|TREVOR van RIEMSDYK|
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) recorded a pair of assists, but the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team was ousted from the Hockey East tournament with Sunday afternoon's 3-2 loss to 17th-ranked Providence College at Schneider Arena. PC won the best-of-three quarterfinal series, 2-1.
UNH, which tied for third place in the Hockey East standings at 13-8-6, is now 19-11-7 overall. The Wildcats dropped the opening game of the series 3-2 but forced a decisive Game 3 with Saturday's 4-1 victory.
PC, which scored power-play goals 44 seconds apart in the second period, improved to 17-13-7 overall and will face off against top-seeded University of UMass-Lowell in a semifinal matchup.
New Hampshire now awaits its NCAA tournament fate when the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship selection show announcing the 16-team field is held March 24 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. UNH is host of the Northeast Regional at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on March 29-30.
UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) made 22 saves, including 10 in the first period. PC counterpart Jon Gillies was credited with 30 saves and that included double digits in both the second (14) and third (11) periods.
The Wildcats generated pressure in the game's first shift as Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) fired a shot from the left circle that Gillies blocked aside 15 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Providence struck first, however, as Mark Jankowski skated through the neutral zone, pushed the puck to the right circle and redirected Tim Schaller's return pass into the net for a 1-0 lead at 1:31.
PC continued to pressure and DeSmith denied Shane Luke three times the next 90 seconds. UNH went on the first power play of the game at 5:52 but the Friars did not allow a shot on goal. Providence went on the power play at 10:03 and Derek Army's shot from the right circle caromed off the post at 11:00.
The Friars were whistled for a penalty with five seconds remaining on its skater advantage, and on the Wildcats' ensuing power play Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) fired a shot from the high slot that beat Gillies but ricocheted off the right post at 13:45.
New Hampshire, which hadn't recorded a shot on goal since Block's shot on the opening shift of the game, tested Gillies when Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) fired a shot on target from the left circle at 16:54.
UNH controlled the ensuing faceoff, which led to Henrion's shot that was blocked aside by Gillies. Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) chipped the puck along the boards to Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.), whose shot from the right point was blocked at the top of the crease. Henrion corralled the puck and swept it between Gillies' legs to tie the score, 1-1, at 17:07.
After being outshot 11-6 in the first period, the Wildcats controlled the opening three minutes of the second period with a 4-1 shot advantage in that span. New Hampshire continued to pressure and Downing curled to the left post, where he was thwarted by Gillies.
Midway through the stanza, Henrion raced behind the defense on the right wing and collected a long diagonal pass off the boards in the circle, and his quick shot was blocked by Gillies.
The rebound went to the slot and Silengo fired a shot that was also stopped by the PC netminder. With the puck still in the slot, an off-balance Henrion pushed a shot that trickled wide right of the cage.
The 'Cats went on the power play at 9:59 and scored 32 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead at 10:31. From the high slot, van Riemsdyk struck a slap-pass to the right of the cage, where Downing tipped the puck into the open near side. Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) was also credited with an assist.
With the Friars on the power play, Block had a breakaway bid at 13:00 but his shot from the right circle hit Gillies, who kicked the puck wide of the right post.
PC scored power-play goals 44 seconds apart to transform a one-goal deficit into a 3-2 lead. Tim Schaller, with the Friars on the power play and a delayed penalty call awaiting UNH, leveled the score at 16:29 when he lifted a shot from the left circle into the upper-left corner of the net. Kevin Hart and Tom Parisi set up the tally.
John Gilmour initiated the scoring sequence on the game-winning goal when his pass from the left point found Mark Jankowski in the low slot and his initial shot was stopped by DeSmith. In a three-on-three battle in front of the net, the puck went off Paul De Jersey's stick towards the left post and Nick Saracino shot high into the net over a prone DeSmith to put the Friars back on top, 3-2, at 17:13.
Following an up-and-down second period that saw the 'Cats record a 15-9 shot advantage, both teams played more conservatively early in the third period as UNH tallied a 4-1 shot advantage in the opening seven minutes.
New Hampshire went on the power play at 8:55 and had Goumas set up on the right doorstep for a backdoor pass, but his one-timer misfired wide of the near post. Moments later, PC's Ross Mauermann generated a shorthanded rush with a self-pass on the left boards, but DeSmith enveloped the shot from the left circle.
At 11:40, Luke slipped a pass ahead to Saracino in the right circle and his low blast was turned away by DeSmith.
One minute later, UNH attacked quickly in transition and Downing snapped a wrister from the left circle facoff dot off inside of the near post. With three minutes remaining in regulation, Brett Pesce (Tarrytown, N.Y.) ripped a high shot from the right point that Gillies knocked over the net with his blocker.
DeSmith was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 1:18 remaining but was unable to record a shot before a PC clearing attempt deflected off a Wildcat skater over the glass to create a faceoff in the neutral zone. The 'Cats then advanced into the attack zone offsides to set up another faceoff in the neutral zone.
The Friars kept UNH on the perimeter, then iced the puck and called a timeout with 21 seconds remaining. PC's Schaller drew the puck back into the right corner, and then the puck was chipped behind the net and eventually out to the left corner, where Block's sharp-angle shot was gloved by Gillies with 6.3 seconds remaining.
UNH won the ensuing faceoff in the left circle and advanced the puck low, where Block's shot deflected off Gillies behind the cage and time expired.