WINCHENDON, Mass. (January 8, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team held its own through the first period on Tuesday night, but the Ravens were then outshot, 28-15, over the final two stanzas at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. The end result was a 4-1, non-conference loss to visiting Westfield State, in a game which saw 17 penalties whistled through just the first two periods. Senior forward Nate Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.) tallied the lone goal in defeat for Franklin Pierce.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 6-7-0, while Westfield State improves to 6-5-2.
Westfield State got the scoring started as it capped a rush up the ice at the 12:54 mark. The Owls ran the breakout play up the defensive left-wing side of their own zone. Junior forward Pearce Vance and senior defenseman Wyatt Trumbley ultimately teamed to spring junior forward Samuel Gagnon, who led a 2-on-1 steaming down the left side of the ice. Gagnon teed up a slap shot from the middle of the left circle and took care of things himself, as he buried the shot inside the far post for his fourth goal of the season.
A lucky bounce created Westfield State's second goal, which was a power-play marker at 15:36. The play began as senior defenseman Lenny Caglianone fired a shot wide left from the middle of the blue line. Junior forward Daniel Bäckström tracked down the loose puck, took it behind the net and fed it to junior forward F.X. Girard in the right circle. Girard attempted to loft a pass across the slot to his linemate in the left circle, but the puck ricocheted off the Franklin Pierce defense and into the net for Girard's fifth of the campaign.
Franklin Pierce cashed in a special teams goal of its own to cut the gap in half prior to the intermission, with a shorthanded tally at 17:47. A Westfield State defenseman lost the handle on the puck while attempting to clear his own blue line, and the turnover left Indelicato in all alone. Indelicato made no mistake and smoothly beat junior goaltender Thierry Messervier for his third goal of the year. It marked Franklin Pierce's first shorthanded tally of the season.
Westfield State put home the second period's only goal, just 2:01 into the stanza, as the Owls capitalized on a failed clear by the Ravens defense, which turned the puck over just outside the blue line. Freshman forward Justin Alves and freshman forward Jake Ratcliffe worked to gain possession and then sent senior forward Aaron Clancy back into the offensive zone with the puck. Clancy snapped a shot from the right circle and put it off the pipe and into the goal for his fourth goal of the season.
An empty-net, shorthanded tally at 19:44 of the third would create the 4-1 final. Alves picked up his first collegiate goal, unassisted.
Sophomore goaltender Ian Wallace (West Islip, N.Y.) finished with 35 saves against 38 shots and suffered the loss (5-6-0) in front of the Franklin Pierce net. Messervier (6-4-2) tallied 25 saves against 26 shots to pick up the win for Westfield State.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, when they remain home to host Post in a non-conference weekend series. Opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://www.fpuravens.com/store).