PROVIDENCE COLLEGE CLIPPED BY AIR FORCE, 3-2, IN LEDYARD CLASSIC TITLE GAME
HANOVER, N.H. -- The No. 4/5 Providence College men's hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision to Air Force in the title game of the 2013 Ledyard National Bank Classic at Dartmouth's Thompson Arena on Monday night.
The Falcons (9-5-4, 4-2-3 AHA) took a 2-0 lead through two periods of play and held on as the Friars (13-3-3, 6-2-1 HEA) tried to mount a third period comeback that included an even strength goal by Steven Shamanski (Carberry, Manitoba) and an extra attacker tally by Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.).
In net, freshman Nick Ellis (Millersville, Md.) made a career-high 27 saves for Providence, while Air Force goaltender Jason Torf finished with 29 saves, including 17 in the third period.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead when Chad Demers scored a power-play goal at 17:25 of the first period. While tangled with a Friar defenseman down low, Demers got his stick on a Cole Gunner shot from the point and the puck deflected past Ellis. Scott Holm was also credited with an assist. Ellis finished the first with 10 saves for the Friars.
In the second period, Air Force killed off back-to-back power play chances for the Friars and then extended its lead to 2-0 at 12:41 when senior Mitch Torrel picked up the puck in the neutral zone and let a wrist shot go from the bottom of the circles for his fifth goal of the year.
In the third period Shamanski broke up a play in the neutral zone and Kyle McKenzie (Aston, Pa.) picked up the loose puck and passed it back to Shamanski, who let a wrist shot fly from the blue line that beat a screened Tolf. Scored at 4:57, it was Shamanski's fourth goal of the year.
The Friars continued to control the play in the offensive zone for long stretches, but the Falcons restored a two-goal lead when Tony Thomas' snapshot from the top of the circles found the back of the net at 12:21. A.J. Reid and George Michalke picked up assists on the play.
The Friars continued the offensive pressure and with the extra attacker on cut the lead to 3-2 when Noel Acciari buried a wrist shot from the slot with 30 seconds left. Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) and Shamanski assisted on the goal.
Providence had two more quality looks at the net but Tolf made a save and Kevin Hart's blast from the point was blocked by a diving Jason Fabian as time expired.
The Friars finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play, while Air Force was 1-for-4 with the man advantage. Following the game, seniors Derek Army (Kingstown, R.I.) and Shamanski were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Friars return to the ice at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they play Merrimack in a nonconference game at Fenway Park. Taking part in Frozen Fenway 2014, it will mark Providence's first outdoor game in program history. The game will be televised live on the New England Sports Network (NESN).
Freshman Nick Ellis made his third consecutive start in the Friar net and turned in a career-high 27 saves ... Nick Saracino's career-long point streak was snapped at nine games (3-7-10) ... Ross Mauermann extended his point streak to seven games (3-6-9) ... Mauermann's assist was his 14th of the season, one shy of his career-high mark of 15 set as a freshman ... The Friars saw their season-long unbeaten streak end at six games (4-0-2) ... With a goal and an assist, Steven Shamanski had his second multi-point game of the season ... Noel Acciari set a career high with his seventh goal of the year.