WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The fifth-ranked Providence College men's hockey team scored back-to-back third period, shorthanded tallies to pull away from Army en route to a 4-1 win at Tate Rink on Friday night.
Leading 1-0 after two periods of play, shorthanded goals by Kevin Rooney (Canton, Mass.) and Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) early in the third period lifted the Friars (12-2-3, 6-2-1 HEA) to the win.
Freshman goaltender Nick Ellis (Millersville, Md.) stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced to earn his second win of the season in his second career start. Junior Rob Tadazak made 42 saves for Army (3-12-0, 3-8-0 AHA), including 18 in the second period.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first period, which featured a lot of back-and-forth play by both teams. A Steven Shamanski (Carberry, Manitoba) blast from the top of the circles and a Josh Monk (Langley, British Columbia) snapshot that Tadzak just got his left toe on were two of Providence's better scoring chances in the opening frame.
The Friars then took a 1-0 lead at 1:30 of the second period when sophomore Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario) skated down the nearside, beat two Army defenders and slid the puck across the top of the crease to an open Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.), who slotted home his first goal as a Friar.
The Friar penalty kill staked Providence to 3-0 lead early in the third period when Rooney and Acciari netted short-handed goals 33 seconds apart. Rooney put the Friars up 2-0 at 1:19 when he beat the Army defense through the neutral zone and fired high past Tadzak for his third goal of the year, with Jankowski earning his second assist of the night on the play. Then Steven McParland (Schreiber, Ontario) chipped a pass to Acciari in the neutral zone and the red-shirt sophomore skated into the offensive zone and beat Tadzak for his sixth goal of the year. It also marked Acciari's third shorthanded goal of the year, which is tied for the national lead.
The Black Knights got on the board at 13:33 when Andrew O'Leary threw one to the short side that Kyle Plageman deflected past Ellis. Mac Lalor also assisted on the play, which made it 3-1.
With Tadzak pulled in favor of the extra attacker, the Friars sealed the win when Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) scored an empty net goal for his sixth of the season. Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) and Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) assisted on the goal.
Providence finished 0-for-4 with the man advantage, while Army went 0-for-3 on the power play.
The Friars return to the ice on Sunday, Dec. 29 and Monday Dec. 30 when they take part in Dartmouth's 2013 Ledyard Classic Tournament. Providence will play the hosts from Dartmouth in a 7:00 p.m. game on Sunday and then play either Air Force or Northeastern on Monday. It will be the fourth all-time appearance by the Friars in Dartmouth's annual holiday tournament.
Notes Freshman Nick Ellis made his second career start and third career appearance ... Trevor Mingoia extended his point streak to four games with his first goal as a Friar (1-3-4) ... Noel Acciari is now tied for the national lead in shorthanded goals with three (tied with Miami's Riley Barber and Mercyhurst's Matthew Zay) ... Nick Saracino extended his point streak to eight games (3-6-9) ... Ross Mauermann extended his point streak to five games (2-5-7) ... Mauermann's 25 points (12-13-25) rank tied for seventh in the nation ... Mark Jankowski's two assists tied a career high (also had two assists against Northeastern on Nov. 16, 2012) ... The Friars are unbeaten in their last 11 games against Army (10-0-1) ... Providence is unbeaten in its last five games (3-0-2).