|3rd||10:39||PRV||1-0||EV GW||Garrett Gamez (4)||Kyle McKenzie/8|
|3rd||19:21.8||PRV||2-0||EV EN||Kevin Rooney (6)||Brandon Tanev/13, Josh Monk/11|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Drew Vogler (L, 5-7-1)||58:35||1||10||14||8||32|
|Nick Ellis (W, 25-5-4)||60:00||0||4||10||6||20|
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Fourth-ranked Providence College battled through over 50 minutes of scoreless action with Merrimack before Garrett Gamez's goal gave the Friars the lead en route to a 2-0 win over the Warriors on Saturday night at Schneider Arena.
Providence (27-5-4) sweeps the best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinal series and will advance to the TD Garden to take on either UMass Lowell or Vermont on Friday pending the outcome of tomorrow's game three between Boston College and Vermont.
With the win on Saturday night, the Friars also achieved a program record with their 10th consecutive victory, shattering the previous mark of nine set in 1982.
Nick Ellis notched his fourth shutout of the season and second against the Warriors to improve to 25-5-4 as he turned away all 20 shots. Merrimack's Drew Vogler put forth a noble effort in goal, stopping 32 shots to drop to 5-7-1.
After a scoreless first period, the Friars held a 10-4 edge in shots as they tested Warriors netminder Drew Vogler early and often.
The Friars' penalty kill put forth a tremendous effort on Saturday and gave the team momentum after a successful kill of a five-minute major early in the second period.
Ellis made a couple of key stops early in the third as the Friars killed off another penalty.
At 10:39 in the third period, Kyle McKenzie's hard work along the boards and subsequent shot found its way through traffic to an awaiting Garrett Gamez at the top of the crease, who re-directed the shot past Vogler to put Providence up 1-0. The play was reviewed before the officials ruled that the goal would stand.
Merrimack pulled Drew Vogler with just over a minute to go in regulation for the six-on-five advantage. With 38 seconds remaining Josh Monk cleared the puck out of Friar defensive territory and Brandon Tanev won the race to beat the icing and backhanded the puck to Kevin Rooney. Rooney sealed it the game and the series with the empty netter with just 38.2 seconds left.
Up next, the Friars will travel to Boston for the Hockey East Semifinals on March 18. Game time and opponent will be determined after the decisive game three between Vermont and Boston College on Sunday.
HOW THEY SCORED
1-0 (PC) Goal scored by Garrett Gamez (McKenzie): Tipped in point shot, through traffic in front.
2-0 (PC) Empty net goal Scored by Kevin Rooney (Tanev, Monk): Chip-in empty net goal.
Three of Gamez's four goals this season have come against Merrimack ... Josh Monk extended his career high point streak to six games with an assist on Rooney's goal (1-7-8) ... the Friars outscored Merrimack 11-2 over four games this season ... Power Plays: Providence - 0/4, Merrimack 0/4 ... official shots on goal: Providence 34, Merrimack 20 ... Attendance: 2,948.