|1st||7:46||PRV||1-0||EV||Anthony Florentino (4)||Brandon Tanev/6, Brian Pinho/5|
|2nd||1:28||MER||1-1||EV||Mathieu Foget (2)||Hampus Gustafsson/6, Ludvig Larsson/2|
|2nd||10:10||PRV||2-1||PP GW||Garrett Gamez (2)||Tom Parisi/5, Erik Foley/3|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Nick Ellis (W, 9-0-3)||60:00||1||11||3||16||30|
|Collin Delia (L, 6-3-4)||58:47||2||13||12||3||28|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The No. 16 Merrimack College men's ice hockey team had nearly a minute of a 6-on-4, extra-attacker advantage to close out regulation, but the Warriors were denied the game-tying goal despite a strong finish, as No. 1 Providence College held on for a 2-1 victory over Merrimack in the opener of a weekend home-and-home series on Friday night at Lawler Rink.
Score: Providence 2, Merrimack 1
Records: #16 Merrimack (6-3-4, 2-2-4 HEA) | #1/1 Providence (10-0-3, 3-0-2 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
Seeking its first win over a top-ranked team since the late 1990s, Merrimack welcomed the defending national champions to town to begin a weekend series.
Providence struck first at the 7:46 mark of the opening frame after Anthony Florentino one-timed a slapper to give the Friars the early lead, and that would stand through the remainder of the period.
It took less than 90 seconds for the Warriors to draw even at the start of the second, as freshman Mathieu Foget (Orleans, Ontario) buried his second of the year at the 1:28 mark to level the match at a goal apiece.
The Friars, however, controlled the majority of the middle stanza as indicative by their 13-4 lead in shots on goal. One of those attempts eventually found the twine, as Garrett Gamez deflected a shot from the point past Merrimack netminder Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) for his second of the season to put the visitors ahead, 2-1.
Merrimack would respond with one of its finest efforts in a 20-minute span, outshooting the Friars by a 16-3 margin in the third, but Providence goaltender Nick Ellis turned away all of them as part of a 30-save performance.
The Warriors' best chance came in the final minute with Delia on the bench for the extra skater followed by a subsequent Providence penalty that gave the hosts a 6-on-4 advantage; Merrimack put at least four shots on net in a 15-second sequence, but Ellis would preserve the lead for the Friars and give Providence the victory.
How They Scored
PC #1 | P1 7:46 - Anthony Florentino one-times a slap shot from the left point off a centering feed from Brandon Tanev, who was given in the puck in the bottom of the right-wing circle by Brian Pinho before curling back down the right-wing boards, skating back to the point and finding Florentino for the opening strike.
MC #1 | P2 1:28 - All three members of Merrimack's second line factored into the equalizer, as Mathieu Foget roofs a wrister over the glove of Ellis. Ludvig Larsson started the sequence with a lateral pass from the far boards to center Hampus Gustafsson, who found Foget near the back door and the latter finished off the tally.
PC #2 | P2 10:10 - Garrett Gamez tips in a shot on the left edge of the crease to put the Friars ahead on the power play. Erik Foley worked the puck to the left point on a diagonal pass from the top of the right circle, and Tom Parisi wound and fired from the top of the left circle. The puck eventually found the stick of Gamez, who tipped it past Delia on the blocker side to make it 2-1 Providence.
Inside The Numbers
- Foget's second goal of the year was assisted by his linemates, as both junior Hampus Gustafsson (Ljungby, Sweden) and freshman Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) helped set up Merrimack's lone marker
- Merrimack finished with a slight edge in shots on goal (31-30) after outshooting the Friars by 13 (16-3) in the third period
- Delia recorded 28 saves while falling to 6-3-4, while Ellis improved to 9-0-3 after registering 30 stops
- Providence became only the third team this season to score on the power play against Merrimack, which boasted the eighth-best penalty kill in the country heading into the night
Merrimack and Providence conclude the weekend series tomorrow night in Rhode Island, as the Warriors and Friars face off at Schneider Arena beginning at 7 p.m.