PROVIDENCE --- Kevin Hallâ€™s second goal of the game, a shorthanded tally with 5:54 to play, lifted East Providence to a 4-3 victory over Mount Hope on Thursday night in the opening game of their best-of-three Division III championship series at Providence Collegeâ€™s Schneider Arena.
The Townies (17-4) will seek their first state title since 2005 tonight at 8:30 p.m. when the series resumes at Schneider. A third and deciding game will be held on Sunday at a time to be announced if the Huskies win this game.
In Thursdayâ€™s duel, the Huskies (17-8) grabbed a quick 2-0 lead by scoring twice in the first 2Â˝ minutes of the game, but the Townies responded with the next three goals to lead after a period of play.
Ryan Costa netted E.P.â€™s first goal on the first of three assists by Ryan Barry with 6:43 left in the period.
Hall tied the contest (off assists by Troy Derrick and Paul Lukas) with 4:39 to go, and Lukas gave the Townies the lead by backhanding a goal past Mount Hope goalie Matt Wilson with seven seconds to go in the period. Lukas's goal was shorthanded.
Mount Hope tied the score 4:26 into the middle period on the second goal of the game by Justin Correia, and the game stayed knotted until Hallâ€™s heroics in the gameâ€™s final minutes, as Hall squeezed his game-winning goalie past Wilson's glove and the left post.
Another hero in the Towniesâ€™ victory was goalie Mark LeValley, who turned away 29 shots as Mount Hope outshot E.P., 32-22.