Women’s Hockey Heads to Semifinals

by The Cowl Editor on March 7, 2019

Friar Sports

Friars Advance Beyond the Quarterfinals for the First Time Since 2013

By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

providence college women's ice hockey hockey east tournament
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Last weekend, the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team hosted the Merrimack College Warriors in a best two-out-of-three games series at Schneider Arena for the Women’s Hockey East Quarterfinals. On Friday, March 1 the Friars skated to a 2-0 win against the Warriors.

The team found the back of the net late into the game with Meaghan Rickard ’20 notching the first goal of the series almost halfway through the third period. Rickard was able to easily put the puck in the net after passes from Chloe Gonsalves ’21 and Maureen Murphy ’21.

“Meg has been very effective this year due to her skating ability and puck movement,” said Head Coach Matt Kelly on Rickard’s game-winner. “She’s been a player that we’ve been able to use in all situations. She also has the ability to play with many different players which was a huge asset early in the year.”

Following Rickard’s goal, Christina Putigna ’19 buried an unassisted empty-netter goal to close out the game and give the Friars the series lead. Goalie Maddie Myers ’19 grabbed her sixth shutout of the season after making 17 saves. Their first win in the series improved the Friars’ overall season record at the time to 23-10-2, which is their most wins since the 2002-2003 season.

The following day, the Friars were able to sweep the series with a 2-1 win. Neve Van Pelt ’20 put the Friars on the scoreboard first after snagging a rebound off of Emily Landry’s ’19 shot in the final five minutes of the first period. Midway through a physical second period, Murphy tapped in a pass from Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 for a power play goal to give the Friars a 2-0 lead. It was Murphy’s 22nd goal of the season.

Reducing the Warriors to just three shots on the net the entire third period, Myers was unable to control the puck during a scrum in front of the net and Merrimack was able to grab their only goal of the series in the final 30 seconds of play.

Despite letting up a goal in the last few seconds of the game, Myers was just named Women’s Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week due to her 40 saves over the course of the two games. Myers is also the only active goaltender with more than one perfect sheet in the Women’s Hockey East Association (WHEA)Tournament. Along with Myers, Murphy also gained Hockey East recognition as a Top Performer due to her recorded goal and assist.

With their sweep against Merrimack, for the first time since 2013, the Friars will be advancing to the Hockey East Championship weekend.

PC will face-off against #1 Northeastern University in the Semifinal round this Saturday at Schneider. Northeastern will be looking to go back to the championship game for their third time. As mentioned, this will be PC’s first time making it to the semifinals since 2013 and while they won the tournament’s first three titles in WHEA history, they have not made it to the championship round since 2005.

Northeastern University, who finished their season 25-5-5, have defeated the Friars two out of the three times they met this season. Going into the tournament, PC will need to keep up their solid defensive play from the quarterfinals series and find the net quickly and often. The game against the Huskies will truly be a battle of the goalies as both Myers and Northeastern’s Aerin Frankel are top two goalies in terms of winning percentages (Frankel’s is .820 percent and Myers’s is .706 percent).

Maureen Murphy will also be looked upon to get the Friars into the championship game as she not only leads the Friars in goal-scoring, but is also third in Hockey East with 22 goals overall. She edges out Northeastern’s top-scorer by two goals. However, Northeastern is the leading scoring offensive team in Hockey East (PC is fourth) and PC is the leading defensive scoring team (Northeastern is third).

If the Friars are able to skate to a win against the Huskies, they will be set to play in the championship game Sunday, March 10 against the winner of the Boston College vs. Boston University game at Schneider Arena.

Women’s Hockey Playoff Bound

by The Cowl Editor on February 28, 2019

Friar Sports

Ice Hockey Set to Face Merrimack in Quarterfinals

By Eileen Flynn ’20

Sports Staff

providence college women's hockey hockey east playoffs women's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team wrapped up their regular season on Feb. 23 when they defeated the #8 Boston University Terriers on the road. The team finished with an impressive 22-10-2 overall record and as the no. 4 seed in the Hockey East. The team’s win against Boston University puts them in the perfect position heading into the Hockey East Tournament in March.

