Junior forward Ross Mauermann scores game-winning goal for Friars

Junior Ross Mauermann scored the game-winning goal for the Friars

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Despite heading into the final period trailing 4-2, the No. 7 Providence College men's hockey team came out with a 5-4 win over the No. 8 UMass Lowell River Hawks on Friday, Jan. 24 at a sold-out Schneider Arena (2,978).

The comeback win was highlighted by third period goals from Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.), Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario) and Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.). All three goals came in the final 7:32 of play, including Mauermann's fifth game-winning goal of the season, which was scored at 3:46 left.

Providence (15-5-5, 7-4-1 HEA) held a 1-0 lead after the first period but found themselves trailing 4-2 after 40-minutes of play. Keyed by A.J. White's goal and assist, the River Hawks (15-7-2, 5-4-1 HEA) had an offensive outburst in the second period, scoring each of their four goals.

Providence goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) made 25 saves in the win, including eight in the third period. UMass Lowell's Connor Hellebuyck stopped 36 shots in the River Hawk net.

Junior Drew Brown (Grass Lake, Mich.) started the play that led to the game's opening goal, scored at 14:53 of the first. Brown connected a pass to junior Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.), who then found defenseman John Gilmour (Montreal, Quebec) with an opening through the neutral zone. The sophomore then skated in alone on Hellebuyck and beat him up high for his fourth goal of the season.

Lowell responded to the deficit in the second as they notched four goals, three of which came in a span of 4:18. White evened the score for the River Hawks when Michael Kapla sprung him with a pass through the neutral zone. White cut around the Providence defense and scored at 6:01.

The River Hawks grabbed the lead at 7:36 of the second when Michael Colantone beat Gillies on a shot that went high. Then at 10:20 of the second, Joseph Pendenza gave the River Hawks a two-goal lead for the first time in the game. White fired a shot on goal that Gillies stopped with his pad but Pendenza collected the rebound and got the puck past a sprawled out Gillies to make it 3-1.

Less than a minute later, the Friars responded as they cut UMass Lowell's lead to one. Sophomore Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) slid the puck along the blue line to fellow defenseman Josh Monk (Langley, British Columbia). Monk fired a shot towards the River Hawk net that was blocked on its way and was sent into the air. After Brown nearly connected with the puck, Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) made contact, batting the puck in mid-air past Hellebuyck at 11:11.

Before the second period ended, the River Hawks regained their two-goal lead when Michael Fallon put a rebound in at 18:21 to make the score 4-2 after two periods of play.

To open the scoring in the third, Saracino sent a pass from the boards to Mingoia, who was open in the slot. Mingoia sniped a shot that beat Hellebuyck high to cut the River Hawks' lead in half. His second goal of the season came at 12:28 of the third and was also assisted by Jankowski.

At 15:01, Jankowski tied the game at four. Work down low in the offensive zone by Mingoia and Saracino led to Jankowski finding his way to the slot, where he spun before putting a wrist shot high past Hellebuyck for his ninth goal of the season.

Friar leading goal-scorer Mauermann notched the game winner with his fifteenth goal of the season, scored at 16:14. Demopoulos took a pass from Brown and fired the puck on net and as Mauermann drove to the crease he pushed the rebound past the goal line to seal the comeback win for the Friars.

Both teams finished 0-for-2 on the power play and the Friars outshot the River Hawks 41-29 in the game.

The Friars and the River Hawks meet for the final time in the regular season tomorrow night in a 7:00 p.m. at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass.