NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Karl Stollery had a goal and an assist, while Joe Cannata had 37 saves as No. 5 Merrimack defeated Providence, 4-2.
Merrimack wasted no time as Rhett Bly netted his second goal in as many games at 2:45 of the first. Bly won the draw to Stollery, whose shot was deflected by Justin Mansfield right to Bly, who beat Alex Beaudry for his third of the season.
The Friars evened the score on their first power play, as Stefan Demopoulos notched his fifth goal of the year at 9:29. Demopoulos beat Cannata on a rebound attempt after the Friars had multiple scoring attempts, holding possession for the first 1:16 of the man advantage.
Stollery regained the lead for the hosts with 56 seconds left in the first with Merrimack on a 4-on-3 power play after Ross Mauermann was whistled for a five minute penalty for charging. Stollery took feeds from Kyle Bigos and Mike Collins and beat Beaudry for his sixth of the year.
Josh Myers gave Merrimack its second man-advantage goal during the same major penalty, as he got his own rebound and beat Beaudry glove side for the goal at 3:01. Dan Kolomatis picked up his first career assist as he fed Myers from the defensive zone on the goal. Cannata also had a helper, his first of the year, as he started the play behind the net, handing it off to Kolomatis.
Merrimack’s penalty problems continued as they were whistled for two minors 39 seconds after Myers’ goal, and the Friars capitalized. Miles Harvey’s one-timer beat Cannata glove side at 5:04 for his sixth of the year during the two-man advantage.
The Friars also were awarded a five-minute power play at 6:43 of the second but Cannata made big stops on Damian Cross and Demopoulos before Bly drew a penalty on a short-handed breakaway to negate two minutes of the man advantage.
Midway through the third, Cannata made three big stops, including a blast from Rob Maloney after consecutive Merrimack turnovers to preserve the lead. He had a strong game, as the Friars outshot Merrimack 14-4 in the third but were unable to tie the game.
Jesse Todd put the game away at 19:43 with an unassisted tally from the neutral zone for his team-leading 11th of the year.
Merrimack went 2-5 on the power play, while the Friars were 2-6.
Providence outshot Merrimack 39-23 in the game, with Beaudry finishing with 19 stops.