PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Providence College junior Jon Rheault (Deering, N.H.) recorded a career-high five points (two goals, three assists), while sophomore goalie Chris Mannix (Hubbardston, Mass.) made 21 saves in his first career start as the Friars skated to a 7-1 victory over third-ranked New Hampshire Saturday night at Schneider Arena. With the win, the Friars are now in sole possession of the eighth and final Hockey East playoff spot, two points ahead of UMass Lowell.
Rheault scored twice in the first 10 minutes to help the Friars jump out to a 3-0 first period lead. While PC was on the power play at 6:05, Rheault took a pass at the bottom of the right face off circle from freshman John Cavanagh (Warwick, R.I.) before stick-handling his way to the front of the net and tucking the puck past UNH goalie Kevin Regan. Rheault struck again at the 10:00 mark when just as UNH’s power play expired, he skated down the right wing and carried the puck around the net before scoring a wrap-around goal. Senior Colin McDonald (Wethersfield, Conn.) capped off the first period scoring with his team-leading 12th goal of the season. Freshman Greg Collins (Hingham, Mass.) slipped the puck to the slot to McDonald, who fired a one-timer that glanced off the cross bar and into the net.
The Friars added three more goals in the second period to increase their lead to 6-1. Senior Chase Watson (Media, Pa.) and sophomore Matt Taormina (Washington Township, Mich.) each scored on the power-play to make the score, 5-0. UNH’s cut the lead to 5-1 when Jerry Pollastrone scored his ninth goal of the season at 15:08. However, freshman Mark Fayne (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) scored his fifth goal of the season with 25 seconds left in the second period as the Friars regained their five-goal edge (6-1). Sophomore Nick Mazzolini (Anchorage, Alaska) capped off the scoring in the third period with his fifth goal of the season.
Mannix, who was making his fourth overall appearance, stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced to earn his first career victory. UNH’s Kevin Regan and Brian Foster combined to make 44 saves. The Friars finished with a season-high 51 shots and seven goals. The last time PC scored seven goals was on December 21, 2005. PC also scored a season-high three power-play goals.