WINCHENDON, Mass. (January 12, 2019) – Third-period leads of 3-1 and 4-2 would not be enough for the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team on Saturday night, as the Ravens surrendered two goals in the final five minutes of regulation and another 44 seconds into overtime to suffer a 5-4 defeat at the hands of visiting Post. Sophomore forward Evan Lugo scored twice, including the game-winner, for Post, while junior forward Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) scored twice in defeat for Franklin Pierce in the non-conference affair at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 7-8-0, while Post improves to 4-10-0.
Post tallied the only goal of the first period, as sophomore defenseman Sean Castagna notched his first collegiate goal. He put a long shot through traffic from the left point at 15:45, off of assists from sophomore forward Kieran Hurley and junior defenseman Lucas Smith.
Franklin Pierce surged to a 2-1 lead with the only two goals of the second period. Early, freshman defenseman Stephen Pantera (Hamden, Conn.) was able to catch Post in a line change and spring Lester through the neutral zone on a breakaway. Lester snapped his sixth of the season into the top-right corner from the hash marks at 2:59. Later, junior defenseman Mark Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.) took a long shot from the left point. Freshman forward Ryan Gorbett (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) provided the deflection en route to pick up his second of the year at 18:23, while senior defenseman Jack Williams (Suffield, Conn.) added an assist as well.
The third period turned into a goal-fest, as the two teams combined for five scores in the stanza. Franklin Pierce made it 3-1 with the first of its two power-play markers at 5:37. Junior forward Cameron Shepardson (Albany, N.Y.) played the puck towards the net from the left point, and it was knocked down by senior forward Nate Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.), as the latter cut in front of the net. Junior forward James Morrissey (West Haven, Conn.) was on the scene to clean up the rebound at the left post for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Post cut the gap to 3-2 at 7:01. Junior forward Tyler Hackett helped free the puck in the right corner for Smith. Smith walked out of the corner, to the bottom of the right circle, and then roofed a backhand shot into the top-right corner of the net for his second of the season.
The Ravens reclaimed the two-goal lead with another power-play tally at 13:07. It was another rebound goal, as Shepardson's shot from the left point was saved, before Lester buried the rebound from the bottom of the right circle. Williams added his second assist of the night on Lester's second goal of the game.
It was all downhill from there for Franklin Pierce, however, as the Ravens relinquished the two-goal lead in the final five minutes. Post earned a power play with 6:13 to play and pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker to try to eat into the deficit. The gambit worked at the 15:24 mark, when junior forward Noah Wild banged home a rebound at the right post for his third goal of the season. Hackett had the initial shot from the right circle, and freshman defenseman Steven Mullally tacked on an assist as well, on the power-play goal.
The Eagles tied the game with 2:01 to play in regulation, as Lugo notched his sixth goal of the year. He scored from behind the goal line, just to the right-wing side of the cage, as he banked the puck off of Franklin Pierce sophomore goaltender Ian Wallace (West Islip, N.Y.) and into the goal to level the score. Sophomore forward Anthony Giacomin and Castagna picked up the assists on the play.
Lugo would prove to be the overtime hero as well, just 44 seconds into the extra frame. Along the right-wing boards, Giacomin worked to free the puck for Hackett, who took it to the bottom of the right-wing circle. Hackett's centering pass from there found the stick of Lugo crashing towards the left post, and the latter had a one-time finish to send the Eagles spilling off the bench in celebration of their come-from-behind victory.
Wallace (5-7-0) finished with 38 saves against 43 shots on goal and suffered the loss in net for Franklin Pierce. At the other end of the ice, freshman netminder Joseph McLeod (2-2-0) made 22 saves against 26 shots to pick up the win for Post.
The Ravens return to the ice on Tuesday, Jan. 15, when they travel to Assumption for a Northeast-10 Conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 7:35 p.m. at Buffone Arena in Worcester, Mass.
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).