse the 100-point milestone in her career as of Feb. 8. The senior was a critical player this season as she registered a career high of 30 points on 15 goals and 15 assists.
Although this season was the program’s best in over a decade, the future is incredibly bright for this young group. Star forward Maureen Murphy ’21 has two more seasons to skate for the Friars at her already incredible rate. The Buffalo, New York native, who was invited to the U.S. Women’s National Team Winter Camp earlier this season, led the Friars in both goals (22) and points (43). She was named to the Hockey East All-Star Second Team.
Other accolades for this group included another young-gun, Sara Hjalmarsson ’22, who was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. The freshman from Sweden tallied 11 goals and 12 assists this season.
Goaltender Maddie Myers ’19 and defenseman Avery Fransoo ’20 also had fantastic seasons, good enough to earn Hockey East All-Star Honorable Mentions. Myers finished the season with a 1.72 Goals Against Average and a .929 Save Percentage. Fransoo tallied her career high in points with 18, while also being one of the Friars’ best defensemen as she recorded an impressive +10 on the season.
Although the hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament fell just short, there were many highlights for this squad over the season. The Friars recorded wins over the #3 Northeastern Huskies, #5 Boston College Eagles, and #8 Boston University Terriers, proving that their program has become a top team in the country. A 24-win season has not been accomplished since 2002, so this season will be marked as a historic one even though no championships were won.
This year proved to be a massive turning point and stepping stone for the Friars who are loaded with young talent and a bright future. Matt Kelly and his coaching staff have now laid the groundwork and set the bar high for Friars women’s hockey going forward, so it will be no surprise if a Hockey East Championship is captured soon.