UMass Lowell locks up home ice; Friars clinch playoff spot

Junior forward Riley Wetmore scored two goals for the River Hawks

The Providence College men's hockey team was defeated by No. 8 UMass Lowell, 5-1, Friday night at Schneider Arena. Despite the loss, the Friars clinched their first Hockey East playoff spot since 2008, while the River Hawks locked up home ice for the quarterfinals. The Friars played their final home game of the season and following the game honored the seven graduating seniors on the team.

The River Hawks (21-10-1, 16-9-1 Hockey East) jumped out to a three-goal lead on the Friars after a strong first period. UML took a 1-0 lead at 2:07 on a goal by Michael Budd. Derek Arnold and Josh Holmstrom also scored in the first period.

UMass Lowell extended its lead 1:09 into the second period as Riley Wetmore scored a goal that deflected into the net. Providence (12-17-4, 10-13-3) got on the board when freshman Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) scored from right outside the crease. Senior Daniel New (White Plains, N.Y.) and senior Matt Bergland (Faribault, Minn.) both registered assists of the goal. Wetmore scored his second goal at 2:41 of the third period to complete the scoring.

UML outshot Providence, 37-24. Senior Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.) made 12 saves in the first period and classmate Justin Gates (Cranston, R.I.) finished the game with 20 saves. River Hawks goaltender Doug Carr stopped 23 shots.

Providence and UMass Lowell will play their last game of the regular-season tomorrow night when they complete their home-and-home series at 7:00 p.m. at Tsongas Center, in Lowell, Mass.