Freshman Nick Saracino scored his second goal of the night at 8:06 of the third period, breaking a tie and giving No. 17 Providence a 3-2 win over seventh-ranked New Hampshire in the first game of their best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series at Schneider Arena in Providence.
After a scoreless first period, Saracino, who also had an assist, and John Gilmour gave the Friars (16-12-7) a 2-0 lead on second-period goals.
The Wildcats (18-10-7) cut the lead in half on a Grayson Downing power-play strike at 13:50 of the second and Austin Block picked up his 15th of the year two minutes into the third period to tie the game.
Shane Luke had three assists in his return to the Providence lineup after missing six games with a knee injury.
Jon Gillies made 35 saves for Providence and Casey DeSmith had 22 for UNH.
ECAC quarterfinals — Brian Ferlin scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period and Andy Iles made 33 saves to help Cornell (15-14-3) to a 3-2 victory over top-ranked Quinnipiac (24-6-5) in Game 1 of the best-of-three series in Hamden, Conn. . . . Michael Juola scored his fourth of the year with 1:44 left to break a 1-1 tie and help lift Brown (14-12-6) to a 3-1 win over No. 16 Rensselaer (17-13-5) in Game 1 of their series in Troy, N.Y. Anthony Borelli made 26 saves for the Bears . . . Andrew Miller had two goals and two assists, while his linemates Jesse Root and Kenny Agostino added a goal and two assists each as No. 13 Yale (17-10-3) thumped St. Lawrence (18-15-4), 6-1, in the first game of their series in New Haven . . . Daniel Carr scored the first of his two goals on the night in the opening frame and added another midway through the third to help No. 19 Union (18-12-5) beat Dartmouth (15-13-15), 4-1, and take a 1-0 series lead in Schenectady, N.Y.
Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals — Grant Blakey notched his 11th goal of the season at 7:17 of the third period to break a tie and give Mercyhurst (17-15-5) a 3-2 win over Holy Cross (19-13-13) in the first game of their best-of-three series at the Hart Center in Worcester. Shayne Stockton scored his 12th goal and Mike McNamara his ninth for the losing Crusaders . . . After spotting Robert Morris a 1-0 lead, UConn roared back on goals from Brant Harris, Joey Ferriss, Shawn Pauly, and Evan Carriere to take a 4-1 win in Game 1 of their series in Storrs, Conn. . . . Giancarlo Iuorio picked up his second goal of the game, and 19th of the season, at 11:28 of the third, to give host No. 15 Niagara (22-8-5) a 3-2 win over RIT (15-17-5) . . . Kyle Gibbons scored on the man-advantage with just nine seconds remaining in the third period to give Canisius (16-18-5) a 4-3 win over Air Force (17-12-7) in Game 1 of their series in Colorado Springs.
NCAA Div. 3 semifinals — Chris Muise had two goals and an assist to lead No. 3 Oswego State (25-4-0) past No. 2 Norwich (24-4-1), 6-3, in Lake Placid, N.Y., and into Saturday night’s final against No. 4 Wisconsin-Eau Claire (23-5-2), a 5-1 winner over No. 7 Utica (21-6-1).
Corey Hale and Kyle Thomas had a goal and an assist apiece in Norwich’s loss.
NCAA Div. 3 semifinals — Lauren Greer, Emily Fluke, Molly Downey, and Maggie Woodward all scored as sixth-ranked Middlebury (20-7-2) knocked off No. 1 Plattsburgh State (26-1-2), 4-1, in Superior, Wis.
In Saturday night’s championship game, the Panthers will face No. 5 Elmira (23-5-1), which nipped No. 2 Gustavus Adolphus (27-1-1), 4-3, in overtime.