Providence, R.I. - A 3-2 win over No. 10 Mercyhurst University gave the Providence College women's ice hockey team their first home of the season on Sunday, Oct. 13 at Schneider Arena. Following the weekend split with Mercyhurst, the Friars record improves to 2-2-0 overall.
Neither team could break through in the first period as sophomore Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.) made 13 saves for the Friars and the Amanda Makela stopped all 12 shots from Providence. Each team had two power play opportunities but the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
At 9:03 of the second period Mercyhurst broke the scoreless tie when Shelby Bram got the puck past Bryant. Christie Cicero got the original shot on goal that Bryant made the stop on but Bram followed up on the play to score and give the Lakers a 1-0 lead.
Senior Corinne Buie (Edina, Minn.) evened the score for the Friars at the 12:44 mark of the middle period. Passing by senior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) and sophomore Lexi Slattery (Lino Lakes, Minn.) on the Friar's breakout allowed Buie to enter the Lakers zone. Buie fired a slapshot from just inside the blue line that beat Makela clean on her glove side. It was Buie's second goal of the season that tied the game at 1-1.
Graduate Student Janine Weber (Innsbruck, Austria) tallied her first goal as a Friar just 17 seconds into the third period. Freshman Lexi Romanchuk (San Jose, Calif.) got the puck to Buie who fired a shot from the boards that made its way towards the net. Weber deflected Buie's shot high past Makela to give the Friars a 2-1 lead.
The game winning goal was scored by junior Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) at 15:11 of the third period while the Friars were on a power play. Sophomore Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.) sent a pass across the offensive zone to Morse, who fired the puck from the blueline. Morse's shot left a rebound for Frade on the backdoor. Frade tallied her first goal of the season on the play.
Mercyhurst responded to the two goal deficit with a goal that cut the Friars lead in half at 15:27. Cicero skated in alone and sent a shot from the slot past Bryant. Cicero's goal cut the Friars' lead to 3-2 but Providence held on in the final minutes of play to earn the victory.
Bryant had a strong game in goal for the Friars as she notched a career-best 47 saves. She surpassed her previous career high of 35 saves, which came on Nov. 30, 2012 in a game against Boston University. The last time a Providence goaltender made 40+ saves was on March 4, 2012 when Genevieve Lacasse made 48 saves against Boston University.
Providence's special teams played a major role in the game as the Friars were perfect on the penalty kill, going 6-for-6 in the game. Providence also was able to best Mercyhurst in face-offs, winning 40 out of 73.
The Friars' next game is against Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Schneider Arena. The two teams will complete the home series with a 3:00 p.m. game on Saturday, Oct. 19.