A battle of top-10 ranked Hockey East schools will get underway on Friday night in the first game of home-and-home series between the UMass Lowell River Hawks (No. 8) and Providence College Friars (No. 7).
The River Hawks and Friars will meet for the first time since last year’s Hockey East semifinals when UMass Lowell topped Providence to advance to the Hockey East Championship on their way to their first ever Hockey East title in school history.
Providence started the season off 9-1-1 over their first 11 games, but have are 1-3-2 over their last six games. The Friars have reached as high as No. 3 in the USCHO.com poll, but have fallen to No. 7 as of late.
The Friars have drawn the fourth most penalty minutes (112) of all Hockey East teams, but have converted only 15 goals during those power plays, a league worst 13.4 percent.
Highlighting the weekend is the battle of two of the Hockey East and the nation’s best goaltenders, Connor Hellebuyck and Jon Gillies.
Overall the River Hawks are 44-50-11 (.419) against the Friars and 23-25-4 at Providence College home sites. Last season, UMass Lowell was 3-1-0 against the Friars.
“It’s become quite a rivalry,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin. “Both clubs started with new coaches at the same time, we’re on an even footing; both have strong defensive clubs that play hard offensively. It should be a great match up.”
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. eastern and can be heard on ESPN Radio via WCAP 980 or the ESPN Radio App worldwide.