Junior forward Lucas Mercuri scored at 19:12 of the third period for the Minutemen
Late Mercuri Goal Sends Massachusetts Past Providence, 3-2
Junior forward Lucas Mercuri scored at 19:12 of the third period for the Minutemen

Box Score - Highlights

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - No. 15 University of Massachusetts hockey scored twice in the third period, including netting the game-winner with 48.2 seconds to go in regulation to defeat Providence, 3-2 at Schneider Arena on Thursday. With the win, the Minutemen improve to 7-3-1 (3-2-1 HE), while the Friars fall to 8-2-2 (4-1-2 HE).

Providence took a 1-0 lead 8:30 into the first when Luke Krys' shot from the right point found its way through traffic and into the top corner past Michael Hrabal. Nick Poisson and Jaroslav Chmelar earned assists on the play.

The Minutemen tied the score at 1-1 at the 10:22 mark of the second period courtesy of Cam O'Neill's first collegiate goal. The freshman drove to the net and chipped the puck over Philip Svedebäck's pad off a feed from graduate students Christian Sanda and Lucas Vanroboys.

The Friars would regain their one-goal advantage before the intermission, however. Nick Poisson and Chemlar forced a turnover at the top of the right faceoff circle in the UMass zone and found Chase Yoder streaking down the slot alone for the finish at 14:49.

With a power play opportunity midway through the third, junior Ryan Ufko tied the score at 2-2 with this third goal of the season. Collecting the puck from junior Scott Morrow and sophomore Kenny Connors, Ufko fluttered a shot through a screen from the high slot at the 7:08 mark.

Then in the final minute of regulation, Samuli Niinisaari's outlet pass started a rush up the ice for UMass, led by juniors Lucas Mercuri and Ryan Lautenbach. Lautenbach curled and centered the puck for Mercuri, who batted it home from the slot into an open net.

The Minutemen finished the night with a 27-23 advantage in shots on goal and went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

Hrabal logged 21 saves for UMass and Svedbäck had 24 stops for Providence.

The two teams will be back in action on Saturday, November 18, with a meeting at the Mullins Center at 4 p.m.