Freshman goaltender Jon Gillies earns fifth shutout of season with 31 saves for Friars

Freshman goaltender Jon Gillies made 31 saves for the Friars

Freshman G Jon Gillies stopped 31 shots, including 14 in the third period as No. 17 Providence College defeated UMass Lowell, 3-0, Friday night in a Hockey East clash in front of 6,291 at the Tsongas Center.

The loss halted a seven-game winning streak for UMass Lowell, which slipped to 21-10-2 overall and 15-9-2 in Hockey East entering Saturday's regular season finale at Providence's Schneider Arena.

With a win, UMass Lowell could still capture the Hockey East regular season title, but could finish as low as fourth with a loss. The River Hawks and Friars currently share first place with 32 points apiece while Boston College and New Hampshire share third place with 31 points.

Boston College played to a 4-4 draw at Vermont while New Hampshire suffered a 4-3 loss at home to Maine.

UMass Lowell outshot the Friars 31-26, including 14-6 in the third period, but could not solve Gillies, who recorded his fifth shutout of the season.

UMass Lowell had plenty of chances and went on a 5 on 3 situation for 1:38 midway through the second period, in which it peppered Gilles with seven shots but came away empty.

The loss halted a 13-game winning streak for freshman G Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) - the longest win skein for a UMass Lowell Division I-era goalie - who had 23 saves. The loss marked only the third time this season Hellebuyck surrendered three goals or more.

Providence scored its first two goals in similar situations, the first 12:50 into the first period when Hellebuyck saved a shot by freshman F Paul De Jersey, but sophomore F Ross Mauermann was there to poke home the rebound.

Junior D Kevin Hart gave Providence a 2-0 lead 6:16 into the second period with help from freshmen Mark Jankowski and Tom Parisi. Parisi dove to poke a loose puck near the UMass Lowell blue line to Jankowski, who drove down the left side.

Jankowski uncorked a shot from the left side which Hellebuyck saved, but Hart one-timed the rebound out of the air into the empty right side of the net.

The River Hawks had a golden chance in the opening minutes of the third period when senior F Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) found junior F Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, Colo.) alone in the slot, who got off two shots in quick succession, only for Gillies to snuff.

Parisi capped the scoring shortly after on a power play when he took a pass in the slot from senior Tim Schaller and slapped home over Hellebuyck's left shoulder.