Christina Putigna ’19, one of the captains of the Friars, led the team to a 2-1 victory despite first trailing 1-0. Putigna sniped the top corner on BU’s goaltender during a power play at the beginning of the second period to change the momentum of the game. Putigna was on the ice for the second goal as well. She passed it off to Meaghan Rickard ’20, who left it for Whitney Dove ’20 to finish the job. Putigna has been a key player for the Friars this year and will definitely play an important role in the upcoming tournament.

When asked about her last regular season run as a Lady Friar, Putigna said, “This has been, and still is something so special to me because this group has accomplished so many great things, considering the coaching change that happened this summer.” Matt Kelly spent his first season with the Friars this year as head coach. As a former head scout for the USA Hockey and Women’s National Team, as well as an assistant coach to the women’s ice hockey team at Clarkson University, Kelly was a perfect fit for the job.

Although it was hard for Putigna to pick her favorite game this year, the victory that she and her team had over Northeastern two weeks ago stuck out in her mind. “Our team brought so much energy, we played with a lot of heart, and it felt like everyone was at the top of their game. There was a lot of good bench and locker room encouragement and support even when we were trailing.” The game went back and forth for the first two periods, forcing both teams to battle for control. Since Providence fell to Northeastern the day before, the team came with renewed energy, wanting to split the weekend with the Huskies. Putigna helped advance the score for the Friars and ultimately clinch the win, 5-2.

Looking forward, the Friars have a tough week of practice before they begin their run in the Hockey East tournament. The team has faced the ladies on the Merrimack College team three times so far this season with a record of 2-0-1. The latest puck-drop against the Warriors took place on Feb. 1 at Merrimack. The Friars took an early and quick 2-0 lead, but could not hold on to it for the rest of the game. Merrimack came back and tied Providence, causing the teams to advance to overtime.

Although both teams had a power play opportunity, the score remained the same at the sound of the final buzzer. Putigna is excited about facing the team again next week. “Merrimack is a great opponent for us to face.” When asked what her team learned from playing Merrimack in the regular season, she responded, “I think previous success stemmed from our defensive play. When our team is playing really great defense, we have a lot of confidence in the corners of our defensive zone and along the walls in the offensive zone and are able to sustain pressure.”

Putigna and the rest of the senior class are looking forward to leading their team to victory one last time. “The older group brings and sets the tone for the game. When the tone is set, it is a lot easier for the team as a whole to buy in.” Putigna and the Friars have already had a successful season, having reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

However, the team is not done and is expected to face Merrimack head-on. Putigna is playing her last games in a Friars jersey with her teammates and now friends that she has made along the way, and she is ready to make her team proud one last time.

Who Will Win the Men’s Hockey East Tournament

by The Cowl Editor on February 28, 2019


Providence College

By Scott Jarosz ’21

Sports Staff

As the regular season comes to a close, the race for the top spot in Hockey East is beginning to heat up. As it currently stands, University of Massachusetts-Amherst leads the league with a conference record of 16-5, followed by Providence College with a record of 13-7-2 in conference play. Following those two are University Massachusetts-Lowell and Northeastern University who are tied for third, only one point behind the Friars.

While the Minutemen lead both UMass-Lowell and Northeastern by five points and PC by four points, they are far from being locked in to win the 2019 Hockey East title. In order to win Hockey East, a team must be in one of the top eight spots in the standings, then win three consecutive games in the Hockey East tournament.

With the Hockey East being one of the most competitive leagues in the nation, it is no simple feat for even the best team to complete a clean sweep in the tournament. Despite currently being in second place, Providence College hockey will come out on top of the tournament as the 2019 Hockey East champions.

PC has been a consistently dominant presence in Hockey East throughout the 2018-2019 campaign. Currently ranked  #8 in the United States College Hockey Online.com polls, the Friars have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with.

The team has been consistent overall, currently posting a record of 19-9-5 and 13-7-2 in Hockey East play. The Friars have also been able to get the job done at home, posting a record of 7-3-3 at Schneider Arena this season. Also, the team boasts a number of wins over highly-ranked opponents. Some of the Friars’ impressive victories include a win over #16 Miami (OH), back-to-back wins over #8 Northeastern, back-to-back wins over #10/11 UMass-Lowell, and most recently, a thrilling 3-2 victory over #2 UMass-Amherst on home ice. PC is currently on a three-game winning streak, which it is certainly capable of extending through the remainder of the regular season and into the Hockey East tournament.

