Hockey East Stays in Scheduling Limbo

by The Cowl Editor on November 12, 2020

Friar Sports

Friars Remain Prepared for Eventual Season Opener

by Ryan Carius ’21

Sports Staff

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 above map depicts the close proximity of 11 of the Hockey East teams. The only location not shown is the University of Maine, which is located in the far north.

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.

Brett Berard ’24 will look to make an immediate impact in his first season with the Friars.

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 Club Hockey on the Right Track

by The Cowl Editor on February 6, 2020

Friar Sports

Newly Founded Team Boasts Bright Future

by Eileen Flynn ’20

Sports Staff

Playing sports is sometimes taken for granted when growing up. We may resent the early morning hockey game, or the two-hour drive to an away basketball game. Yet, of course, it was always worth it in the end, even if the results of the game were not the best. Indeed, the actual game was only half of it: the memories, friendships, and lessons learned while playing lasted far beyond the final whistle.

For many, college marks the end of competitive sports. Flashback to the fall of 2016, however, there were about eight underclassmen at Providence College who were not ready to hang up their skates just yet. Instead, they recognized an opportunity to start the Providence College Women’s Club Ice Hockey Team. Jasmine Gaudreau ’20 and now graduated Avalon O’Shaughnessy ’19, along with fellow classmates, started doing research and setting up meetings with associate director of club sports, Chris Schmidtt.  

The college offers over 20 club sports to their student body, ranging from competitive teams like basketball and lacrosse to open roster teams like figure skating and scuba diving. Schmidtt is always open to new additions; however, he makes it clear that the students are in charge of running each club. Since there has been a successful men’s club ice hockey team at PC for many years, Gaudreau and O’Shaughnessy were determined to reach their goal of having a women’s club ice hockey team added to the list.

“I knew that if a club team did get started, it would attract incoming or prospective freshmen. Similar to the women now on the team, they would also feel like they belong in a new environment. PC had the resources to have a women’s club ice hockey, the program just needed someone to start it,” said Gaudreau. Luckily, she was ready to be that person.

Club hockey poses for team photo
Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Gaudreau ’20

The process is not meant to be easy; an important aspect Schmidtt looks for when approving a team is the level of commitment shown by the players. For three years, around 15 girls would wake up to their 6 a.m. alarm clocks, pick up their bag in the basement of their dorm, and travel across the snowy campus to Schnieder Arena for their 7 a.m. practice.

For two years there was not a coach budgeted for the group, but that did not stop them coming together and practicing. Taking attendance each morning, Schmidtt was impressed that after three years of an unofficial team, there were upwards of 20 girls still showing up in hopes to someday be a legitimate team.

Fast forward to fall 2020, Gaudreau’s senior year, PC held their first women’s club hockey tryouts. More than 25 girls in all different class years arrived with excitement, realizing they did not have to say goodbye to the sport they love just yet. The girls are coached by Frank Caparco and Tony DiLorenzo, two local retired high-school coaches looking to continue their career with the sport.

This past season, the Friars played Big East rivals like Boston University, University of New Hampshire, Boston College, and Northeastern University. This past weekend, the girls traveled to face the no. 1 ranked University of Vermont on Super Bowl Sunday nonetheless. Although testing the Catamount’s goalie early and often, UVM scored the first goal and held on to the momentum.  With two freshman goalies to play, the Friars were able to play both, giving them the experience they need for the upcoming years.

Perhaps the most promising part of this season is the amount of underclassmen on the team, with nine freshmen and eight sophomores. With two games left, the record for the team’s first year stands at 6-8. Learning from the five seniors, the underclassmen do not take this opportunity for granted. Thanks to Gaudreau and the other seniors, there will be a women’s club hockey team for years to come.

Men’s Hockey Cruises Over Break

by Meaghan P Cahill on January 16, 2020

Friar Sports

By Eileen Flynn ’20

Sports Staff

While most of us spent Christmas break catching up on sleep and spending time with family and friends, the Providence College Men’s Hockey Team had quite a busy month. The Friars participated in two different tournaments, the 2019 Catamount Cup and the 2020 Fortress Invitational. 

Just a few days after Christmas, the Friars laced up against the Lakers from Lake Superior State University to kick off the Catamount Cup. Ranked at No. 13/15, PC set the tone for the game from the start, outshooting the Lakers 9-7 in the first 20 minutes. Co-captain Spenser Young ’20 tallied his first goal of the season, finishing a pass from Jamie Engelbert ’23. The majority of the second period was spent in the Friar’s offensive zone, testing Lake Superior State’s defense. The score remained 1-0 at the end of the second despite both Jack Dugan’s ’22 and Patrick Moynihan’s ’23 prime opportunities. The Lakers were able to capitalize on their power play at 6:25 in the third period, keeping both teams on the ice a little bit longer for overtime. Greg Printz ’21 ended the game with a rebound goal, finalizing the first win of the break for the Friars as well as Coach Leaman’s 186th team win as head coach.

