PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Josh Wilkins scored twice and Hayden Hawkey made a career-high 40 saves as the No. 10/9 Providence College men’s hockey team edged Merrimack, 2-1, on Friday night at Schneider Arena.
No. 10/9 Providence – 2 | Merrimack – 1
Providence – 7-4-0 (4-3-0 HEA) | Merrimack – 2-7-2 (1-4-0 HEA)
Schneider Arena – Providence, R.I.
Hawkey (PC) – 40 saves
Pantano (MC) – 22 saves
- The Friars buzzed the Merrimack zone in the early minutes with some quality scoring chances, but couldn’t solve Pantano.
- The Warriors cashed in just eight seconds into their first power play of the night on Ludvig Larsson’s second goal of the season at 5:47.
- The Friars concluded the first period on the penalty kill as sophomore Vimal Sukumaran was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for contact to the head of Logan Coomes.
- The Warriors controlled most of the momentum through the second period but the Friars began to turn the tide after consecutive Merrimack penalties late in the second period.
- With Logan Coomes in the box for the second time of the night, the Friars finally took advantage and knotted things up on Josh Wilkins’ fourth tally of the season at the 17:22 mark. Brian Pinho sent Erik Foley in on an indirect pass of the boards and Wilkins followed up to jam the rebound past Pantano.
- Despite being outshot by a 13-3 margin in the third period, the Friars struck for the eventual game-winner on Wilkins’ second goal of the night and fifth of the season at the 10:57 mark.
- Merrimack continued to push in the waning minutes, including a power play for the final 1:59 as Ben Mirageas was ejected from the game for a check from behind.
- Hawkey made two spectacular saves with 19 seconds to play as he robbed Johnathan Kovacevic and Jace Hennig right on the doorstep.
- The Friars’ penalty kill streak of 24-consecutive kills was snapped on Larsson’s goal in the first period.
- Hayden Hawkey made a career-high 40 saves to improve to 7-4-0 this season. He now has a .939 save percentage over seven Hockey East games this season.
- With his assist on Friday, Brian Pinho now sits 10 points shy of the 100-point plateau for his career.
- Nine of the last 15 meetings between the teams have been either ties or one-goal games.
- Friar senior defenseman Truman Reed appeared in his third career game on Friday night.
- Spenser Young recorded a team-high three blocked shots. The Friars as a team blocked 15 shots overall.
HOW THEY SCORED
1-0 (MC) – 5:47/1st – PP – Ludvig Larsson (Hennig, Seney) – Jammed a rebound through the five-hole of Hawkey at the top of the crease.
1-1 (PC) – 17:22/2nd – PP – Josh Wilkins (Foley, Pinho) – Foley cut across the crease with a backhander and Wilkins cleaned up the rebound after crashing the net.
2-1 (PC) – 10:57/3rd – EV – Josh Wilkins – Wilkins intercepted a pass along the boards, split the defensemen and beat Pantano on the backhand.
PC GAME HIGHS
Goals: 2, Wilkins
Assists: 1, Foley, Pinho
Shots: 3, Tait, Foley, Wilkins, Pinho
Blocked Shots: 3, Young
Providence – 1/5
Merrimack – 1/3
Providence – 24
Merrimack – 41
Providence and Merrimack will conclude their two-game series at Lawler Rink in North Andover, Mass. on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
For more updates on the Providence College men's hockey program, follow the team on Twitter @FriarsHockey.
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