PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Six different Friars scored and goaltender Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ontario) pitched her seventh shutout of the year Saturday, as the Providence College women's ice hockey team defeated Maine, 6-0, in a Hockey East quarterfinal at Schneider Arena.
The fourth-seeded Friars now advance to the conference semifinals, to be played next Saturday, March 3 against either top-seed Northeastern or second-seeded Boston College. The semifinals and finals are being held this year at the Kennedy Rink at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center in Hyannis, Mass. Game-time will not be determined until tomorrow's other quarterfinal, featuring UNH at BU, is decided.
If Boston University wins tomorrow's quarterfinal matchup, the Friars will face Northeastern at 12:30 pm. If New Hampshire wins tomorrow, the Friars will take on Boston College at 3:30pm.
This is the tenth consecutive season PC has at least advanced to the tourney semifinals. It is the only Hockey East program to qualify for the final four each season.
For Lacasse, Saturday featured her seventh shutout of the season and increased her school record for career shutouts to 19. Saturday, she halted all 38 shots she faced as the Black Bears outshot the Friars, 38-24.
Offensively, six Friars contributed multi-point games, including senior Abby Gauthier (Lynn, Mass.), who tallied three points on a goal and two assists. The PC onslaught included three power play strikes.
Providence opened up the scoring with two goals in rapid succession in the final minute of the opening period. At 19:35, junior defenseman Jessica Cohen (Anchorage, Alaska) hit senior Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.) with an outlet pass into center ice. Cottrell split the defense and snapped home her 15th of the season for a 1-0, PC advantage.
Just moments later, with just six-tenths of a second remaining in the period and PC on the power play. junior Jessica Vella wristed home a shot from the slot while falling down. Vella's ninth of the season sent the teams into the first intermission with the Friars leading, 2-0.
Midway through the second period, at 8:38, Gauthier got on the board. The winger received a brilliant pass out of the Friar zone from sophomore Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.). Gauthier then skated in with room to work and slipped the puck between the goalie's pads for her eighth of the season.
At 12:19 of the middle period, with another Maine penalty expiring, Providence freshman Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) collaborated with Gauthier on a give-and-go out of the left corner. Frade buried her third of the year from the slot for a 3-0 lead.
Providence rounded out the scoring with a pair in the third period. At 11:39, senior Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.), who peppered the Bear net with a team-leading six shots on the day, fired home a one-timer from the slot. Cohen then made it 6-0 at 18:44 with a blast from the point.
Tickets for the semifinals and finals are now on sale at the HYCC Box Offices and via mail order. Please visit hockeyeastonline.com to download the ticket order form. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the days of games. Students from any of the participating Hockey East schools will be admitted free with a valid school ID.