Jack Dugan friars hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Friars brought a similar energy to their next matchup. In their second game of the tournament against Union College, Tyce Thompson ’22 scored the first goal for PC. On a power play in the first period, Thompson netted his NCAA-leading 14th goal of the season. PC more than doubled the amount of Union’s shots on net, but could only put one goal in before the end of the first period. The Friars let Union finish a rebound with 5:11 left in regulation, ending the game in a tie.

The Friars were off to their next tournament, the Fortress Invitational, a week later, this time just a little bit further away. PC played Army West Point in Las Vegas, NV at the T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 3. The bigger the venue, the better the Friars played, securing the 3-1 win. Dugan found the back of the net first, quick to follow was Luke Johnson ’23 and Matt Koopman ’22. The Friars remain unbeaten now in their past four games, scoring first in every match-up.

Young discussed the team’s positive experience in Las Vegas, saying, “It’s cool to do trips like these. It gives the team a regional type feel and allows us to play against competitive teams.” The Fortress Invitational hosted 4 out of the top 20 teams. “Since we have such a young team, it is good to get an idea of how we need to prepare for the future.”

Team photo fortress invitational
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The Friars advanced to the championship game against Cornell University after their win against Army West Point. In yet another intense game, PC came out strong, scoring the first goal about 6:35 into the first period. Thompson scored, bringing his impressive goal count to 15. The game went back and forth, until the third period ended in a stalemate. Although the teams played more hockey in overtime, the game was eventually resolved in a shootout. Michael Lackey ’20GS protected the Friars’ net while Dugan scored the winning goal, a fitting performance from the Vegas Golden Knights draft pick.

“We knew Cornell and Army were both skilled but hard working gritty teams so it took a complete team effort to come out of the tournament with the trophy,” Young reflects on the team’s win over break. “We stuck to our game plan and our best players stepped up and scored some big goals.”

Although the Friars had a busy month, their winning momentum has already helped them beat the American International College Yellow Jackets on Jan. 9, as well as fellow Hockey East opponent the University of Connecticut on Jan. 11. Young is looking forward to the rest of the season, especially the upcoming games against the University of New Hampshire from his home state. With more Hockey East teams to face, the competition does not get easier. However, the Friars are in a good position to take on the second half of their season as they continue to move up in the NCAA rankings all while looking to build upon their seven-game win-streak.

Jack Dugan Sets High Goals for Season

by The Cowl Editor on November 7, 2019

Friar Sports

Sophomore Wants to Bring National Title to PC

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's hockey Jack Dugan
Brianna Colletti ’21/The Cowl

“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.

Jack Dugan providence college men's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

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.

Friars Get Nominated for Multiple Awards

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019

Friar Sports

Hockey Players Amongst Nominees for the Walter Brown and Hobey Baker Awards

By Sam Scanlon ’19

Sports Staff

The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey program has had some extremely talented players in its ranks. At this point, it is no surprise that four different Friars have been nominated for some of college hockey’s most prestigious awards.

Jacob Bryson ’20, Scott Conway ’19, and Josh Wilkins ’20 have been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, which is awarded to the best player in Division I hockey. Wilkins and Hayden Hawkey ’19 have been named semifinalists for the Walter Brown Award. This award celebrates the best American-born college hockey player who plays in New England.

jacob bryson providence college men's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Bryson is an obvious nomination for the Hobey Baker Award thus far. As a sophomore, he was given All-American honors, and has now developed into one of the top players in the country. The Buffalo Sabres’ prospect hails from London, Ontario and ranks sixth on the team in points with 20 (4 goals, 16 assists). Bryson’s speed and skill are just one part of his game, as the defenseman boasts a +15 +/- rating, meaning offenses have difficulty putting the puck in the back of the net when he is on the ice.

Conway has had a successful second half of the season so far, posting eight of his 12 goals since winter break. Conway holds the team lead in goals with 12, and in power play goals with five. Conway is no stranger to goal scoring, as he has 37 career goals throughout his three-year tenure with the Friars. Conway earned MVP honors in the Ledyard Classic Tournament to kick off the second half of the season, as he tallied three goals in two games. Conway’s clutch goal-scoring ability has been a major part of the Friars’ success, and has earned him a Hobey Baker Award nomination.

