Providence sophomore Josh Wilkins, of Raleigh, NC. (pictured here celebrating a goal against Boston College in a game last year), scored a goal in his team's 4-1 win at Boston College Friday night, and he scored the first goal of the game in his team's home ice 2-2 tie with Boston University Saturday night.  The 5'11" 180lb forward is fourth on his team in goals scored, with nine, and is fifth in assists, with ten.  Providence is 15-7-2, is ranked #10, and plays next in a two game home-and-home series against the University of Connecticut, starting Thursday, January 18th in Hartford, and concluding on Saturday the 20th at Providence.  Read all about Wilkins and his Providence team in today's post.

Providence sophomore Josh Wilkins, of Raleigh, NC. (pictured here celebrating a goal against Boston College in a game last year), scored a goal in his team’s 4-1 win at Boston College Friday night, and scored a goal in his team’s home ice 2-2 tie with Boston University Saturday night. The 5’11” 180lb forward is fourth on his team in goals scored, with nine, and is fifth in assists, with ten. Providence is 15-7-2, is ranked #10, and plays next in a two game home-and-home series with Connecticut, starting Thursday, January 18th in Hartford, and concluding on Saturday the 20th at Providence. Read about it in today’s post.

College Hockey Update:  Last weekend there weren’t any top ten matchups, but Clarkson traveled to play two and took care of business with convincing wins over both Union College and RPI, edging up to #2 on these wins and on the loss by St. Cloud State on their home ice in its weekend split with what I called last week a very good and very tricky Western Michigan; the split edged St. Cloud  State down to #3.  Cornell held at #4 after traveling to, and beating, both Yale and Brown, and Ohio State held at #6 after traveling to, and splitting with, Penn State.  North Dakota held at #7 after traveling to, and beating, Bemidji State on Friday, but hosting, and tying Bemidji on Satruday, and Northeastern moved up two spots to #8 after hosting and sweeping Maine.  Mankato State edged down to #9 after traveling to, and splitting with Alaska-Fairbanks, and Providence edged up into the top ten at #10 after traveling to, and beating Boston College Friday night, and then hosting and tying Boston University Saturday night.  An idle Notre Dame held at #1, and idle Denver held at #5.

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Last weekend Providence College had huge help from sophomore foward Josh Wilkins, of Raleigh, NC, who scored a goal in his team’s 4-1 win at Boston College Friday night, and scored a goal in his team’s home ice 2-2 tie with Boston University Saturday night.  The 5’11” 180lb forward is fourth on his team in goals scored, with nine, and is fifth in assists, with ten.  As a freshman, he was second on the team in goals scored, with 13, and was tied for third in assists, with 18.  Before coming to Providence he played a season with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, and scored 16 goals and added 13 assists in 49 games in 2015-16.  In 2014-15 he scored 11 goals and added 16 assists for the Austin Bruins of the NAHL.  His hometown of Raleigh is home to 451,000, and the metro area has a population of 2.2 million.  And where he comes from, tobacco is nearly as popular as are cakes in those suburbs south of Minneapolis.

Providence College was founded in 1917 and sits about two miles west of downtown Providence.  Its enrolls 3,900 undergraduates, and 750 graduate students.  It is the only college or university in the U.S. that is under the direction of Friars of the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church.  At one time it’s basketball team was coached by Rick Pitino, father of current Minnesota Timberwolves coach Richard Pitino; Richard Pitino is an alumnus of Providence College.  The Providence teams are called the Friars, and their colors are black and white.  Providence is coached by Nate Leaman, who is in his seventh season there.  Before coming to Providence Leaman was the head coach at Union College for eight seasons.  In his first six seasons at Providence his teams compiled a record of 106-61-22, and they appeared in the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four seasons, including winning the NCAA Championship in 2015.  Providence is currently 15-7-2, is ranked #10, and plays next in a two game home-and-home series with Connecticut, starting Thursday, January 18th in Hartford, and concluding on Saturday the 20th at Providence.

Last Friday night in Newton, MA, Boston College scored on a power play goal twelve minutes into the first period, and held on to that lead for the next twenty minutes of play.  BC badly outshot Providence 7-2 in the first but Providence badly outshot BC 22-6 in the second, which paid off big twelve minutes into the second frame when Kasper Björkqvist scored on a power play goal, which was followed by a lightning strike goal eight seconds later by Brandon Duhaime.  Providence remained in control throughout the second period.  In the third things evened up as Providence took 9 shots, compared to 7 for BC.  With the game playing evenly and the score 2-1, BC added an extra attacker with two minutes left, but Brian Pinho found the empty net with a minute left to make it 3-1, Providence, and then Josh Wilkins scored on the empty net on a breakaway with only three seconds left to make the final 4-1, Providence.

This week there will be one top-ten matchup when #3 St. Cloud State hosts #9 Mankato State Saturday afternoon.  With both teams having taken losses recently and having slid in the poll as a result, it’s an important game for both teams.  Looks like a battle looming, and I have a sneaky feeling that Mankato will find themselves with their hands full at St. Cloud State Saturday.

This provides the top ten teams, rankings, records, and last week’s results:

RankTeam#1 VotesRecordPts.Last PollMost Recent Results
1Notre Dame4418-3-19931idle
2Clarkson University518-3-194332w Union 4-1/R.P.I. 3-0
3St. Cloud State University114-4-39002l/w Western Mich 5-7/4-3
4Cornell University14-2-18554t/w Yale 3-3/Brown 3-1
5University of Denver12-6-47865idle
6Ohio State University15-5-47166l/w Penn State 2-5/5-1
7Univ. of North Dakota12-6-67077w/t Bemidji State 5-1/2-2
8Northeastern University14-5-3616102w Univ of Maine 5-3/5-3
9Mankato State University17-7-05858l/w Alk-Fairbanks 0-5/5-1
10Providence College15-7-256911w/t B C. 4-1/Boston U 2-2

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned, and go Terriers!

— Tom