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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team lost to Providence, 4-0, in the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey East Regional from the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. The Bobcats finish the season at 24-10-6, good for the third-most single-season wins in the Division I era (since 1998-99).
The Bobcats cap a sensational 2013-14 season that had them ranked in the USCHO Top 10 for 22 consecutive weeks (since Oct. 21, 2013). Their NCAA Tournament appearance is just the third in program history and second straight after advancing to the 2013 Frozen Four in Pittsburg as the No. 1 overall seed. The loss brings to an end the careers of six seniors including three 100 career point scorers in Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Jordan Samuels-Thomas (Windsor, Conn.).
The first 20 minutes of play was a high-octane affair that featured multiple high quality scoring opportunities for both side. Quinnipiac controlled possession in the early going but Providence was the team to find the back of the net first as Mark Jankowski was on the receiving end of a pair of nice passes. The first came from Trevor Mingoia along the boards, back to Conor MacPhee at the near side post and then over to the opposite post for Jankowski's wide open goal at 3:37.
Eventhough the lamp didn't light for the remainder of the first, both goalies were forced into action to keep the score at 1-0. The Friars' Brandon Tanev burst up-ice with a ton of speed to receive a pass at the Bobcats' defensive blue line and skate in on Quinnipiac's sophomore goalie Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia) unimpeded. His breakaway attempt, however, was stonewalled by Garteig's skate. The play continued and Tanev flung a puck on-net from a horrible angle that looked to have banged off ruled a goal but waved off after the referee review.
Junior defenseman Dan Federico (Acton, Mass.) made his presence known as he bailed out the Quinnipiac defense, diving to the ice and poke-checking the puck away from Nick Saracino to break up another potential breakaway chance.
Quinnipiac's two greatest opportunities both came on separate rushes up-ice as sophomore Matt Lemire (Townsend, Mass.) had a point-blank opportunity on a two-on-one rush denied by the Friars' goalie Jon Gillies, while freshman Sam Anas (Potomac, Md.) banged the crossbar on a wicked wrist shot from the slot on a three-on-two break with the first period clock winding down.
Despite a prolonged effort behind Garteig's net, including another diving poke-check from Federico to deny a shot in close, the Bobcats couldn't withstand the Providence rush early in the second period without damage. Anthony Florentino teed up a blast from the point that made it through traffic to beat Garteig above his right shoulder to give the Friars a 2-0 lead.
The Providence onslaught continued less than three minutes later as Shane Luke pounced on a juicy rebound left at the opposite post to make it 3-0. Ross Mauermann, the Friars' leading scorer, pushed the puck up to Kevin Hart who blasted a wrister on Garteig low and left to create the open rebound goal.
Trevor Mingoia added a power-play goal six minutes later to make it a three-goal second for the Friars and give them a commanding 4-0 lead, which ultimately sealed scoring and victory for Providence.
In a much-anticipated matchup of two of the top goaltender in the nation, the Friars' Gillies put together an incredible display in net with 38 saves to pick up his fourth shutout of the season and ninth of his career. Garteig picked up 18 saves in net to finish his 2013-14 season with one of the best campaigns for a Bobcat goalie in program history. In 2013-14, Garteig finishes with a 24-10-6 record, 1.95 GAA and .910 save percentage in 40 games (all starts).
Quinnipiac also says goodbye to three cornerstone seniors in twin brothers Connor Jones (49-80-129) and Kellen Jones (53-74-127), who will graduate with the 14th and 16th-most career points of any player in program history, respectively.