scott conway providence college men's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics
hayden hawkey providence college men's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Wilkins’ impressive junior stint has earned him both Hobey Baker and Walter Brown Award nominations. The Raleigh, North Carolina native leads the team in both assists (19) and points (28). Already with 90 career points, Wilkins is constantly finding ways to get on the scoresheet as he tallied 31 points in each of his two previous seasons. He also held a 13-game point streak throughout this season, posting seven goals and 12 assists during that span. Wilkins is a dynamic player with the puck. His playmaking ability and vision allow linemates Jack Dugan ’22 and Kasper Björkqvist ’20 plenty of opportunities to get shots on net and score goals. Also, Wilkins’ quick release and accurate shot enables him to make goalies miss and get on the board himself. Wilkins has proven to be an essential part of the Friars offense throughout his career in Friartown.

josh wilkins providence college men's hockey
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Hawkey joins Wilkins as a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award. They join 18 other nominees from 12 other schools in the New England area. Hawkey continues to be the backbone for the Friars. The senior has blanked six teams so far this season, which earned him the all-time school record for career shutouts last weekend in Maine with 14. He needs just one more win to hold the all-time school record for wins as well. This season, Hawkey holds a 1.90 Goals Against Average (GAA), as well as a .917 Save Percentage. His six shutouts put him second in the country and his GAA is good enough for ninth. He joins four other goalies in the semifinalist pool.

These four Friars have been pivotal this season and have each made immense contributions to the team. Voting for the Hobey Baker nominees will continue through March 10 and the top 10 nominees will be announced on March 20. The hat trick finalists will be named on April 4, with the ceremony crowning the winner on April 12 as a part of the Frozen Four festivities in Buffalo, New York. Finalists for the Walter Brown Award, college hockey’s oldest nationally recognized honor, will be announced in March.

Former Friars: Where Are They Now?

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019

Friar Sports

Pro Ambitions Hockey Developers

By Cam Smith ’21

Sports Staff

Jeff Serowik’s ’90 professional hockey career came to an abrupt conclusion 10 years after he graduated from Providence College. It was then that Serowik suffered his career-ending concussion during a breakout season in the National Hockey League (NHL). He had tallied six assists in 26 games as a smooth skating defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Instead of taking time off from the ice following his injury, Serowik jumped right back onto it. “I graduated from Providence and that summer is when I started my camps, 29 years ago,” Serowik said in a recent interview with The Cowl. “I started off with one or two camps per summer while I was playing [professionally]… After the injury my wife and I took a lot of the money we saved over the years and invested it in this Pro Ambitions and really blew it up.”

pro ambitions hockey providence college alum
Photo Courtesy of Pro Ambitions

Pro Ambitions Hockey is now the largest hockey development company in the world, offering dozens of different specialized training camps from “Hybrid Powerskating” to “European Micro Stick Skills.” Their Division I AAA Camp features Serowik and many other Hockey East alumni as coaches in a camp that is the official development program of Hockey East.

“We really took it throughout the country and into Europe and into Canada and kept expanding,” Serowik said of the now massive scope of Pro Ambitions. “Each year we tinker with it… We try to keep up with the times. The game is so fast now that we’ve created these different types of power skating camps and we try to keep up with the technology. We’ve been doing this for so long, you don’t want to get stale.”

Serowik and his team certainly have the technology nailed down, as they even offer the Pro Ambitions app that supplies on and off the ice training right from your phone. With these technological feats, in addition to the masterful training kids get on the ice, it is no wonder that Division I hockey and the NHL boasts numerous Pro Ambitions alumni. But, to Serowik, achievement on the ice is not the only way to measure success.

“It’s great when you see kids have victories, going off to prep school or going off to college to play,” Serowik explained. “But, the most rewarding thing for me is something like where a dad called me recently and said, ‘Hey, my son came to your camp 10 years ago. He’s working on Wall Street now. He said his boss gave him the job because of the handshake that he had.’”

At every camp he hosts, Serowik holds a handshake competition. There, he teaches the kids the importance of looking someone in the eye and maintaining a good firm grip. As his Wall Street anecdote shows, it certainly pays off down the line.

“Hockey’s hockey, we do a great job out on the ice, but I think you can differentiate yourself off the ice with your relationships with your coaches. These kids are there, and they want to learn. They’re little pieces of clay and you just got to mold the clay into the good people that you know they can be,” Serowik explained. “All that stuff is rewarding.”

While a lot has changed for Serowik since he last skated for the Friars, the PC experience remains dear to his heart. “Providence was just a fantastic experience. It’s a great school,” he lauded. He also commented on the transformation the campus has undergone since his time in Friartown, citing his amazement about all the new changes. “There’s a lot of chatter about it everywhere you go,” he went on to say. “A lot of applicants, a lot of great things going on in Providence. Kudos to them, I’m proud of it.”

In a testament to his good-natured disposition, Serowik closed his interview with some profound words about the lessons he hopes his campers take away from the camps they participate in. “Be the best you can be. Nothing replaces hard work. I want these kids working hard and being humble,” remarked the PC alum. “The biggest thing: I want them to improve. I want them to be a great person off the ice and I want them to enjoy it and be passionate about it on the ice.”

