BUFFALO, N.Y. - The fourth-seeded Providence College men's ice hockey team fell to the first-seeded Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, 4-1, in the Frozen Four Semifinal on Thursday, April 11 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Providence, making its fifth appearance in the Frozen Four and first since winning the NCAA title in 2015, concludes its successful season at 24-12-6 after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-consecutive season.
No. 4 Providence - 1 | No. 1 Minnesota Duluth - 4
Providence - 24-12-6 | Minnesota Duluth - 28-11-2
Keybank Center - Buffalo, N.Y.
Hayden Hawkey (PC) - 32 saves
Hunter Shepard (UMD) - 28 saves
- Vimal Sukumaran took the game's first penalty 4:05 into the action. Minnesota Duluth only got one shot through to Hayden Hawkey, which he turned aside.
- UMD appeared to take the lead twice during the first period. The first chance came near the midpoint but was waved off as the referee had already blown the play dead. The second came with 3:20 on the clock. Cole Koepke's rebound shot was initially called a goal, but after a long review the call was reversed for goaltender interference.
- The Friars held a slight advantage in shots after one period, leading 9-8.
- The Bulldogs broke the stalemate with a goal 6:39 into the second period. Peter Mackay dropped a pass to Justin Richards who fired a wrist shot under Hawkey's blocker through a screen for a 1-0 lead.
- Providence wasted no time on its first power play of the game, which came at the 11:06 mark of the second. Josh Wilkins scored his 11th goal in the last 10 games just 11 seconds into the opportunity. Jacob Bryson took a slap shot, which was saved by Hunter Shepard. Brandon Duhaime pushed the rebound over to Wilkins who fired a wrister into the top corner.
- With his 20th goal of the season, Wilkins became the Friars' first 20-goal scorer since 2002-03 when Peter Fregoe posted 23 goals.
- Duhaime's assist was his 23rd of the season, while Bryson's was his 24th.
- Providence improved to 6-for-10 on the power play during the NCAA Tournament with the goal. They finished 6-for-12 overall by the end of the contest.
- UMD had a power-play chance late in the second period, but the Friars earned their second kill of the game. Hawkey made one save during the opportunity.
- The Bulldogs outshot the Friars 13-11 in the middle stanza.
- Minnesota Duluth took penalties 3:44 and 4:26 into the third. The Bulldogs killed off both, including 1:18 of a 5-on-3 advantage for Providence. Shepard made four saves and the Bulldogs won three of four face-offs during the extended man-advantage.
- With 9:51 remaining in the third, UMD regained the lead. Kobe Roth took a shot from the high slot, which Hawkey knocked down with his blocker. Billy Exell jumped on the rebound and put it past Hawkey's glove for a 2-1 lead.
- The Bulldogs controlled possession over the final nine minutes of the game. UMD controlled the face-offs for the game (40-22), including a 10-3 advantage over the last nine minutes.
- UMD closed out the game with two empty-net goals in the final 33 seconds to push the score to 4-1. Dylan Samberg scored the first before Justin Richards tacked on his second tally of the game.
- Nate Leaman is now 8-5 in the NCAA Tournament during his career at Providence. The Friars are 17-20 overall in the NCAA Tournament (15 appearances) as a program and 2-3 in Frozen Four Semifinals.
HOW THEY SCORED
1-0 (UMD) - 6:39/2nd - EV - Justin Richards (Mackay, Anderson) - Wrist shot through a screen that beat Hawkey low, blocker side
1-1 (PC) - 11:17/2nd - PP - Josh Wilkins (Duhaime, Bryson) - Duhaime tipped the rebound from Bryson's slapshot over to Wilkins who fired it into the top corner
2-1 (UMD) - 10:07/3rd - EV - Billy Exell (Roth, Samberg) - Shot from the high slot that resulted in a rebound, which Exell beat Hawkey with on his glove side
3-1 (UMD) - 19:27/3rd - EN - Dylan Smberg (unassisted) - Empty-net goal
4-1 (UMD) - 19:54/3rd - EN - Justin Richards (Cates) - Empty-net goal
PC GAME HIGHS
Goals: Wilkins (1)
Assists: Duhaime, Bryson (1)
Points: Wilkins, Duhaime, Bryson (1)
Shots: Callahan (5)
Providence - 1/3
Minnesota Duluth - 0/2
Providence - 29
Minnesota Duluth - 36