PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Kasper Björkqvist notched two goals and Brian Pinho tallied three points as the No. 11 Providence College men’s hockey team surged past Merrimack, 5-2, on Saturday night at Schneider Arena.
No. 11 Providence – 5 | Merrimack – 2
Providence – 14-7-1 (7-4-1 HEA) | Merrimack – 6-11-4 (3-7-2 HEA)
Schneider Arena – Providence, R.I.
Hayden Hawkey (PC) – 10 saves
Craig Pantano (MC) – 22 saves
- Brandon Duhaime got the Friars off and running at 7:31 of the first on a highlight-reel end-to-end rush as he split the Merrimack defense, drew a penalty, and chipped a shot over the glove of Pantano for his fourth goal of the season.
- The Warriors responded with a pair of goals late in the first period as Jared Kolquist and Ludvig Larsson gave Merrimack a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
- Providence limited the Warriors’ chances throughout the game and finally knotted things up at 15:48 of the second period on Brian Pinho’s ninth tally of the season. Hayden Hawkey’s home-run pass sent Pinho in alone on a breakaway, it was the goaltender’s second career assist.
- Erik Foley gave the Friars some insurance as he buried a rebound at the top of the crease for his team-leading 12th marker of the season. Foley now leads the Hockey East with 15 points in league play (8-7-15).
- Björkqvist notched his second-career multi-goal game with an empty-net goal to seal things at 5-2 with 1:35 to play. The sophomore now has two game-winning goals in his last three games.
- Providence currently rides a season-high four-game winning streak.
- The Friars have surrendered just three goals in four games in the second half of the season, out-scoring opponents by an 18-3 margin over that span.
- Greg Printz extended his career-long point streak to four games with an assist on Björkqvist’s second goal of the night at 18:25 of the third period. (2-2-4).
- Duhaime currently rides a career-long four-game point streak (1-5-6) and has recorded two points in each of his last two contests.
- Pinho has registered eight points (3-5-8) in four games since the start of the second half.
- The Friars concluded the season series with Merrimack at 2-0-1.
- The streak of consecutive penalties killed ended at 17 on Kolquist’s goal in the first period. The Friars closed the game with three consecutive kills.
HOW THEY SCORED
1-0 (PC) – 7:31/1st – DP – Brandon Duhaime (Davis) – Duhaime split the Merrimack defense and snapped a shot over the glove of Pantano.
1-1 (MC) – 16:20/1st – PP – Jared Kolquist (Tavernier, Seney) – Picked up a loose puck and fired a shot over the blocker of Hawkey through a screen.
2-1 (MC) – 19:37/1st – EV – Ludvig Larsson (McBride, Petti) – Centering feed from McBride to Larsson at the near post.
2-2 (PC) – 15:48/2nd – EV – Brian Pinho (Hawkey) – Stretch pass from Hawkey to Pinho on a breakaway and he beat Pantano glove side.
3-2 (PC) – 18:35/2nd – EV – Kasper Björkqvist (Bryson, Pinho) – Bryson found Björkqvist streaking down the left wing and sent a wrist shot through the five-hole of Pantano.
4-2 (PC) – 10:51/3rd – EV – Erik Foley (Desharnais, Duhaime) – Rebound off a point shot from Desharnais right at the top of the crease.
5-2 (PC) – 18:25/3rd – EN – Kasper Björkqvist (Pinho, Printz) – Empty-net goal off an odd-man rush.
PC GAME HIGHS
Goals: Björkqvist (2)
Assists: Pinho (2)
Points: Pinho (3)
Shots: Duhaime, Mirageas (4)
Providence – 0/7
Merrimack – 1/5
Providence – 27
Merrimack – 12
The Friars hit the road up in Boston for a pair of road games next weekend against Boston College (Jan. 12) and Boston University (Jan. 13).
For more updates on the Providence College men's hockey program, follow the team on Twitter @FriarsHockey.
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