#1 Merrimack Tripped Up by Providence 6-1 at Home
NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Visiting Providence scored five power play goals as the Friars ended #1 Merrimack's home unbeaten streak, defeating the Warriors 6-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 2,489 at Lawler Arena.
Merrimack (9-2-1, 6-2-1 HEA) will have a quick turnaround, as it will host the University of Vermont on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Lawler Arena. Limited tickets remain and are available for purchase online at merrimackathletics.com or by calling the box office at 978-837-5324.
The sellout was the 11th straight at Lawler Arena and the sixth in as many games this season.
The loss was Merrimack's first at home since January. Merrimack was 12-0-1 at home entering Saturday's game, and 30-5-3 dating back to the start of the 2009-10 campaign.
Merrimack was outshot 11-9 in the first period, as Joe Cannata (Wakefield, MA) stopped all 11 shots in a scoreless period, including a backhanded stop on Damian Cross with 2:17 to play in the period.
But Merrimack got itself into penalty trouble early in the second, and the Friars took full advantage, scoring three power play goals in 4:05 span during a five-minute power play to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
Drew Brown scored twice while Tim Schaller also scored, as the Friars became the first team to score three goals against the Warriors all season. Just as a two-man advantage was expiring late in the period, a blast from Myles Harvey beat Cannata, rounding out a four-goal second for the visitors.
Providence outshot Merrimack 20-5 in the second, including 10-1 through the first eight minutes as the Warriors were assessed 23 minutes of second-period penalties, following a 10-minute misconduct to end the first period.
Connor Toomey (Billerica, MA) got the Warriors on the board 2:39 into the third with his fourth of the season. With the teams skating four aside, Cannata was pulled for the extra attacker, and Toomey took feeds from Mike Collins (Boston, MA) and Karl Stollery (Camrose, AB) and beat Alex Beaudry for the tally.
Chris Rooney ended any chance of a comeback as he picked up his second of the year at 12:09, pushing Providence's lead back to four goals. Matt Bergland would follow with Merrimack killing another five-minute major with his second of the year and third point of the night.
The weekend sweep for the Friars was their first against Merrimack since the 2006-07 season and was the first win at Lawler Arena in seven games.
Providence outshot Merrimack 43-24, as Beaudry made 23 saves, while Cannata stopped 36 shots in 53 minutes.
The Friars' first line led the way, combining for nine points on three power-play goals, as Providence tallied five man-advantage goals in 13 opportunities against Merrimack's penalty kill which entered the game ranked first in the league.
Providence improved to 8-6-1, 6-3-0 in Hockey East with the victory.