PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- New Hampshire forward Grayson Downing scored in overtime to lift the Wildcats to a 2-1 victory against No. 10 Providence on Friday night. The Wildcats now hold a 1-0 advantage against the Friars in the best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series.
The win was the eighth consecutive for the Wildcats and improves their record to 18-17-2 while the Friars fall to 21-12-2. UNH netminder Danny Tirone made a career-high 45 saves in the effort, including 20 in the second period. Forward Tyler Kelleher propelled UNH to overtime as he tied the game at 1-1 with 1:43 left in the third period.
Downing's goal came at the 5:18 mark of overtime and was his 19th goal of the season. The play started when Matt Willows carried the puck from the Wildcats' zone down behind the Providence net. Willows battled to hold control of the puck and dished it to Downing in the slot. Downing fired a backhanded shot through traffic that found the back of the net to give UNH the win.