WINCHENDON, Mass. (January 19, 2019) – Making just his fourth start of the year, freshman goaltender Kyle Martin (Westford, Mass.) piled up a season-best 46 saves on Saturday night, to play a huge role in the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team earning two points at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Junior forward Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) popped home the game-winner 3:33 into overtime, to lift the Ravens to a 2-1 win over Southern New Hampshire in Northeast-10 Conference play.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 8-9-1 (3-4-1 NE10), while SNHU falls to 8-6-2 (4-3-1 NE10). Franklin Pierce is just one off the program record for wins in a single season.
After the first period went scoreless, Franklin Pierce opened the scoring with a power-play tally just 36 seconds into the second stanza. Senior defenseman Jack Williams (Suffield, Conn.) held the puck in at the blue line and eventually sent it to Lester on the right side. Lester's initial shot was blocked, but he got his follow-up attempt through to the net from the high slot. SNHU junior goaltender Kurt Gutting made the save, but senior forward Nate Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.) was able to clean up the rebound at the right post for his fourth goal of the season.
Franklin Pierce was ultimately outshot 18-8 in the second period, but managed to hold the 1-0 lead through the second intermission. Things were more even in the third period, but it was SNHU which struck for the frame's only goal. Following a scramble in front of the net, the puck squirted free to senior forward Ryan Spagnoli at the edge of the left-wing circle, and he put home his fifth of the year from there. Sophomore forwards Kyle Galloway and Griffin Connor tacked on the assists at 12:58.
It all set the stage for Lester's heroics at the 3:33 mark of overtime. From its own end, the SNHU defense attempted to use the glass to clear the puck, but misjudged the angle and could not put it past Lester. Lester knocked the clearing attempt down, brought it to the top of the left circle and snapped a shot inside the far post to tally his ninth of the campaign and bring the Ravens off the bench in celebration.
Meanwhile, Martin (3-1-0) all but stole the show in the Franklin Pierce crease. He was beaten just once on 47 shots, as he piled up 46 saves to pick up the victory. Gutting (6-3-2) finished with 32 saves against 34 shots at the other end of the ice for SNHU, as the two teams combined for 80 shots on the night.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26, when they remain home to host Assumption in a two-game weekend series. Opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m. both nights at 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).