MANKATO, Minn. - The men's ice hockey team fell 4-0 at 14th-ranked Minnesota State on Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Senior Russ Stein (Ridgefield, Conn.) made his third consecutive start in the Friar net and turned in a career high 33 saves.
With the win, the Mavericks posted their 11th win in their last 12 games and improved to 14-6-2 (8-6-0 WCHA) on the season. Providence is now 7-8-3 (5-4-2 Hockey East). Minnesota State goalie Stephon Williams stopped all 24 shots he faced to record the shutout win.
Minnesota State took a 1-0 lead at 15:58 of the first period on Bryce Gervais' fifth goal of the year, scored as he jammed the puck past Stein from in front. His linemates Taylor Herndon and Max Geade assisted on the play. Stein made 14 saves in the opening frame, including three while the Friars were on the penalty kill. One of Providence's best scoring chances of the game came just under three minutes into the first when sophomore Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.) found Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) open at the bottom of the far faceoff circle, but the senior's wrist shot hit Williams' facemask and went wide.
In the second period, the Mavericks power play unit struck as Matt Leitner's drive from the point went through a screen in front for his sixth goal of the year at 5:47. Zach Lehrke and Zach Palmquist assisted on the play.
In the third, the Mavericks made it 3-0 at 11:12 when Evan Mosey cut through the far circle and scored on the backhand from the bottom of the near circle for his fourth goal of the year. Eli Zuck and Chase Grant registered assists. Minnesota State made it 4-0 when Hayes netted MSU's second power-play goal of the night at 17:08.
The Mavericks finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while the Friars were 0-for-2. On the weekend, Stein made 64 saves in the Friar goal.
With their non-conference slate now complete, the Friars return to Hockey East play next weekend. Providence will play at UMass on Friday, Jan. 11 and then host the Minutemen on Saturday, Jan. 12. Both games are slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Russ Stein made his third consecutive (and career) start in the Friar net ... Freshman Brooks Behling made his career debut ... The Friars' streak of consecutive overtime games ended at three ... Providence had last played three consecutive overtime games on Jan. 16-20, 2004 ... The Friars played a ranked opponent for the seventh time this season ... With a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Saturday morning (Jan. 5) in the championship game of the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, Team USA and Friar freshman goalie Jon Gillies won the gold medal ... Gillies was the 11th Friar to appear in the World Juniors Championship and the first to win a medal (the U.S. won gold for just the third time - 2004 and 2010) ... Gillies served as John Gibson's primary backup throughout the tournament and will be eligible to play for the U.S. squad at next year's World Junior Championship, which is slated to take place in Malmo, Sweden (Gibson was named the Most Valuable Player at this year's tournament) ... The other former Friars to play in the World Junior Championship include Perry Florio (1985), Tom Fitzgerald (1987), Shaun Kane (1989 & 1990), Mike Boback (1990), Rob Gaudreau (1990), Mike Heinke (1991), Brady Kramer (1993), Jay Leach (1998), Jon DiSalvatore (2001) and Bobby Goepfert (2003) ... Current Denver University assistant coach and 1984 graduate of Providence College David Lassonde was also part of the gold-medal winning effort as he assisted Head Coach Phil Housley at the 2013 tournament.