The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team’s quest to earn a fourth-straight appearance in the Hockey East semifinals came up short.
The 14th-ranked Providence College Friars received a pair of goals from Caroline Peterson, four assists from Brooke Becker and 30 saves from Hope Walinski to beat the Black Bears 5-2 in their Hockey East quarterfinal at Schneider Arena in Providence on Saturday afternoon.
Providence will travel to take on second seed Vermont in Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal with the winner taking on the Northeastern-Boston College winner in Saturday’s noon title game.
The Friars, the third seed, also received goals from Ashley Clark, Delaney Couture and Sara Hjalmarsson.
Grace Heiting and Ida Kuoppala scored for sixth seed UMaine and Anna LaRose made 35 stops.
Providence improved to 21-10-4 and went 3-0-1 against the Black Bears this season.
The Black Bears wound up 15-18-2 under first-year head coach Molly Engstrom.
Peterson opened the scoring at the 12:11 mark of the first period by converting a pass from Reichen Kirchmair.
But Heiting answered 4:48 later by beating Walinski, who snapped home a nice pass by Kuoppala.
Kuoppala gave UMaine the lead just 33 seconds into the second period off a shorthanded breakaway after she stole the puck.
But Clark tied it at the 15:18 mark when she scored off a Lily Hendrikson feed and Couture scored the game-winner just 2:14 later after being set up by Maddy Coene.
Hjalmarsson gave the Friars an important insurance goal just 1:11 into the third period and Peterson added a late goal.