Hockey East roundup: UMass bounces back at home; Providence shut down

Massachusetts 3, Vermont 1
Following an 8-2 loss at the hands of UMass-Lowell on Sunday, the Minutemen bounced back and derailed visiting UVM from the winning track with a 3-1 win at Mullins Center. Led by junior Branden Gracel's two goals, including the game-winner at 3:57 of the second period, UMass improved to 4-5-1 on the season and leapfrogged its opponent and into a fifth-place tie with Merrimack with seven points. Sophomore Kevin Boyle returned to the crease, making 24 stops in his fourth victory of the season. For UVM, junior Anthony DeCenzo scored his first goal of the year 11:20 into the proceedings as rookie Brody Hoffman made 28 saves in the tough-luck loss, falling to 2-5-2 in his ninth consecutive start. Four of the last six meetings between the Catamounts and Minutemen, which have met two days before Thanksgiving in every year since 1996, have been decided by a goal. The Catamounts wrap up a stretch of five games in nine days this weekend as No. 4 Minnesota visits Burlington for the first time ever. UMass keeps a four-game homestand running against Quinnipiac on Saturday.

Quinnipiac 2, Providence 0
For the second time in three games, the Friars were held off the scoreboard as they fell to the visiting and 18th-ranked Bobcats at Schneider Arena. Quinnipiac senior Eric Hartzell made the save on all 21 Friar shots for his second blanking of the season, while junior Connor Jones scored two goals, both on second-period power plays, to lead the Bobcats to their fifth consecutive victory and eighth in 12 games. Despite holding the shots advantage in two periods and holding a 25-24 lead for the game, the Friars were unable to lift rookie Jon Gillies (23 saves) to a third win in five games. The South Portland, Maine native fell back to .500 with his (and the team's) fifth loss of the season in what was his tenth full contest between the pipes over his first 11 collegiate games. With the defeat, the Friars dropped their first home game of the year, while also falling to the visitors from Hamden, Conn. for just the second time in five contests all-time. The Friars return to the ice on Saturday afternoon as they make the ten-minute trek through downtown to Meehan Auditorium to meet archrival Brown, another ECAC foe, in the annual Mayor's Cup.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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