NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — John Rheault scored two goals and added an assist to lead Providence College past Merrimack College, 5-3, in Hockey East action Friday night at Lawler Arena.
Freshman Rob Ricci tallied a goal and an assist for Merrimack (5-23-5, 2-19-5 Hockey East), who dressed only 10 forwards due to various injuries and illnesses. Senior Bryan Schmidt scored his second shorthanded goal of the season and 33rd tally of his career as he became Merrimack’s all-time leader in goals by a defenseman.
Providence jumped out to a 2-0 lead 8:27 into the first period behind goals from Rheault and Kyle Laughlin. Schmidt’s tally at 3:21 of the second off a feed from Ricci cut the deficit to 2-1 and set up a wild third period.
Colin McDonald scored his eighth goal of the season on the power play at 9:04 of the third period to give the Friars (17-13-3, 14-9-3) a 3-1 lead. The Warriors answered back just 1:37 later as Ricci faked goalie Tyler Sims down and beat him high for his ninth goal of the season to make it a 3-2 game.
Providence regained a two-goal cushion at 16:05 when Rheault’s second goal of the evening gave Providence a 4-2 lead. The Friars took a 5-2 lead on Jamie Carroll’s ninth goal of the season at 18:27 before senior Scott Drewicki scored his first goal of the season to make it a 5-3 game at 18:48 and cap the scoring.
Sims made 15 saves to earn his 17th win of the season while senior Frank McLaughlin made 36 saves, including 22 in the third period. The Friars went 3-for-8 on the power play while Merrimack went 1-for-5, but were unable to convert a two-man advantage for two minutes late in the second period when they trailed, 2-1.