PC Men's Hockey Season Ends In Disappointment

Another quarterfinal series ended left the Friar faithful disappointed once again. The loss was the 7th in the last 9 first round playoff series the Friars have played. Even being the only underdog to win a game in the opening series does not take the bad taste these losses left.

Hopes were high on Friday night. A couple of nice individual efforts by Chris Chaput and Jon Rheault had PC up 2-0 with just over 10 minutes gone. Still it was a bad sign to see PC out shot so badly (15-5). In game one two things worked well in Providence's favor. The ref, Scott Hansen, chose to let them play. He called 6 penalties in all, 2 of which were matching. That kept BU's special teams at bay. It also allowed PC to get more players into the game, as there was no dependence on the same players to kill the penalties and play the power play. In turn that did not wear out the Friar top players. The second piece of the puzzle to fall into place was the nice job the PC defense did in limiting the quality of the large number of BU shots (52 on the night)and to be only one attempt and often from distances that Tyler Sims could handle. In the end the big star was Sims.

Sims continued to more then hold his own in this pressure situation. If there is any thing Friar fans can take away was the solid effort he put forth. Beside the 51 saves in game one he saved 24 of 26 shots in both game 2 and game 3. The quality of those shots was vastly better for BU in those two games.

PC was also hurt that on neither the 2nd or 3rd night were the players allowed to play. The Friars took nine minors in each of the last two games. In the both games it was more the cumulative affect that hurt rather then the BU power play. BU's Chris Bourque, in game 2, scored at the 2 minute mark. That meant PC never had the chance to play with even a tie score. BU also adjusted to PC's style while PC made no adjustments. They appeared to play the same defensive oriented system. That limited any PC offense to feeble one shot efforts. In the 3rd PC also shot themselves in the foot when both Nate Meyers and Chris Chaput took costly penalties that you would not expect your upperclassmen to take. These penalties were early in the period and sapped what little jump the team had coming out of the locker.

Game 3 was another effort where the offense was AWOL. Like the night before the ref, Conrad Hache, called it tighter then PC would have liked. What compounded this was that PC took the only 5 penalties of the 1st period. Hache (and later the linesmen as Hache missed about half the period with an injury) seemed to ignore some of the incidents that provoked the PC penalty. That being said PC failed to show the discipline necessary to succeed in their defensive system. Shortly after the 3rd penalty of the period expired BU grabbed the lead. In the second they extended it when they scored on the 6th straight PC penalty of the game. After that goal Hache did seem to let them play, however by then, as the old saying goes, the horse was out of the barn. During the course of a fairly evenly played 3rd period it was clear that BU still had the upper hand and PC was not going to rally. They pulled Sims early with almost 2 minutes to go, but managed nothing in the way of offense. Senior captain Jeff Mason did end his career making a great play to prevent a BU open net goal.

On the surface it is hard to complain about this season. Most experts figured PC was in rebuilding mode. They were picked by the coaches for 7th and with their fine finish they attained that. As mentioned above PC was the only underdog to win a game. What would have been more satisfying would have been to have had their win in the 2nd game. It would have shown PC could adjust. Instead PC grabbed an early lead Friday, and then went almost 8 and a half periods without scoring a goal when BU's goalie was in net. It never appeared PC made any adjustments to what BU was doing. Part of that might be that the Friar's youth did not know how to respond and there is a question whether PC has a player who can pick the team up and carry it on his shoulder. However you can't avoid the fact PC had no answer from the bench on how to stop BU. Again it seems to be the way every year ends. The playoffs have become PC's own version of Groundhog Day. The next few days might be interesting.

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