A few years later and at a different school, Providence's Mingoia having expected impact

By Jim Connelly • Senior Writer • Jan. 8, 2015

Trevor Mingoia

Trevor Mingoia transferred to Providence after a season at Union (photo: Melissa Wade).

When Providence coach Nate Leaman recruited Trevor Mingoia out of Berkshire School, there was a point at which he never thought he would see the fruits of the talented forward who needed to gain a few pounds.

Leaman, of course, recruited Mingoia to play for Union but that same summer left Schenectady, N.Y., for Providence, leaving Mingoia to Leaman’s former-assistant-turned-head-coach Rick Bennett.

But for reasons Leaman doesn’t know, things didn’t work out at Union and after one season in New York’s Capital District, Mingoia was gone, headed for Tri-City in the USHL. With Mingoia back on the market, if you will, Leaman recruited him again, this time to head to Providence.

Now, a little more than a year after Mingoia first stepped into the Friars lineup, he is having the impact that Leaman was confident he could have when he recruited him before the 2011-12 season.

“He’s matured as a player,” Leaman said of Mingoia, who leads the Friars in goals (11) and points (19). “Coming into this year, he felt a lot more comfortable.

“He’s got a good stick and he’s a smart guy. He’s really good at hunting down pucks.

“I wouldn’t say that things have turned for him or this has been a magical year. I think it’s always been what Trevor’s potential is. He’s feeling a lot more comfortable on the ice.”

Leaman remembers back to when he recruited Mingoia out of prep school, saying that he had a “really good head for the game.” But he also said that Mingoia was a skinny kid that needed to grow into his 5-foot-11 frame.

That maturity came in the year in the USHL, when Leaman and his staff regained contact. Mingoia arrived at Providence last season and stepped into the lineup right after Thanksgiving. In 26 games, he began to show his ability to impact the club but, according to Leaman, “It’s never easy to step into a team like that.”

This season, Mingoia’s stick talents and his nose for the net are showing consistently. He has potted nine goals in his last 11 games and has been a big part of a Providence power play that began the year without a goal in its first 21 attempts and at one point was 3-for-49. At 12-for-99, the man-up unit still isn’t clicking like gangbusters, but the knowledge that the puck actually can go in the net on the power play can be traced to Mingoia, who has five tallies with the man advantage, and Shane Luke, who has four.

“Both of our power-play units have really good chemistry right now,” said Leaman. “They both go out and have a good feel of how to approach it and they are working hard.”

All of that has led to an improved play that has the Friars 9-1 in their last 10 games after beginning the year 4-5-2 against a Murderer’s Row type of schedule. Besides playing a tough schedule to begin the year that included five of the first six games on the road and four of those six games against teams that have now held the top spot in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll (Boston University and North Dakota), Leaman said he felt his team’s confidence was getting dented by frustrating moments.

“I thought we were playing some good hockey earlier in the season, but for whatever reason the puck wasn’t going in the net for us,” said Leaman. “We were getting great chances. But [confidence] has turned our way a little bit.

“Now when we hit three or four posts, we know the next one is going in. We don’t drop our shoulders and feel like we’re never going to score.”

Players to watch

Men's Hockey Captures National Championship With Thrilling 4-3 Win Over Boston University

BOSTON, Mass. - The Providence College men's hockey team captured its first ever National Championship, and the third all-time team title for the College, a with a third period, come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Boston University at TD Garden on Saturday, April 11.

In the third period, Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) tied the game (11:24) while dumping the puck in the BU zone. Terrier netminder, Matt O'Connor, mishandled the puck and it crossed the line to tie the game 3-3.

Two minutes later, Brandon Tanev (Toronto, Canada) netted the biggest goal in Providence College history at 13:43 with the game winner when he beat his defender and connected on a wrist shot from the slot that went high past O'Connor.

"It was amazing," Tanev said. "I couldn't even register what was going on. It was a heck of a draw win by Kevin Rooney. Steve McParland was able to give me some space and I was able to rip that puck and it went in. It's something I dreamed of ever since I wanted to play college hockey. The words can't describe how I feel right now."