Hayden Hawkey ’19 has been an outstanding presence in net for PC and just recently became the all-time wins leader at PC with 65. His consistency, along with the return of forward Vimal Sukumaran ’20 to the lineup, and widely distributed goal-scoring throughout the season make PC a team that nobody in the Hockey East will want to play come tournament time. For these reasons, PC will be the team that claims the title of 2019 Hockey East champion.

Who Will Win the Men’s Hockey East Tournament

by The Cowl Editor on February 28, 2019



By Meaghan Cahill

Sports Co-Editor

The 2019 Hockey East tournament is right around the corner with the men’s teams’ seasons coming to a close. And this year, in what can be considered a Cinderella season no matter the outcome, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is my pick to win it all in the Hockey East tournament.

In their first winning season since 2007, UMass-Amherst shocked the nation back in December when, for the first time in their hockey program’s history, they were ranked the #1 team in the nation. Currently second in the nation, UMass-Amherst sits comfortably at the top of Hockey East rankings with their 16-5-0 record.

The team, which consists of mostly freshmen and sophomore players, has solid defensive play that is the contributing factor to the overall team success.

“You have to limit time and space especially in the defensive end,” said sophomore defenseman and alternate captain Mario Ferraro. “Defense always leads to good offense.”

UMass-Amherst has a strong offense, which is another factor that will contribute to them winning Hockey East.

In Hockey East’s overall point-scoring rankings, UMass-Amherst players take the top five spots. Jacob Pritchard, Cale Makar, Mitchell Chaffee, John Leonard, and Mitchell Fossier all average more than one point per game. On top of that, Chaffee is also tied for second place for goals scored with 15 goals this season, three less than the leading 18 goals. Pritchard is currently tied at fifth with 14 goals while Leonard is tied for eighth with 13. Sophomore defenseman Cale Makar is the top scoring defenseman in all of Hockey East as well.

Going 2-1 against PC, who holds the number two seed in Hockey East (eighth nationally), UMass-Amherst has had some pretty big wins and upsets this season that bolster their chances of dominating playoffs. They went 2-1 against #9 Northeastern University. They also split a series against Quinnipiac University, who holds the #5 spot on the national level.

Winning six of their last 10 games, the team is one win away from clinching first place for the Hockey East regular season standings, a feat that captain Niko Hildenbrand said would “mean the world” to the team.

If the Hockey East playoffs were to start today, UMass-Amherst, with the no. 1 seed, would face off against the no. 8 seed University of New Hampshire, which is a team that they have swept this season, beating them 5-1 and 4-2.

With their solid defense, league-leading offense, and the fact that the team is having one of the best seasons in the program’s history, I predict that UMass-Amherst will win the Hockey East tournament.

Undefeated Start For Women’s Ice Hockey

by The Cowl Editor on October 18, 2018

Friar Sports

Team Looks to Carry Success into the Rest of the Season

By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

Hockey season has arrived in Friartown and the Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team is taking the right steps towards a successful season. They started off their season undefeated  in their first three games and have provided a glimpse as to just how victorious their upcoming season can be.

Under the supervision of new Head Coach and former USA Hockey head scout, Matt Kelly, the team has been given a new perspective on the game and thus far it has made all the difference.

“Being at that level [Kelly] was given a different perspective…because he was looking at players and what they have and what they might be willing to offer…I think that his coaching ability will really show because he has been able to take that ability and apply it to the game and show how they can work that ability to the best [that they can],” commented assistant captain, Avery Fransoo ’20, on coach Kelly.

Along with a brand new coaching staff, the team welcomed three new freshmen: Ciara Barone ’22, Sara Hjalmarsson ’22, and Caroline Peterson ’22. Fransoo commented that the freshmen are a great addition to the team as they have proven their preparation for games. She added that the freshmen will be a “huge part in creating a winning environment for our team.”

The freshmen have certainly proven themselves as key players, as it was Hjalmarsson who stepped up to capture her first college career hat trick against College of the Holy Cross. Hjalmarsson helped lead the Friars to a 5-0 win. In just three games, Hjalmarsson has tallied an impressive five points overall with four goals and an assist.

providence college women's ice hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

“[Sara’s] really good. She’s got lots of speed and great hands,” Fransoo said of her new teammate. “And a wicked hard shot,” she adds. Her comment, of course, refers to the bullet Hjalmarsson sent sailing from just inside the blue line and right over Holy Cross goalie’s shoulder that would give Hjalmarsson not only her first Power Play goal, but also the team’s.

