Noel Acciari netted a shorthanded goal early in the third period and Ross Mauermann scored twice in the opening frame as fifth-ranked Providence held off a late Vermont charge for a 3-2 Hockey East victory on Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts fall to 3-4-1 (2-3-0 HEA), while the Friars improve to 8-1-1 (4-1-0 HEA).
UVM out-shot the Friars 39-26 on the night and held Providence scoreless on four power plays, including three in the first period and two separate 5-on-3's. Both Vermont goals on the night came from freshmen, including the first career tally for Mike Stenerson. Jon Gillies made 37 saves in the PC net to post the win.
Less than a minute into the game, Providence took the lead as Mauermann won a puck battle along the right goal line in the Vermont zone. The junior wrapped around the top of the crease and tucked a shot past the right pad of Brody Hoffman (23 saves). Steven Shamanski and Shane Luke tallied the assists on the play.
After a five-minute major penalty call against Michael Paliotta, Vermont killed off the majority of the Providence power play time before Mauermann added his second of the period on a 4-on-4 situation. Conor MacPhee slid a quick pass to Mauermann inside the right circle and he fired a one-time slap shot to beat Hoffman high glove side.
At 8:21 of the second period, Vermont found the net as Chris McCarthy fed a pass along the blue line to Nick Bruneteau at the center point. Bruneteau played a feed back across the zone into the left circle for Puskarich, and freshman rifled a quick wrister into the upper left corner to cut the PC lead to one. It marked Puskarich's second power play goal in as many games.
Less the three minutes into the third period, the Catamounts knotted the score. After an offensive zone faceoff, Rob Hamilton worked the puck between the circles for Brendan Bradley, who directed a low shot on Gillies. The rebound kicked to the right doorstep, and Stenerson knocked home the rebound to tie the game and record his first career goal.
Vermont then earned a power play roughly a minute later, but Providence capitalized on a forecheck to retake the lead. Nick Saracino worked the puck loose in the left wing corner and it squirted into the low slot. Acciari poke the puck away from a UVM defenseman and roofed a quick forehand shot over Hoffman's glove for the eventual game-winner.
The Catamounts pulled Hoffman with just over a minute left and Providence took a too many men on the ice minor with 24 seconds to go. Vermont had several looks on goal with a two-man advantage but the puck bounced out of the zone at the right point with just seconds remaining and the final buzzer sounded.
Vermont and Providence close out their Hockey East weekend series on Saturday (Nov. 16) at 7:05 p.m. on 'Jack is Back' Night.
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