Jon Gillies (Portland, Maine) earned the 60th win of his Friar career by making a career-high 49 saves.

The Friars opened the scoring in the first period as defenseman Anthony Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) scored his third goal of the season at 9:25. Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) carried the puck into the Terriers zone before getting off a shot on goal that was kept out of the net by O'Connor. However, the rebound created a scramble in front of the BU crease as Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) collected the puck and got off a shot that hit of the post and darted to Florentino, at the blue line. Florentino's blast beat O'Connor to put the Friars ahead 1-0.

"You know it didn't even cross my mind," Florentino said of scoring. "We just focused on defense tonight. I saw the puck squirt out, saw an opportunity, and just tried to get it on net. Our forwards are doing such a great job crashing the net."

Later in the first period, Boston University responded to Providence's lead by netting a pair of goals. Ahti Oksanen tied the game at one when he found an opening between Gillies' skate and the goal post at 12:50 of the period. A.J. Greer recorded the assist on the Terriers first goal of the game.

Setting a NCAA Tournament record for fastest two goals, Danny O'Regan scored just four seconds after Oksanen's goal to put the Terriers ahead 2-1 (12:54). After Jack Eichel won the face-off at center ice, he carried the puck into the Friars zone, eventually left the puck for O'Regan in the slot. O'Regan's backhander at 12:54 beat Gillies to give BU the lead for the first time in the game.

In the second period, Mark Jankowski (Dundas, Ontario) evened the game at two with his eighth goal of the season, and his third playoff goal of the season. Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) started the play for the Friars as he sent a pass to Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, N.Y.), while the Friars were on the power-play. Mingoia was positioned in the right face-off circle when he sent a pass through the slot to Jankowski, who tapped the puck by O'Connor at 4:29 of the period.

Boston University would regain the lead before the close of the second period as Cason Hohmann scored at 11:36. After Hohmann won a face-off for the Terriers in the Friars defensive zone, Oksanen carried the puck into the corner of the ice before reconnecting a pass to Hohmann.

The Terriers had a perfect 19-0-0 mark this season entering third period with a lead, but all that changed when the Friars had an amazing third period comeback that will be long remembered in Frozen Four.

With the Friars trailing 3-2, Providence kept the pressure on O'Conner throughout the period and eventually Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) scored the game-tying goal (3-3) at 11:24. Parisi scored the equalizer after he collected a BU clear in the neutral zone and went to dump the puck high on net. O'Conner mishandled the puck as it slipped past the goal line.

Following a faceoff in Providence' offensive zone, Tanev scored coming off the right wing to beat a defender and fired off a wrist shot from the slot to the right corner. Kevin Rooney (Canton, Mass.) was credited with the assist when he won the faceoff and dished it to Tanev.

Gillies was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after finishing the game with a career-high 49 saves, including 21 in the second period - a single season record total for saves in a period in the NCAA Championship game. Gillies joins former Friar netminder Chris Terreri '86 as Frozen Four MOP's from Providence College.

O'Connor ended the game with 39 stops.

Providence went 1-for-3 on the power-play while BU went 0-for-1.

BU entered the game with a 4-0 record at the Garden this season, capturing the Beanpot and the HOCKEY EAST title. The Friars ended their undeafeated run at the Garden with their NCAA title win.

The Terriers held the overall shot advantage at 52-43, however, Providence outshot BU in the third, 20-12.

The Friars will celebrate their NCAA Championship at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 at Schneider Arena.

Game Notes: Noel Acciari ended the year on a five-game point streak (3-3-6), tying a career-high ... Florentino scored his first goal since January 24 against UMass-Lowell ... Two of Florentino's eight career goals have been scored in NCAA play ... Ross Mauermann moves into sole possession of 36th place on Providence's all-time scoring list (52-60-112) ... For the third time in his career, Mark Jankowski netted goals in back-to-back games ... Jon Gillies' 37 total saves in the first two periods is the most in a NCAA Division I Championship Game ... Brandon Tanev's game-winning goal was the first of his career ... Kevin Rooney extended his point streak to three games with the primary assists on Tanev's game winner (1-2-3).