Carlile scores again, comes up huge on late PK as Merrimack sweeps Providence
PROVIDENCE — Merrimack junior defenseman Declan Carlile blocked seven shots, including five on Providence’s power play in the final two minutes of the game to lead the Warriors to a 2-1 win over the Friars Saturday night at Schneider Arena.
Merrimack swept the weekend home-and-home series after coming out with a 3-2 win on Friday night.
The Warriors entered the weekend ranked No. 29 in the Pairwise and moved up eight spots to No. 21 with the sweep. The Warriors sit just five spots out of a potential NCAA Tournament berth. 16 teams will make up the NCAA field, including automatic qualifiers who win their conference tournaments.
The Pairwise is the ranking system the NCAA uses to select and seed teams for the NCAA Tournament.
"The game ended in a stressful way,” said Merrimack head coach Scott Borek. “(Carlile) laid out and blocked shots, as did a number of other guys. When guys like Declan, one of our best players, is laying in front of shots, you know the rest of the team will do the same thing. I don't know that we played great in the third period, but we played really hard and we gutted it out, which we need to do.”
Carlile scored his fifth goal of the season in the first period; it was his second goal of the weekend. Carlile has been a Providence killer this year, with four goals against them in three games.
"That was a really hard emotional game,” Borek said. “We knew they'd come back hard. It was a physical battle. It was a good win and I'm happy for our team."
Merrimack blocked 27 shots in the game, which is a season-high. Carlile leads the Warriors with 46 blocks this season. Zach Uens, who also made a huge block on that late-game PK, is second on the team with 31 blocked shots.
“I thought we played hard,” said Providence head coach Nate Leaman. “We hit four posts. What cost us again was on our best opportunities we missed the net. We lack the finish right now with our group.”
Logan Drevitch scored what ended up being the game-winning goal in the first period. At the time, Drevitch’s goal put the Warriors up 2-0. Drevitch played in his 100th collegiate game on Saturday.
“Looking back at his 3-1/2 years he's always been asked to do things offensively for us,” Borek said. “This year he's been asked to do more without the puck and more defensively and develop more of a 200-foot game. That’s a special kid who is willing to do that. A lot of offensive guys might fight it but he's bought right in. After going three years in a certain role, he is developing his defensive game to play all roles for us, which is exciting.”
Providence sophomore Brett Berard scored late in the first period on the power play to cut the Friars’ deficit to 2-1, and it ended up being the last goal of the game.
Late in the third period, it looked like Nick Poisson may have tied up the game, but Borek used his challenge to force a review for offside. After a lengthy look at the replay, the officials determined that the Friars were offside and the goal came off the board.
"It's 50-50, because it needs to be definitive,” Borek said. “They have to be certain. We've done that before and lost it. We had a few players who were very confident that it was offside. If we went to OT, which if it was a good goal, there was a good chance we would have, then I knew we would have gotten our timeout back there. So I thought it was worth the risk and our guys on the ice were very confident that it was offside."
Zachary Borgiel made 33 saves for his fifth win of the season.
"He was really good,” Borek said. “He was calm, he made all the saves he should make and a few he shouldn't have. The last time he was passed over for Hugo, he played outstanding. Zach did a great job tonight of earning the team's trust and our guys have confidence playing in front of both of them."
GAME NOTES: Merrimack last swept a weekend series from Providence during the 2019-20 season. … The Warriors are now 10-10-1 on the season, but 10-6-1 in games decided in regulation. Merrimack is 0-4 in overtime. The Warriors haven’t trailed entering the third period in any of their last seven games.
NEXT: Merrimack will host UMass Lowell in the first game of a home-and-home series on Friday night at Lawler Arena. The Friars will play at BC on Friday night in the first game of a home-and-home series.
Merrimack 2, #19 Providence 1 at Schneider Arena Merrimack (10-10-1): 2-0-0--2 Providence (15-9-1): 1-0-0--1 First Period: 1. MC Declan Carlile 5 (Liam Walsh, Filip Forsmark), ev, 2:49; 2. MC Logan Drevitch 4 (Max Newton, Alex Jefferies), pp, 12:13; 3. PC Brett Berard 13 (Patrick Moynihan, Parker Ford), pp, 16:46. Second Period: None. Third Period: None. Shots: Merrimack 9-5-4--18; Providence 9-12-13--34 Saves: MC Borgiel (60:00) 33/34; PC Stauber (57:15) 16/18 Power Play: Merrimack 1 for 3; Providence 1 for 3 Penalties: Merrimack 4-8:00; Providence 4-8:00 Attendance: 2,128 (3,030)
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