PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The UMass Minutemen swept the home-and-home series with Providence on Saturday night with a 5-1 victory over the Friars at Schneider Arena. The Minutemen received goals from five different skaters while Paul Dainton made 24 saves in goal in his first start this season. James Marcou tallied one goal and two assists while the line of Marcou, Alex Berry and Cory Quirk amassed eight points on the night and 19 points for the weekend. The Minutemen will travel to North Andover, Mass. to take on the Merrimack Warriors next Saturday, November 8. Gametime is scheduled for 7 PM.
The Minutemen went 2-for-5 on the power play while holding the Friars (2-4-0, 0-4-0 HEA) to a 0-for-6 showing on the man-advantage. Shots were 31-25 in favor of Massachusetts (4-1-1, 2-0-1 HEA).
The Minutemen had more quality scoring chances in the first period than Providence, but three UMass penalties allowed the Friars to get some opportunities of their own. Providence also came out playing a more physical game than Friday night. UMass carried the play early in the period, throwing shots on Providence goaltender Chris Mannix, but once the Minutemen were sent to the penalty box, the ice started to tilt in favor of the Friars. The Massachusetts penalty kill, however, kept Providence to the perimeter and Dainton turned away any shot attempts from the home team.
Once Providence was called for their first penalty of the evening, the UMass power play got some scoring chances of their own while on the man advantage. The Minutemen nearly took a one-goal lead with about nine minutes to play in the frame when Quirk received a Justin Braun pass and fired the puck on goal. The initial shot was saved, but Mannix left the rebound out to the left of the cage. A Friar defender kept Marcou from pounding home the bouncing puck.
UMass picked up where it left off on Friday during the second period, throwing 17 shots on goal and scoring four times. The Friars got a goal of their own during the middle frame, giving UMass a 4-1 lead heading into the second intermission. The Minutemen got on the board five minutes into the period when Chris Davis netted his fourth goal of the season. While on the power play, Braun took a shot from the point that was blocked by a Friar defenseman. Braun gathered the puck and fired it towards the net again. The shot seemed to handcuff Mannix, and Davis was there to sneak the puck past the Friar netminder for the 1-0 lead.
The Minutemen continued their power play success four minutes later, when Michael Lecomte notched his third goal of the year. After receiving a pass from Marcou, Alex Berry took a shot through traffic that was tipped by Lecomte past Mannix. Marc Concannon, who saw action in his first game since October 10, got his first goal of the season four minutes later when he ripped a shot that hit the post and went in. Cory Quirk assisted on the goal.
The Friars responded with a goal of their own just 1:26 after Concannon's goal when Matt Germain got his first goal of the season. Germain carried the puck into the UMass zone and tried a wrap around that was saved by Dainton. Germain gathered the loose puck and threw another shot on goal that beat Dainton above the shoulder. UMass wasted little time in regaining its three-goal lead when Marcou scored his fifth goal of the season with 1:52 to play in the frame. Berry took a shot from the left faceoff dot and Marcou got a stick on the puck and directed it past Mannix.
The teams traded chances during the third period, and the Minutemen came away with an insurance marker from Justin Braun with 5:34 to play in regulation. After Marcou took a shot that was saved by Justin Gates, Braun picked up the loose puck and buried it past the goaltender for the final goal of the game. Down the other end of the ice, Dainton made several saves during the final frame to keep the Friars to one goal.