PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- In its final non-conference game of the season, the ninth-ranked Providence College men's hockey team fell to the University of Connecticut Huskies, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Schneider Arena (2,550). A 58-save performance by Huskies' goaltender Matt Grogan was the difference in the game.
Junior Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) was the only Friar who could find a way to beat Grogan in the game as he netted both Providence (15-8-5, 7-6-1 HEA) goals which included a goal scored in the final minute of play that brought the Friars within one. UConn notched a goal in each period, with Patrick Kirtland leading the way for the offense with a goal and an assist.
The Friars recorded a season-high 60 shots on goal, with Mauermann leading the way with 12 shots in the game, but Grogan made all but two saves for UConn (15-9-4, 12-6-3 AHA). Sophomore Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) made 23 stops in the Friar net.
Mauermann gave the Friars the early edge as his 17th goal of the season came at 8:17 of the first period. The Friars had overlapping power plays that gave them an abbreviated 5-on-3 power play. Despite not scoring on the two man advantage, Providence capitalized before the end of the power play. Junior Paul de Jersey (West Vancouver, B.C.) connected a pass with sophomore defenseman John Gilmour (Montreal, Quebec) to start the play leading up to the goal. Gilmour fired a slap shot from the point that Mauermann redirected for the 1-0 lead.
UConn's Ryan Tyson evened the score at 17:01 of the opening period. Kyle Huson's point shot from the boards made its way towards the net before Kirtland kicked it towards Tyson, capitalized on the broken play by lifting the puck over Gillies' left leg for his fourth goal of the season.
Kirtland gave the Huskies the lead at 1:33 of the second when he sent a drive in from the blue line that went through traffic and beat Gillies. Shawn Pauly and Ryan Segalla assisted on the goal.
The game-winning goal for the Huskies was scored by Billy Latta as he took advantage of a Friar turnover to break into the Providence zone alone. Mauermann nearly caught Latta from the far side of the ice, but Latta drove to the net and slid the puck around Gillies leg for the 3-1 lead at 12:44 of the third.
With 29 seconds left to play, Mauermann scored his second goal of the game to trim the lead to 3-2. Sophomore Tom Parisi(Commack, N.Y.) fired a long shot that missed the net high and wide but deflected off the back boards.
Sophomore Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) collected the puck from behind the net and dropped a pass to Mauermann, who was stationed at the front of the crease. Mauermann pushed the puck past Grogan for his eighteenth of the season.
Providence finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while UConn was 0-for-2.
The Friars will host No. 20 Notre Dame in a weekend series as the teams will meet for their first time as Hockey East opponents. The opener will be played at 7:05 p.m. on Friday Feb. 14 at Schneider Arena and will be televised on COXSports on OSN. The series will conclude at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.
With 18 goals, Ross Mauermann ahs the most goals in a season by a Friar since Peter Fregoe scored 23 in 2002-03 ... Mauermann is the first Friar to top the 31-point plateau in a season since Torry Gajda had 34 in 2005-06 ... Mauermann now has eight multi-point games this season, with three of those being multi-goal games ... Providence set a season-high for shots on goal in a game with 60 (55 SOG at Northeastern on Dec. 6, 2013) ... John Gilmour now has five points in his last six games (2-3-5) ... Nick Saracino is now tied with Mauermann for the team lead in assists with 15 ... Derek Armyskated in his 138th consecutive game as a Friar, while Steven Shamanski played in his 119th straight ...The Friars end the nonconference portion of their schedule with an 8-2-4 record.