HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Senior Kyle MacKinnon (Walnut, Calif.) recorded his second-career hat trick, including the game winning-goal with 7:05 left in the third period to lead the Providence College men's hockey team to a 3-1 victory over Alabama-Huntsville Friday night in a non-conference game played at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala. With the win, the Friars improved to 4-4-2 overall and increased their unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2). The Chargers are now 1-9-1. "We're trying to get our road game sorted out during this weekend," Head Coach Tim Army said. "I thought that we did the things that we need to do on the road by battling and competing in a physical environment," Army added.
The winning goal came on a five-minute power play and the Friars capitalized halfway through the man advantage. MacKinnon pounced on a loose puck in front and put home his seventh goal of the season as senior Ian O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman Steven Shamanski (Carberry, Manitoba) assisted on the goal. It marked Shamanski's first-career point. MacKinnon then added an empty-net goal with 45 seconds left to seal the win.
MacKinnon, who also recorded three goals on February 19, 2010, leads the team with eight goals. Classmate Ian O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) had a career-high three assists, while Ben Farrer (Calgary, Alberta) totaled a career-best two helpers.
The Friars took a 1-0 lead at 13:17 of the second period when MacKinnon scored his sixth goal of the season. MacKinnon gained control of the puck at the snapped a low wrist shot past C.J. Groh. O'Connor and Farrer also assisted on the goal.
The Chargers evened the score at 9:16 of the second period as they capitalized on the power play. Keenan Desmet scored from in close as he was set up by Lasse Uusivirta and Curtis deBruyn. The Friars had a chance to take a 2-1 lead late in the period when sophomore Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) had a breakaway with 30 seconds remaining but Groh made the stop on Schaller's shot. PC junior goalie Justin Gates (Cranston, R.I.), who was making his first start of the year, made 14 stops in the period, including several from point-blank range. He finished with 23 saves to earn his first career goal. Groh had 42 stops.
The two teams will complete the two-game series on Saturday, November 13.