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NORTH ANDOVER, MA. - Sophomore goaltender Andrew Braithwaite (Kingston, Ontario) stopped a career-high 50 shots, getting Merrimack a big point in a 1-1 tie with #14 Providence College Saturday night at Lawler Arena.
Braithwaite, who made his eighth straight start, surrendered an early and frequent storm from the Friars, who out shot Merrimack 20-2 in the first period and took the 1-0 lead behind a goal from Kyle MacKinnon 5:49 into the opening frame. Providence entered the game on a three-game winning streak after defeating Boston College 3-2 on the road Friday night.
The Warriors came out looking better in the second getting 10 shots to Providence's 11 and evened the score when freshman Francois Ouimet (Lorraine, Quebec) located a rebound off a point shot from Grant Farrell (Calgary, Alberta) and knocked it past Friar netminder Tyler Sims for his seventh of the season. Chris Kane (Irvine, CA) earned the secondary assist, his first of the season, as he shuttled the pass across the blue line to Farrell.
Merrimack had a shot to take the lead when Matt Jones (Kentwood, MI) and Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario) had a two-on-zero short-handed, but Jonesí shot was stopped by a sprawling Sims.
The third period was all Braithwaite as he stopped 16 shots, including two at point blank range off the blade of Pierce Norton. The sophomore stopped four more in overtime, notably a re-direct in front from an open Matt Germain off a pass from Jon Rheault from behind the net.
Four Friars fired six shots-on-goal, while Joe Loprieno (Bloomingdale, IL) led the Warriors with three.
Sims, last week's Hockey East Goaltender of the Week, made 17 saves but was not tested often.
With the tie, the Warriors trail Maine by one point for ninth place in Hockey East and trail UMass and Vermont by five points for the seventh and eighth positions.
Merrimack (10-12-3, 4-12-2 HEA) hosts #13 Northeastern University in the final meeting between the two teams this season Friday night at 7 p.m. at Lawler Arena.