PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Sophomore Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.) scored the lone goal of the game with only 2:48 remaining in regulation while freshman goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) registered his fourth career shutout by stopping all 37 shots that he faced to lead the Providence College men's hockey team to a 1-0 win over fifth-ranked New Hampshire on Wednesday night at Schneider Arena.
New Hampshire goaltender Casey DeSmith also played a strong game in net, making 33 saves in the loss, including one on a penalty shot in the second period. With a 2-0-1 mark versus New Hampshire this season, the Friars (11-10-6, 9-6-5 HEA) won the series against the Wildcats (16-8-3, 11-7-2 HEA) for the first time since 1995-96.
At the end of the second period, the Friars and the Wildcats were still scoreless. The closest chance for the Friars came with 55 seconds left in the period when sophomore Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) was awarded a penalty shot. Mauermann was taken down by UNH defenseman Justin Agosta on a breakaway after exiting the penalty box. Mauermann skated in close to UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith, dekeing on his way towards the net before firing a backhander but DeSmith made a glove save to keep the game scoreless.
The Friars broke the tie at 17:12 of the third period when Demopoulos scored his sixth goal of the season in his first game back after missing the previous four with an injury. The play that led to the game winner started with offensive pressure from senior Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) and freshman Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario). Schaller gained the UNH zone found Jankowski open in the slot. Jankowski then spun a pass over to an open Demopoulos, who had just come off the bench. Demopoulos fired a shot that beat DeSmith to his blocker side, giving Providence the late advantage. The Wildcats pulled the goalie for the final 1:25 of the game but could not overcome the Friar defense with the extra man.
Gillies' fourth shutout of the season set a record for the Friars, as he becomes the first ever Friar goaltender (any class year) to register four shutouts in one season. Before Gillies, no other freshman goaltender had recorded more than two shutouts in a single season.
The Friars return to the ice this Sunday, Feb. 17 at 4:00 p.m. when they play host to 19th-ranked Merrimack at Schneider Arena. The game will be broadcast locally by Cox Sports on OSN.