A native of Bankeryd, Sweden, Hjalmarsson’s first games as a Friar have earned her the name of Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week.

Barone is also making a statement on the ice. In her first game as a Friar, Barone had an impressive two-point game, notching both her first career assist and goal.

However, it is not just the freshmen that are standing out early in the season. Goaltender Maddie Myers ’19 has made her mark in the net, starting all five games this season. She has let in four goals so far, all against Bemidji State University.

“She’s been great back in net,” Fransoo stated. “Maddie has been a rock. I think all of the goalies continuously push each other to fight for that [starting] spot.” Myers is joined by two other goalies, Clare Minnerath ’20 and Sandra Abstreiter ’21.

Of course, it helps that Myers has a “solid D-group” and “strong forward group” aiding her both defensively and offensively.

Team veterans Kate Friesen ’19 and Maureen Murphy ’21 are two players who stand out among the forwards and defense. Friesen, who is the team captain, is coming off a season where she finished second best on the team in terms of +/- ratings (18+). A Hockey East All-Star Honorable Mention, Friesen has played in every game this season as well.

The same goes for Murphy. Beginning her second season with the Friars just after coming back from the 2018 U.S. Women’s National Team Evaluation camp, Murphy already has three goals and three assists.

With a makeup of 12 forwards and seven defensemen, the 19-player roster is really working on earning everything they get this season.

“Our perspective is going into each game thinking that you have to earn it. That is one of our major points that we’re following—earning each game and each shift,” Fransoo explains. “Determination, hard work, and everything you’ve prepared for in that moment: that will be the difference in not only our upcoming games but the games the rest of this season and going into playoffs.”

providence college women's ice hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Aside from the “earning it” mentality that the team is focusing on this year, Fransoo nods to the team’s strengths, which she believes will set them up to go deep into the playoffs.

“I think our team has a lot of speed and I think that’s one of our attributes that really set the team apart. I think when we really use it we really dominate teams,” Fransoo acknowledged.

However, Fransoo points out that with their greatest strength comes a weakness that she admits needs to be worked on as a whole team: passing. With the overall high-intensity speed of the game, the team needs to focus on working on “keeping up” their passing with that speed.

“We have been preparing and working hard to get…wins,” says Fransoo on the team. “We have a lot of drive this year.”

The Lady Friars  will  look to continue their winning-streak this upcoming weekend at Pennsylvania State University in a two game series on Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20.

New Season Begins for Men’s Hockey

by The Cowl Editor on October 18, 2018

Friar Sports

Friars Reload After Early End to Season

By Sam Scanlon ’19

Sports Staff

October is finally here, and with that, another season has commenced for Friars hockey. Led by captains Kasper Björkqvist ’20, Jacob Bryson ’20, and alternate captain Vinny Desharnais ’19, the Friars are hoping for yet another successful season culminating with their sixth straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Only the Friars and the Denver Pioneers have appeared in the previous five NCAA tournaments.

providence college men's ice hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Friars have added a load of offensive weaponry in three talented freshmen forwards. 2018 first round Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, Jay O’Brien ’22, will slide into the first line center role. O’Brien posted 80 points (43 goals, 37 assists) in just 30 games in the 2017-2018 season with Thayer Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts. A quick skater with great playmaking ability, O’Brien will be heavily relied on to provide an offensive spark.

Another skilled freshman addition for the Friars is Rochester, New York product Jack Dugan ’22. Last season, Dugan skated with the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League and finished third in the league by scoring 66 points in 54 games. Dugan, a 6’2” 194 lb. power forward, has an excellent shot and the ability to make defenders miss. He will be crucial on the Power Play for the Friars by generating scoring chances.

Tyce Thompson ’22, another forward with a heavy shot, is looking to have a role on the blueline during the Power Play. Arizona Coyotes 2018 fifth round draft pick, Michael Callahan ’22, is an addition to the Friars sound defensive unit in front of goaltender Hayden Hawkey ’19. Along with Desharnais, Callahan provides a lot of size and he will be a solid shut-down defenseman who is not afraid to get into the dirty areas.

