PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The University of Maine men's ice hockey team dropped a 3-1 decision to Providence in the first game of the 2014 Hockey East quarterfinal series between the two teams non Friday night at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I. Maine falls to 16-14-4 on the season with the loss, while the Friars improve to 20-9-6. Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ontario) scored Maine's lone goal and in the process set the school record for goals in a season by a defenseman with his 14th.
Providence scored two quick goals just 1:29 apart early in the first period to take and early 2-0 lead. Trevor Mingoia scored the first goal on a pass from Mark Jankowski 5:28 into the opening period.
The Friars added to their lead at 6:57 when Derek Army notched his seventh goal of the season. Providence won a face-off and got the puck to the blueline. Brandon Tanev then found Army in the slot and put the puck on his stick.
Maine pulled to within one goal when Hutton scored his 14th goal of the season at 4:57 of the second period. He received a pass from Blaine Byron (Manotick, Ontario) just inside the blueline and unleashed a shot that beat Providence netminder Jon Gillies. Brian Morgan (Windham, N.H.) also assisted on the goal for the Black Bears. The goal set the school-record of goals in a season. Dwight Montgomerty set the original record in 1979-80 and Jack Capuano tied it in 1987-88. Jeff Tory was the last Black Bear defenseman to score 13 goals in a season when he accomplished the feat in 1994-95.
Providence, however, answered back with a power play goal at 14:05 of the second period from Mark Jankowski. Noel Acciari and John Gilmore each assisted on the goal for the Friars.
Neither team found the back of the net in the final frame and the game ended 3-1.
Maine finished the game with a 35-32 edge in shots on goals. Maine was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Providence finished the game 1-for-2 with the man advantage.
Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec) made 29 saves in the game. He falls to 15-14-4. Jon Gillies made 34 saves for the Friars and improves to 17-7-5.
Maine tries to force and third and deciding game when the two teams play game two of their best-of-three series on Saturday, March 15. Puck drop is set for 7 PM.