Providence College’s domination over the University of Maine men’s hockey team continued Friday night.
The Friars received a second-period goal from senior center Bryan Lemos, and senior goalie Hayden Hawkey made 28 saves, including several in the waning seconds when UMaine pulled goalie Jeremy Swayman in favor of the extra attacker, as the Friars triumphed 1-0 at Alfond Arena.
It was Providence’s 15th consecutive victory over UMaine and extended its unbeaten streak against UMaine to 19 games (18-0-1). PC has surrendered just 33 goals in those 19 games.
The Friars improved to 16-8-5 overall and 9-6-2 in Hockey East.
Swayman finished with 29 saves for UMaine (10-14-3 overall, 6-8-3 HE), which is 2-7-1 in its past 10 home games.
The teams will conclude the series Saturday night at 7.
Hawkey’s shutout was his sixth of the season and 14th of his career.
“It was a great game. We just couldn’t find a way to put the puck in the net,” UMaine coach Red Gendron said. “We certainly had our chances.”
“I thought we all over them in the first and third periods, but the puck just wouldn’t fall for us,” UMaine junior center Patrick Shea said.
UMaine attempted 60 shots to Providence’s 48, but the Black Bears had 17 shots blocked and missed the net 13 times.
They failed to score on a late power play.
Lemos scored 5:10 into the second period on a 3-on-3 rush.
Ryan Tait collected a Matt Koopman pass in the neutral zone and slid it to Lemos before dashing down the right wing. Tait and linemate Shane Kavanagh, who was on the left wing, were both covered effectively by the Black Bears, but Lemos had plenty of space as a UMaine defenseman got caught in the low slot.
Lemos stickhandled into shooting position in the middle of the slot and was able to snap a 22-foot wrist shot over Swayman’s glove before the defenseman could recover.
“Their defenseman backed off me and when he came out at me and went down on one knee, I saw an opening and tried to get the shot over his leg,” said Lemos, who added that he, Tait and Koopman have worked on that play in practice.
“He can finish,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said about Lemos, his fourth line enter.
Gendron said his defenseman made a mistake on the play as he had Lemos covered earlier in the sequence but backed off him.
“But that didn’t cost us the game,” Gendron said.
Swayman came up with several key saves to keep UMaine within one as the Friars outshot UMaine 14-3 in the period.
Swayman and Hawkey were both sharp in the first period, and their teammates did an effective limiting second-chance opportunities.
UMaine, with five power-play goals in its past 10 chances over the previous three games, generated two good chances on its only power play of the period.
Tim Doherty found Shea open in the middle of the slot and Shea got off a low one-timer that Hawkey saved with his stick.
Moments later, Hawkey held his ground and held Eduards Tralmaks’ wrister from the high slot against his chest.
Hawkey made a terrific right pad save off Chase Pearson early in the third period, flashing out his right pad to kick out Pearson’s 16-foot wrist shot labeled for the far corner.
With seven minutes left, Eduards Tralmaks generated a full head of steam and flew down the left wing before taking a perfect cross-ice pass from Brady Keeper in the neutral zone and busting around a Friar defenseman.
But Hawkey came out to challenge him and made a nice near post save on Tralmaks’ wrister from the bottom of the left circle.
UMaine pulled Swayman with 1:44 left and buzzed the Friar net looking for the equalizer.
Rob Michel’s wrister from the top of the right circle made its way through a posse of players, but Hawkey was able to get a piece of it. The rebound spilled to Mitch Fossier, who said he was staring at an open net.
“I pulled it around [Hawkey], but my shot hit the shaft of one of their defenseman’s sticks,” Fossier said.
“The hockey gods were with us,” said Nate Leaman, whose team was outshot 13-4 by the Black Bears in the third period.
Leaman was not pleased with his team’s performance.
“I thought they won most of the one-on-one battles,” Leaman said. “We were pretty sluggish at the beginning of the game, and they came out with jump.”
He thought his team had a good second period but “Maine pushed back in the third period.”
Both coaches felt Swayman and Hawkey turned in stellar performances.
“Swayman was real good when we were on the power play in the second period, and Hawk came up with some big saves in the third,” Leaman said.