Boston, MA- Providence College and Boston University boast one of college hockey’s better rivalries in the last six seasons. The two have played for both the Hockey East and National Championships and been regular competitors atop the Hockey East and National rankings. On Friday night, the two met for the first of a weekend series and showed off all their talents in an ultimately inconclusive war of attrition.
Neither team broke the ice in the opener. BU dictated the pace and shots counter, leading 14-9, but Michael Lackey and Sam Tucker both made ten-bell saves and kept the game scoreless at the intermission.
Trevor Zegras broke the scoreless draw with a play in front of the net only 2:47 into the second. Friar Head Coach Nate Leaman called a timeout and summoned his team to the bench with his squad being outshot by ten. Almost immediately, 1:08 later to be exact, Albin Nilsson fired a puck toward the net where it tipped off a Terrier and Friar Greg Printz and through BU goalie Sam Tucker for a 1-1 tie. Then, 4:51 later, Jack Dugan jumped on a terrible BU neutral zone turnover and found Printz for a beautiful ripper and his second goal of the night. Patrick Moynihan capped the three-goal outburst in the second with a strong power-play shot in the dying minutes of the frame to give PC a 3-1 lead at the second intermission.
David Farrance and the Terrier penalty kill wrote the story of the third period. The junior defenseman from Victor, NY, uncorked two spectacular power play wristers to draw even, first at 3:30 and the second at 17:43 of the period. Zegras got assists on both to record a three-point night. Providence got two power plays in the second half of the third on a Sean Driscoll tripping minor and a Matthew Quercia holding minor and were stymied on both.
The overtime session saw tempers boil over while the teams combined for six shots and could not beat either goalie. Tyce Thompson was ejected for a hit to the head and a fight broke out in the dying seconds. The game ended in a bitter 3-3 draw.
Providence goes to 4-3-2 (2-2-1 in HEA) after the Friday night. “It was a good game,” commented Nate Leaman. “I just thought we shot ourselves in the foot in the third with penalties. Nine minutes in penalties in the third and overtime against a good power play. It cost us tonight.”
The Friars still boast three of the top offensive performers in the nation. Jack Dugan recorded two assists, making his season total a national leading 15, leading Arizona State’s James Sanchez by four, and making his season points total 20, leading his teammate, Tyce Thompson, by six for the nation’s top spot. Greg Printz’s two goals make his season total nine, a national high by one above Northern Michigan’s Vincent de May and Griffin Loughran and Wisconsin’s Cole Caulfield.
Michael Lackey stopped 35 of 38 shots from a former Beanpot rival.
BU goes to 2-2-4 (1-1-3 in HEA). “Very happy with the way we played tonight,” commented Terrier Head Coach Albie O’Connell. “It was a hard-fought game and we played a good team.” As for the successful power play, which recorded two goals in the third, O’Connell summed up the improved percentage by saying “We shot the puck. That’s the reality. We moved it and shot it. Nothing fancy there.”
Sam Tucker stopped 22 of 25 shots.
Among defensemen nationally, David Farrance is second in goals (five, one behind UNH’s Max Gildon) and points (11, one behind Lake Superior State’s Collin Saccoman.
The teams rematch at Schneider Arena at 7 pm on Saturday night.