Brett Berard’s overtime goal supplied the Friars with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the University of Maine at Schneider Arena in Providence on Saturday night.
Freshman Nolan Renwick and senior Adam Dawe staked UMaine to a 2-0 lead in the first period but Berard’s second-period goal and Max Crozier’s third-period tied it.
Berard scored his second goal of the game and 17th of the season with 2:19 remaining in overtime.
Providence improved 21-13-2 overall and 12-11-1 in Hockey East.
UMaine fell to 6-20-4 and 4-16-2.
The Black Bears are now 2-3-4 in overtime while Providence is 2-1-2.
UMaine is 1-12-1 on the road.
“The guys played incredibly hard,” said UMaine first-year head coach Ben Barr. “We didn’t take any [five-minute major penalties] tonight. We gave ourselves a chance to win but we came up short. I feel for the guys. I’m disappointed we didn’t pull it out.”
UMaine had been the nation’s least-penalized team among the 59 Division I programs but the Black Bears took four five-minute majors in the previous three games.
The Black Bears already had a depleted lineup and were down to five defensemen when Adrien Bisson suffered an injury in the second period.
Barr moved forward Edward Lindelow back to defense and he said he played well.
Defensemen Jakub Sirota (knee) and Sam Duerr (upper body) are sidelined.
UMaine was also without leading goal scorer Donavan Houle, who received a one-game suspension from Hockey East for a contact-to-the head infraction in the first period of Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Providence.
Grant Hebert also picked up a five-minute major and game misconduct for a contact-to-the-head infraction in the first period of Friday night’s game but he wasn’t suspended.
In addition, sophomore goalie Victor Ostman was sick and couldn’t play. Junior Matt Thiessen got his first start since Jan. 7 and finished with 32 saves.
Berard’s game-winner in the three-on-three overtime came on a rink-length dash as he broke in alone and flipped a backhander past Thiessen.
“It was a bad breakdown by us on the goal,” Barr said. “We screwed up the coverage. There was a lack of communication.”
Renwick opened the scoring in the first period by one-timing a nice feed from Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup past Providence College goalie Jaxson Stauber for his third of the season just 4:15 into the game.
Dawe, who missed Friday’s game due to a one-game suspension for a contact-to-the head hit against New Hampshire a week ago, made it 2-0 on the power play 56 seconds later when he deflected a Lynden Breen shot past Stauber, who finished with 15 stops.
It was Dawe’s sixth goal of the season.
Berard got one back in the second period when he converted a pass from Chase Yoder at the 4:50 mark.
Crozier tied it 4:50 into the third period when he batted a Jamie Engelbert rebound out of the air and past Thiessen for his seventh of the season.
UMaine will close out the regular season with a pair of home games against Boston University on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m.