AMHERST, Mass. - Bobby Trivigno scored the eventual game-winner in the second period along with two assists, to lift second-seeded Massachusetts to a 5-2 win over fifth-seeded Providence in the semifinals of the 36th annual Hockey East Championship Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
Trivigno's goal was in the middle of four unanswered Minutemen goals to hold off the Friars and UMass advances to the final for the second time in program history, it's first time since 2004. They will host seventh-seeded UMass Lowell in an all-Commonwealth final Saturday at 7 p.m. (TV-NESN), the first on campus title game since 1991.
Trivigno's goal, his 10th of the season just 1:22 into the middle stanza, snapped a 2-2 tie as UMass (15-5-4) held Providence scoreless for the last 42 minutes of the contest. Minuteman goalie Filip Lindberg finished with 20 saves as UMass out-shot the Friars 27-22 in the close and cleanly played match that had only one minor penalty whistled on both teams.
Hockey East co-Rookie of the Year Josh Lopina opened the scoring for UMass 52 seconds into the game, his eighth of the season, cashing in on a rebound outside the goal crease. Trivigno and Matthew Kessell picked up assists. After good fore-checking by Providence at the 6:00 minute mark, Brett Berard tied it with assists by Nick Poisson and Ben Mirageas. Parker Ford, on the power play assisted by Tyce Thompson and Michael Callahan, snapped one by Lindberg just 2:14 later to give Providence a 2-1 edge.
UMass would clamp down on defense and it would tie it on a bullet from the point by Zac Jones under three minutes later at 11:46, set up by Trivigno and Kessel to close out a fast paced first period.
Trivigno would give the Minutemen the lead for good on an assist from Jones early in the second. George Mika would make it 4-2 with his third of the year at 9:32 of the final period with Marc Del Gaizo and Colin Felix on the assists. Del Gaizo would cap the scoring with an empty net goal with 41 seconds remaining.
Kessel (two assists), Del Gaizo (goal and assist) and Jones (goal and assist) would join Trivigno with multi-point games for UMass.
Jaxson Stauber finished with 22 saves for the Friars (11-9-5) who were making their 16th appearance in the semifinals. Providence converted on the lone power play of the game.