Merrimack Completes Providence Sweep on Senior Night
Ed. Note — This story will appear in Sunday’s edition of The Eagle Tribune
NORTH ANDOVER — The Merrimack senior class had a weekend to remember.
After being eliminated from playoff contention last weekend after a loss to Boston College, the Warriors entered this weekend’s series against Providence with nothing to lose. The Warriors responded by sweeping the Providence College Friars for the first time in a weekend series since 2008.
“We had this potential all year, we just couldn’t put the puzzle together,” said senior captain Tyler Drevitch. “We were missing one or two pieces. It’s unfortunate that it happened this late, but at the same time, I’m just happy that we’ve been able to put it all together. I’m happy to be a part of this program, something bigger than myself, and as seniors we want to leave our mark on this program.
“When I committed here, Merrimack was No. 1 in the country and Coach Borek has the mission to bring that back. That’s what he wants to build here, and he has the passion to do it. He’s one of the most passionate coaches I’ve ever played for. … I’m just happy to be a part of this program. When I was going through my recruiting process, this is where I wanted to play. I love this program.”
The Friars got on the board first when Patrick Moynihan scored at the 8:58 mark of the first period. Merrimack freshman Declan Carlile scored his second goal of the weekend six minutes later to tie the score.
Moynihan scored again late in the first period to give the Friars the lead at the first intermission.
Merrimack senior Tyler Irvine potted his 13th goal of the season at the 10:46 mark of the second period and Liam Walsh scored the game-winner in the third period. Walsh’s goal came off a rebound from Regan Kimens.
“I gave it to (Kimens) coming off the wall and he came in and tried to deke out the goalie. It seemed like it was in slow motion there for a minute, and then the puck just squirted out and I was lucky enough to be open.”
Troy Kobryn made 31 saves in his first career shutout on Friday night and followed that up with 41 saves last night.
“I thought he had a harder game tonight,” said Merrimack head coach Scott Borek. “They had good quality chances. Tonight he had to fight through a lot more and needed to play really hard. He kept his composure and when you do that as a goalie, your whole team gets relaxed.”
After the game, Drevitch, Irvine and Tavernier didn’t leave the ice. Instead, the senior trio took one last lap around Lawler Arena, thanking the fans and skating to the student section.
“That’s something that was pretty special,” Drevitch said. “It was actually Sami’s idea. None of us wanted to leave the ice, so Sami said we should take a lap and thank the fans. All the students stayed, too. That doesn’t happen at a lot of schools. That’s something I’ll probably never forget. That ranks up there as one of those special moments.”
Merrimack will finish up the 2019-20 season on Thursday night with a 7 p.m. game at Boston College.
Warriors Treating Final Three as Playoffs
The Warriors are out of the playoffs, but they treated this weekend as their playoff series.
“We won our series, and Thursday against BC we’ll treat as our championship game,” Drevitch said.
Merrimack does have the chance on Thursday to do what most teams don’t get the change to — end the season with a win.
“I think it’s unfortunate that we aren’t in the playoffs,” Borek said. “I’ve said it before, I think it’s a ridiculous oversight by a bunch of adults taking student-athletes out of a playoff series when we have an unbalanced schedule and so many imbalances in our league.
“We’ve made the most of it, though. We’ve tried to make this experience as best we can for our players.”
Holway Continues to Shine
Junior defenseman Patrick Holway had an assist on Declan Carlile’s goal in the first period, carrying the puck to the circle and then finding a trailing Carlile with a backhand pass in front of the net.
Holway now has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 16 games on the Merrimack blue line this season after gaining his eligibility after Christmas following his transfer from Maine.
“I thought he was excellent last night,” Borek said. “He played simple and defended really hard. Tonight he was a little reckless, but he’s such a talented hockey player that when he plays that simple and safe game, and still keeps his aggressiveness, I think he can be the best defenseman in the league. He’s that good.”
Merrimack 3, Providence 2
at Lawler Arena
Providence (15-11-6): 2-0-0—2
Merrimack (9-21-3): 1-1-1—3
First Period: 1. PC Patrick Moynihan 12 (Tyce Thompson), 8:58 (ev); 2. MC Declan Carlile 4 (Patrick Holway, Christian Simeone), 14:19 (ev); 3. PC Patrick Moynihan 13 (Jack Dugan, Tyce Thompson), 16:16 (pp).
Second Period: 4. MC Tyler Irvine 13 (Sam Tavernier, Declan Carlile), 10:46 (pp).
Third Period: 5. MC Liam Walsh 5 (Regan Kimens, Zach Uens), 16:17 (ev).
Shots: Merrimack 10-11-4—25; Providence 13-8-22—43
Saves: MC Kobryn 11-8-22—41; PC Lackey 9-10-3—22
Power Play: Merrimack 1 for 4; Providence 1 for 4
Penalties: Merrimack 7-22:00; Providence 5-10:00