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PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Providence College men's hockey team (10-20-3, 5-18-3 Hockey East) was defeated by Merrimack (15-17-1, 12-13-1) by a score of 5-0 Friday night in a Hockey East game played at Schneider Arena. Merrimack scored five first period goals and never looked back en route to the victory.
The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 2:23 into the first period as J.C. Robitaille scored a power-play goal off a deflection in front. Merrimack then scored four goals in the last 3:28 of the period to increase its lead to 5-0. Joe Cucci netted a power-play goal at 15:53, while Ryan Flanigan scored twice in between Kyle Bigos' goal.
In the second period, the Friars outshot the Warriors, 14-10, but could not get a shot past Joe Cannata. The Friars also held the advantage in shots in the third period (10-4), but Cannata stopped every shot he faced. He finished with 34 stops to earn the shutout.
The two teams will complete the weekend series Saturday night at Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass with Merrimack looking to clinch a Hockey East playoff berth for the first time since 2004.