The Friars’ junior class, along with captains Bryson and Björkqvist, has a plethora of skill as well. Josh Wilkins ’20 has recorded 62 points through his first two seasons at the College. Wilkins, Björkqvist, and Brandon Duhaime ’20 are all goal-scoring threats, and with the addition of the skilled freshman class, the Friars are going to be able to deposit a substantial amount of goals this season.

Although offense was the story of the offseason, the Friars’ defense has proven to be critical thus far. After the Friars opened up the season with a 3-1 win over American International College (AIC), they traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania to participate in the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament.

Game 1 was against the University of Miami Ohio Red Hawks. This marked the 7th straight season in which these two teams faced off. Hawkey stopped all 22 shots he faced, as the Friars defense shut out the Red Hawks. Further, the Friars killed off seven penalties in this game. The penalty killing unit has been crucial for the Friars’ success.

Defenseman Spenser Young ’20 lead the charge with two goals in the 4-0 victory, along with a handful of blocked shots. Greg Printz ’21 also picked up his second tally of the year and Vimal Sukumaran ’20 redirected a Desharnais shot from the point. With that overwhelming win, the Friars were slated to face the No. 2 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the tournament championship, a long-awaited rematch from the 2017 NCAA tournament that ended the Friars’ National Championship run.

However, Notre  Dame  took home the trophy as they defeated the Friars 3-0. Penalties riddled PC again in this tilt, as six Friars made a trip to the penalty box. All three penalties were killed off in the first period, but the Irish converted once in the second and again in the third to put the game out of reach.

Hockey East action will start this Friday at Schneider Arena against the University of Connecticut Huskies. As the Friars compete in one of the most dominant conferences in college hockey, their strong freshman class, as well as the solid returning core, is imperative for success. They will face two powerhouses in Boston College and Boston University three times each this season, giving the Friars a problematic schedule from the start. However, Head Coach Nate Leaman and the Friars have their eyes set on their 6th straight NCAA appearance and a trip to Buffalo, New York for the 2019 Frozen Four.

Garden Bound!

by The Cowl Editor on March 15, 2018

Friar Sports

PC Beats UMaine and Rolls into the Semis

by Jeremy Perrigo ’18

Sports Staff

providence college men's ice hockey vs umaine mens ice hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The first two rounds of the Hockey East Tournament have come and gone in exciting fashion. Four teams remain heading into the final weekend of the competition at TD Garden on March 16 and 17.

Despite the fact that 12 of the first 15 games of the tournament were decided by only one goal, with six of those 12 games ending in overtime, there were relatively few upsets.

The only team to take down a higher seed was Merrimack College. The tenth seeded Warriors defeated the seventh place University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks in two overtime decisions, 2-1 in game one and 3-2 in game two.

The eighth seeded UMass Minutemen took on ninth seed University of Vermont in the only series of the first round that needed a third game to decide the victor. UMass decisively won the final matchup by a score of 5-1, moving on to face Northeastern University in the quarterfinals.

There was no lack of excitement in week two, as the top five teams jumped into action. First seed Boston College narrowly defeated Merrimack in two games, the first by a score of 1-0 and the second in overtime by a final score of 4-3.

Northeastern made quick work of UMass, winning both games by scores of 3-2 and 7-2. Senior forwards Dylan Sikura and Nolan Stevens combined for six of the Huskies’ 10 goals over the two games.

Providence played a tightly-contested series against the University of Maine Black Bears. Despite finding themselves down twice in game one, goals from Erik Foley ’19, Bailey Conger ’21, Scott Conway ’19, and Josh Wilkins ’20 propelled the Friars to victory. Wilkins scored with 3:10 left in the third period to give Providence their first lead of the night, one that would hold until the final buzzer. On night two, the Friars got up early with goals from Conway, Brandon Duhaime ’20, and Wilkins in the first period. The team never looked back, despite a two-goal push from the Black Bears, winning the game by a score of 3-2.

Fourth place Boston University faced off against Fifth seed University of Connecticut in a series that saw the Terriers squeeze out a 5-4 victory in overtime in game one, before winning game two in regulation by a score of 2-1.

