PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence College junior Nick Saracino recorded a hat-trick to lead the No. 13 nationally ranked Friars to a 10-1 Hockey East win over the UConn Huskies Saturday night from Schneider Arena. Seven other Friars also found the back of the net as the Huskies allowed double digit goals for the first time since the 2002-03 season in the loss.
Providence finished the game two-for-four on the power play, scoring twice on 5-on-3 opportunities, while also adding a pair of shorthanded goals. The Huskies were outshot 43-25 on the night and are now 8-13-7 overall and 5-7-4 in Hockey East.
UConn’s lone goal came off the stick of sophomore Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, British Columbia) who scored in the third period for his fifth on the year.
The Friars came out flying offensively, outshooting the Huskies 6-0 in the first three minutes of action. Providence finally capitalized on the early offensive barrage at 5:03 as senior captain Ross Mauermann took a feed from Brian Pinho beneath the goal line and beat Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) on a wrap-around, tucking the puck inside the left post. It was Mauermann’s seventh of the season and marked his 100th career point.
The Huskies drew their second power play chance late in the first period when Trevor Gerling (Seattle, Wash.) drew an interference call on Jake Walman at 18:25. The UConn power play never really got started though as the Friars scored a pair of shorthanded goals just 37 seconds apart to take a 3-0 lead into the locker room.
A wide shot by the Huskies led to a breakout and PC’s Kevin Rooney fired on goal with Nichols making the stop and covering up. On the ensuing face-off, Steven McParland won the draw in the left circle, took the puck and walked in beating Nichols for a 2-0 lead at 18:40. PC’s Noel Acciari took a pass along the right boards in the neutral zone and streaked down the right wing, snapping a wrist shot past Nichols stick side for another Friar shorthanded goal and a 3-0 lead.
The Friars kept the offensive pressure on high in the second period, tacking on five more goals. Junior Nick Saracino made it 5-0 Friars with back-to-back goals in the first three minutes of the period. Saracino beat Nichols with a wrap-around at 1:11 and then scored on the power play, burying a rebound at 2:48. The Huskies used a time-out and pulled Nichols for senior Tom Comunale (Seven Fields, Pa.) in goal.
Providence scored three more in the second with Mark Adams notching his first of the season followed by Kevin Rooney and Brian Pinho to lead 8-0 heading into the third. The Friars opened the third period with their second 5-on-3 chance of the night and Saracino completed the hat trick just 1:07 into play, scoring on a rebound in front.
Richardson spoiled the shutout bid at the 5:59 mark, taking a cross-ice feed from sophomore Brent Norris (Ottawa, Ontario) and burying a wrist shot top-shelf. The Friars tacked on one last goal, coming just 40 seconds later from Brandon Tanev.
The 10 goals allowed by the Huskies were the most this season and the first time a UConn team has allowed double digit goals since a 10-1 loss at Northeastern in 2002-03. That loss also marks the last time the Huskies lost a game by nine-goals or more.
The Huskies return home to the XL Center on Tuesday night, February 10th to host Merrimack at 7:05 pm. The game was originally scheduled for January 27th but was postponed due to weather. Tickets purchased for the January 27th date will be honored on Tuesday night.
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