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Providence leans on its wall

2015 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey

Through an uneven season, Providence College had one constant – the man guarding its net.
Junior goalkeeper Jon Gillies finished fifth in the nation in save percentage, stopping 93.0 percent of every shot fired his way. Every 10th of a percent counted – Gillies’ acrobatic save with a minute left in the national championship game against Boston University preserved the Friars’ one-goal lead. That lead would stand: Providence captured the national championship with a 4-3 win April 11 in Boston. 

Gillies amassed 1,029 saves through the Friars’ bumpy season. His efforts weren’t enough, though, to propel Providence out of the quarterfinals of its conference tournament. That mid-March loss to the University of New Hampshire pushed the Friars out of the top 10 in USA Today’s national college hockey rankings and marked their 13th defeat of the season. 

Entering the NCAA tournament, the Friars were a relative afterthought. The program hadn’t reached a Frozen Four in three decades. But the team caught fire at the right time, relying on strong performances from Gillies throughout the tournament. He yielded only five goals while faced with 102 shots through the final three games.

“(Gillies) was big-time for us,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said after the championship-clinching win. “He held the ship. I think it’s very much like our season. He held us in there. He held us in there.”

The Results
2015 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey

CHAMPIONSHIP
Providence 4, Boston U. 3

SEMIFINALS
Providence 4, Omaha 1
Boston U. 5, North Dakota 3

MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Jon Gillies, Providence

ELITE 89 HONOREE
Nick Mattison, North Dakota

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