Hockey Defeats Providence College, 4-3, in Hockey East Opener
Oct. 28, 2001
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior Brad Nizwantowski (Peabody, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal a little over five minutes into the third period to lift the University of Massachusetts to a 4-3 victory over Providence College in the Hockey East opener for the Minutemen.
The Friars tied the game, 3-3, just over a minute into the third period when Drew Omicioli scored a shorthanded goal. The Minutemen responded with the game-winner less than four minutes later. Nizwantowski fired a shot that found the back of the net through traffic from along the boards near the top of the face-off circle. Juniors Jimmy Callahan (Lexington, Mass.) and Samuli Jalkanen (Helsinki, Finland) assisted on the goal.
Massachusetts opened the scoring less than four minutes into the game when freshman Craig MacDonald (Canton, Mass.) intercepted the puck deep in the Providence end and knocked home his own rebound beating Friars goaltender Nolan Schaefer through the five-hole. It was MacDonald's first collegiate goal.
Providence bounced back with two straight goals to grab a 2-1 lead. The Minutemen knotted the game, 2-2, at the 16:34 mark of the first period, when junior Tim Turner (Saginaw, Mich.) scored a power-play goal. Senior Toni Söderholm (Helsinki, Finland) found Turner alone in the slot with a pass from the point. Also assisting on the goal was sophomore Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria).
The Minutemen gained a 3-2 lead with the lone goal in the second period. Senior Darcy King (Barrie, Ontario) made a pass from the corner to Callahan, who was cutting through the slot to the far post. Callahan redirected the pass into the net. Jalkanen picked up the other assist on the goal.
UMass senior goaltender Mike Johnson (Excelsior, Minn.) made 20 saves for the victory, while Schaefer made 25 saves for the Friars. The victory improves Massachusetts to 2-2-0 overall and 1-0-0 in Hockey East, while the loss drops Providence to 1-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in Hockey East.
Massachusetts returns to action on Friday, Nov. 2, with a 7:00 p.m. rematch at Providence College.