Only the top four seeds remain heading into the final weekend of action, with BC taking on BU at 5 p.m. and Northeastern facing off against PC at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 16. The winners of each game will play in the championship game on Saturday, March 17 at 7 p.m.

Both of these matchups are expected to be closely-contested competitions, meaing fans will likely leave the TD Garden Friday night feeling they got their money’s worth. Boston College and Boston University have faced each other twice this season in back-to-back games on Dec. 1 and 2. BU took game one by a score of 7-4 while BC bounced back the night two to win 4-1. Keep an eye out for BU forward Brady Tkachuk (younger brother of current NHL player Matthew Tkachuk and son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk) who has a goal and assist in the tournament.

Northeastern and PC also played back-to-back on Jan. 26 and 27. Game one ended in a 4-4 tie after an overtime session, while the Friars took game two, also in overtime, by a score of 2-1.

Northeastern forward Adam Gaudette led all of Division 1 with 59 points in 36 games for the Huskies this season, and has a goal and two assists in the tournament thus far. Look for him and teammate Sikura, who is two places behind Gaudette in points with 52, to be key contributors if their team has success in this game.

Regardless of which teams move on, due to the high level of competition between all of the four remaining schools, the championship game will not disappoint. There is particular interest if BU and Northeastern advance, as that would create a rematch from the Beanpot final, which Northeastern won by a score of 5-2. Look at this as the potential for the Terriers to exact revenge on their inter-city foe.

PCI: Providence College will Win the Hockey East Tourney

by The Cowl Editor on March 1, 2018

Friar Sports

PC Geared for Another Deep Run

by Sam Scanlon ’19

Sports Staff

Erik Foley celebrate with teammates in front of the bench.
Erik Foley ’19 celebrates with teammates. Photo Courtesy of PC athletics

It’s tourney time! The Hockey East is one of the most exciting and competitive conferences in the NCAA and is home to names like Adam Gaudette of Northeastern, 2018 Olympian Jordan Greenway  of Boston University and, of course Providence College’s very own Erik Foley ’19. This year’s Hockey East Tournament is shaping up to be a good one.

Boston College, the 2017-2018 Hockey East regular season champion, has been playing extremely well against conference opponents, as they have won their last five Hockey East matchups. The No. 2 seed the Northeastern Huskies, fresh off of their first Beanpot Tournament Championship in 30 years, are finding a way to win games, which is vital in this tournament. However, the No. 3 seed Providence College Friars have an excellent chance to win the Hockey East Tournament, and they are my pick to go all the way.

Led by Foley and captain Brian Pinho ’18, the Friars are unstoppable on offense. Despite suffering an uncharacteristic 1-0 loss last weekend to UMass Amherst, expect the high powered Friars offense to find the back of the net plenty of times throughout the tournament. Kasper Björkqvist ’20 and Josh Wilkins ’20 have more than contributed to the Friars’ offensive onslaught this season, posting 13 goals each. Jacob Bryson ’20 has complimented the top goal scorers all year long, especially on the power play, and has notched 20 assists. With the top lines scoring goals, the Friars’ offensive is difficult to stop, making them an early favorite to take down some of the dilapidated defenses across the league.

Defensively, the Friars have a young core, with two freshmen and two sophomores carrying the bulk of the weight, along with a junior and senior. However, Ben Mirageas ’21 has found his place in the Friars lineup. The smooth skating, sizable D-man has held his ground and helped the Friars defense keep pucks out of their net and limit opponents’ scoring opportunities.

A significant reason why the Friars are able to limit shots on net from opponents is Vincent Desharnais ’19. The 6’6” 224 lbs. defenseman is virtually impossible to get around and has been able to shut down opponent’s top scorers with ease. Defense wins championships, and with Bryson, Desharnais, and Mirageas on the blue line for the Friars, a Hockey East Tournament Championship is surely within reach.

However, the backbone of every good team lies in its goaltender. Hayden Hawkey ’19 has carried the Friars so far this year, and a tough goalie is imperative for making a deep playoff run. Hawkey, who posted four shut outs this year, is 2nd in goaltending in the Hockey East, so he has proven to be one of the league’s best coming into the tournament.

Offensive firepower, a shutdown defense, and a top goalie are keys for the Friars to take home the Hockey East Tournament trophy. Their run starts March 9 at Schneider Arena.