Men’s Hockey Scores Big to Win Mayor’s Cup
Friars Unable to Build Off of Win in Game Against Boston College
By Cam Smith ’21
The Providence College Men’s Hockey Team was looking for a win this past week after two straight losses. In their meeting against Brown University, the Friars did just that.
The annual matchup against the Brown Bears, known for the past 33 years as the Mayor’s Cup, has historically gone PC’s way. The Friars came into this year’s Cup with a 51-46-3 advantage. Last year’s matchup on the Schneider Arena ice ended with a PC win as five different Friars scored in a 5-0 shutout.
There was much of the same this year, as PC won the Mayor’s Cup taking a 5-1 victory. The game was decided soon after it had begun, as PC caught the Bears off-guard with an onslaught of early offensive plays that resulted in four goals in just the first nine minutes of play.
Kasper Björkqvist ’20 started off the festivities as he hammered home a rebound off the post to make it 1-0. The goal was Björkqvist’s 10th on the season, a total that puts him second in goals scored on the team. Just a mere 39 seconds later came the second goal of the night, as Greg Printz ‘21 fired a shot past the goalkeeper off a centering feed from Jacob Bryson ’20. Josh Wilkins ‘20 would get in on the action a couple minutes later with a wrister to the right corner, and Jack Dugan ‘22 would cap off the flurry of first period offense by sneaking one through the Bears’ keeper’s pads for his eighth goal of the season.
PC never looked back after their first period blitz, as they dug in on the defensive end en route to their 5-1 victory. The quick burst of goals and resulting lead allowed for a total team effort the rest of the way, as all three PC goalkeepers saw action in the third period as the game remained firmly in control. The Friars have now held ownership of the Cup since the 2015-16 season and will look to continue that trend in next year’s 34th annual Mayor’s Cup.
The other game on the schedule last week did not go nearly as well for the men’s hockey team, as they fell to Boston College 1-4. It was the second meeting of the year between the perennial Hockey East powerhouses. PC also fell to the Eagles on Jan. 11 by a score of 2-4.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a Michael Kim powerplay goal. The Friars would then go on to give up a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 BC after the first period. The second period of the game went to the Friars, as goalie Hayden Hawkey ’19 made several superb saves while Jason O’Neill ’21 tapped in a Bryan Lemos ‘19 shot to make it 2-1 BC after two.
Unfortunately, the rally would come up short as BC responded in the third period with two additional goals, placing the game firmly out of reach.
The new year hasn’t been so kind to the Friars, as they now hold a 2-3-1 record in the month of January. However, a return to Schneider Arena might help to cure the January blues. PC takes on no. 8 Northeastern University Huskies on Jan. 25 in a battle between Hockey East heavyweights.
Women’s Hockey Clinches Mayor’s Cup
By Gavin Woods ’22
On Dec. 4, the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team added to their already impressive record with a staggering 8-0 road win over the Brown University Bears at the 24th Mayor’s Cup. The Friars are now 14-3 and hold the eighth position in the top 10 Division I women’s team standings.
Providence bounced back in a big way, following their disappointing 1-2 loss to the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Friars first found the back of the net with an unassisted goal with 10:53 to go in the first period by Emily Landry ’19. Providence then followed up with a beautiful assist from Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 to Cassidy MacPherson ’19 before the end of the period.
The Friars continued to push the puck early in the second period, resulting in Hayley Lunny’s ’21 rebound goal from Annelise Rice ’21. Roughly four minutes later, PC capitalized on a powerplay when Meaghan Rickard ’20 found Kate Friesen ’19 to extend their lead to 4-0 with 12:21 left in the period.
The Friars showed no signs of slowing as the final period began. MacPherson secured another goal, this time unassisted, just 1:59 into the third period. Maureen Murphy ’21 was next with a goal, assisted by Christina Putigna ’19 with 9:25 left in the game. In the final five minutes, Ciara Barone ’22 scored, and Caroline Peterson ’22 scored her first career goal for PC off an assist from Murphy.
For the Friars, the story of the game was possession. Head Coach Matthew Kelly emphasized, “Moving our feet and moving the puck–that was the biggest thing. We were working the puck low to high.” When asked how the team was able to shut out Brown’s leading scorer, forward Sena Hanson, Kelly responded, “We were definitely playing more offense than defense, and I think that helps. It also limits the chances that a player like that can get.” Even when PC was on defense, they remained composed and dominant throughout the game. Obviously, the shutout points to an impressive display by both the defense and goalkeepers Madison Myers ’19, with 12 saves in the first two periods, and Clare Minnerath ’20 with three saves in the third.
Despite the contradictory final score, Kelly did have praise for the Bears of Brown, saying, “They’ve had some big wins this year. Look at some of the teams they beat: Cornell University, Colgate University, and the University of Connecticut. They are a team that, if you give them time and space, will be opportunistic with their chances.”
This was no ordinary game, however. The Friars faced off with the Bears for the 24th installment of the annual Mayor’s Cup. The Mayor’s Cup was created to celebrate the exciting rivalry between two talented teams in Providence. Brown took the first Mayor’s Cup in 1966, with a 4-3 win. The Friars, however, have now won the last five meetings, and lead the Bears 11-10 in the series. Kelly seems to think the trophy on the line may have contributed to success for the Friars, “Definitely different when you’re playing for a trophy. It always amps everybody’s focus and attention to detail. It’s fun. We had one of these opportunities back in the Nutmeg Classic, and we won that. So, we had some experience, going for a trophy. ”
The Friars look forward to the Crusaders of the College of Holy Cross, facing off with on Friday, Dec. 7 at Schneider Arena.