Orono, Maine - Defensive lapses and mental errors continue to haunt the University of Maine hockey team. That was the case once again Friday night at Alfond Arena as Providence College leapfrogged the Black Bears in the Hockey East standings with a 4-1 victory.
Right after a penalty expired to Maine defenseman Jake Rutt, Providence connected for the game's first goal at the 12:32 mark. After receiving a pass from Derek Army, Brandon Tanev fired a shot on net from a poor angle on the left side that snuck by Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette.
Providence extended its lead to 2-0 just 30 seconds into the second period when the Friars caught Maine too high in the defensive zone. Army whistled a quick pass out from the corner to Noel Acciari who deflected the puck past Ouellette.
Blaine Byron single-handedly pulled Maine within a goal midway through the second frame when he carried the puck out from behind the goal line and circled around in front before backhanding a shot past Providence goalie Jon Gillies.
Any positive momentum from that goal was wiped away just over three minutes later. With Maine defenseman Brice O'Connor in the penalty box, the Friars took advantage. Nick Saracino kept chipping away at a loose puck and finally got his stick on it to push it past Ouellette. Army and Acciari assisted on the goal that gave the Friars their two-goal lead back.
With Maine pinching and throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Gillies, the Friars finally took advantage of an odd-man rush the other way. Mark Jankowski fed a streaking Noel Acciari who centered the puck to Trevor Mingoia for a one-timer that beat Ouellette.
Maine was able to get a goal back at the end, but that was as close as the Black Bears would get. Jon Swavely scored on a shot from the left circle that beat Gillies high glove side. Cam Brown and Blaine Byron assisted on the tally that came with 3:59 to play.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.