With this philosophy of hard work and all-around improvement, it is clear that the next generation of hockey players are in good hands with Jeff Serowik and Pro Ambitions Hockey.

Friar Family Mourns the Loss of Hockey Alum Mark Adams

by The Cowl Editor on September 27, 2018

Friar Sports

By Jack Belanger ’21

Sports Co-Editor

providence college hockey player alum mark adams dies suddenly
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Mark Adams ’15, former Providence College hockey player, passed away unexpectedly on September 17, 2018, at the age of 27. Adams played four seasons with the Friars from 2010-2015, winning the Division I National Championship in 2015.

Before coming to PC, Adams was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round, 134th pick overall, in the 2009 NHL entry draft.

At PC, he majored in business economics while playing in 98 games for the Friars, including 32 in his senior year where he helped lead the team to the championship.

Adams was a leader on and off the ice as he was dedicated to improving his talent while also forging bonds with his teammates.

Head Coach Nate Leaman said, “He was a great teammate and a special part of our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.”

After he graduated from PC in 2015, Adams signed a contract with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, but retired shortly after due to injuries.

Adam’s death follows that of Drew Brown this past year. Both players were members of the 2015 championship team.

Some of Adams’ former teammates released statements remembering their former teammate and friend. Noel Acciari, who currently plays for the Boston Bruins posted a statement on Instagram, “Heaven has gained another champion. Rest In Peace, Roo.”

Trevor Mingoia, another one of Adams’ teammates from the championship team, posted, “Words can’t describe the horrible feeling of losing an amazing friend and teammate. You were one of the most genuine and loyal friends that someone can ask for. My heart goes out to the Adams family. Rest in Peace Roo, we already miss you.”

Adams has left a profound impact on the PC hockey community and left a legacy of what it meant to be a Friar through his hardwork, passion, and dedication.

#Humboldt Strong

by The Cowl Editor on April 19, 2018

Professional Sports

By Sam Scanlon ’19

Sports Staff

Humboldt broncos tribute
Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Hayward/CP

The Humboldt Broncos, a Canadian hockey team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), were slated to faceoff against the Nipawin Hawks in game five of their seven-game semi-final playoff series. The Broncos trailed 3-1 in the series and were in jeopardy of being eliminated from the playoffs in their next game.

The Broncos were set for a crucial game in Nipawin in the early afternoon on April 6, and only about a two hour bus ride stood in the way of the Broncos taking the ice. Long bus rides are just a part of the business for junior hockey teams. They are a chance for players to relax with their friends and teammates, watch movies together, and joke with each other before big games like the one looming over the Broncos. 

Some time into the ride, the bus carrying 29 members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, traveling north on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, Canada, collided with a tractor-trailer at an intersection with Highway 335.

The crash left the team bus in ruins as it slid on its side down the highway, roof torn off, projecting the bodies of the players and staff from inside onto the highway. 

Sixteen lives were taken, including 10 players, two coaches, the radio announcer, the team statistician, the bus driver, and the athletic trainer. The remaining 13 people on the bus escaped with injuries ranging from critical to minor, with some being deemed miracles for surviving the devastation.

The hockey community as a whole was shattered that day. Eventually, the whole country of Canada, as well as the United States, felt the impact of this terrible tragedy as President Donald Trump tweeted his sympathies to the families and friends, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sent his condolences with a large array of flowers.

Countless heartbreaking tributes were given across the National Hockey League, including the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets playing their April 7 game with the name “Broncos” on the backs of their jerseys instead of their own last names. Many NHL teams stood united at center ice before their April 7 games to pay tribute to the Broncos during a moment of silence.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, one of the top players of this generation and undoubtedly the favorite player of numerous Humboldt Broncos, had a special Penguins jersey made which read “HUMBOLDT 18” on the back and had the entire Penguins roster sign it and sent it to the Broncos. The Stanley Cup, which is awarded to the NHL Champion, recently made its way to Saskatchewan to visit the injured Broncos in the hospital.

Along with an extremely successful GoFundMe campaign and countless tributes from NHL teams and players, people across the world mourned alongside Humboldt and honored them by putting their hockey sticks outside of their doors and wearing hockey jerseys on April 12.

After this horrible tragedy, the entire Providence College community prays with Humboldt and stands beside them as they mourn the loss of so many members of their beloved hockey team. We are all Broncos.

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.

PCI: Northeastern Will Win Hockey East Tournament

by The Cowl Editor on March 1, 2018

Friar Sports

Huskies Look to Continue Strong Season

by Jeremy Perrigo ’18

Sports Staff

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.

Northeastern battle Boston University in the Beanpot tournament at the Boston Garden
Photo Courtesy of Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

   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.