By: Josh Brown
BOSTON- Just 1:40 into the first period Mark Jankowski, from the high slot, beat Ryan Ruck to give Providence a 1-0 lead. That proved to be the game.
Needing just that one goal, #1 Providence tacked on one more midway through the first, and an empty-netter with 1:52 remaining, completing a weekend sweep of Northeastern by a 3-0 final score.
Nick Ellis, for the second consecutive night, got the win in net for Providence stopping all 21 shots he faced, while Ryan Ruck saved 27 of the 29 sent his way.
While the win keeps Providence undefeated (8-0-3, 2-0-2), the struggles for Northeastern continue, who have not been victorious in their last 12 games (1-10-2, 0-6-2), and will head over to Belfast, Northern Ireland to try and notch their first conference win against Umass-Lowell on November 27.
“It was a pretty good college hockey game,” said Providence coach Nate Leaman. “I thought (Northeastern) had a pretty good push in the first period and we were struggling getting in on the forecheck. I thought they were playing a little bit faster than us. We were fortunate to get out front and score on a couple opportunities. Then I thought from the second half of the game I really liked how we played.”
“I thought Mark Jankowski was outstanding, as was Nick Saracino this weekend,” Leaman continued. “I thought Mark was winning battles, he was winning faceoffs…and obviously had a goal and an assist and I thought Nick Ellis made some big saves.”
Providence wasted no time getting to work, courtesy of Jankowski, who scored his third goal of the weekend.
Taking a pass from Jake Walman, Jankowski hit Garret Gamez with a pass in the middle of the ice, who then entered the offensive zone and found Jankowski in the slot who ripped one by Ruck for the early lead.
At the 10:09 mark in the period Nick Saracino netted his fourth of the season, putting the Friars up 2-0.
Receiving a pass from John Gilmour, Saracino quickly shuffled around the back of the net, beating Ruck on the wraparound.
“I liked our effort a lot better tonight then last night at Providence,” said Huskies coach Jim Madigan. “We went in to the weekend trying to keep it simple…last night it got away from us and then tonight it got away from us a little bit in the first period where we fell behind again 2-0. I liked the effort, I liked the mentality in how we went about the game and just trying to keep it tight and their two goals where bad reeds by us in two odd-man rush situations.”
From that point forward the Friars stifled Northeastern defensively, holding the Huskies to under 10 shots in each of the three periods.
“We couldn’t solve the riddle with their goalie,” said Madigan. “We had some looks, you’re not going to get a lot of looks, get a lot of golden opportunities against this team because the way they play but we had some good ones in the second period…we were around the net and their goalie made the saves and we just couldn’t get that one to get us going.”
The best chance for the Huskies came in the third period, receiving two power play opportunities less than four minutes apart in the middle of the frame.
Unfortunately for Northeastern, that did not phase the defending national champions, who limited the Huskies to minimal shots on both man-advantages
“The two kills in the third period were big also,” said Leaman “They had some good opportunities. I thought (Ellis) made some terrific saves.”
With the game all but over, Brandon Tanev netted an empty-netter with 1:52 left to send the Friars home satisfied for Thanksgiving.
“We tried to get the puck to the weak side,” said Madigan, ”and we couldn’t as much as we wanted to and we’re running a shorter bench as it is, so you have to be fresh when you’re going against them.”
“We had some sustained short periods of offense but not enough, and then we needed to get something on the power play and we couldn’t.”