WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 20, 2018) – Freshman goaltender Kyle Martin (Westford, Mass.) picked up his first collegiate victory in style on Tuesday night for the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team. Martin turned aside 40 of 42 shots in his first career start, including a 16-save second period, as the Ravens held on for a 3-2 victory over visiting Framingham State in non-conference play at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Junior forward Matthew Toombs (Pleasanton, Calif.) had a goal and an assist in the win.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 4-3-0, while Framingham State falls to 1-6-1.
After a scoreless first period, Franklin Pierce found the net three times in the middle stanza, which would prove to be enough to seal the deal. First, Toombs finished off a breakaway by picking the top-left corner, over the blocker shoulder of Framingham State junior goaltender Greg Harney, at the 3:15 mark. Junior forward Shepheard Stahel (Plano, Texas) and freshman forward Danny O'Connell (Natick, Mass.) picked up the assists, as they teamed to spring Toombs for his second goal of the season. The helper marked O'Connell's first collegiate point.
The Ravens needed just 2:01 to double the lead to 2-0. It wound up as a 2-on-1 in the offensive end, with freshman forward Sean Crowley (Sandown, N.H.) setting up junior defenseman Mark Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.), who was crashing the net on the left side. Harney came up with the save on Indelicato, but the trailer on the play, freshman forward Anthony Nikolopoulos (Burlington, Mass.), was able to bang home the rebound. It was his fourth goal of the campaign, at 5:16.
Junior forward Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) finished off the second-period scoring at the 14:42 mark, with his first goal of the year, which would stand as the game-winning goal. Toombs got the puck to O'Connell, who took it behind the net from the left-wing corner. Still behind the goal line, and just to the right-wing side of the cage, O'Connell slipped a pass out front for Lester, who roofed the one-time finish from the top of the crease.
Framingham State nearly turned the tables in the third period. The Rams struck twice in the opening seven minutes of the frame to bring the game's outcome into question. First, junior forward Brenden Williams carried into the zone on the left side on a 2-on-2 situation. He ultimately set up freshman forward Erick Walsh, who cut out front from the bottom of the left circle for the finish at 3:05. Freshman defenseman Luke Whelan added an assist as well, on Walsh's first collegiate tally.
A run of three straight penalties taken by Franklin Pierce eventually led to a power-play marker at 6:45, to cut the gap down to 3-2. Junior forward John Sheehan took possession near the left point and sent the puck to sophomore forward Brandon Hamner in the left circle. Hamner dished to senior forward Ryan McDonough at the left post and then cut for the net as well. McDonough immediately put a shot on net. The puck hit Martin, popped up and over the goaltender and landed in the crease behind him. By then, Hamner was on the scene and brushed the puck into the net for his second of the season.
Framingham State would put seven more shots on goal over the remaining 13:15 of the period, but could get no closer. The Rams got Harney to the bench for the extra attacker for the final 85 seconds, but to no avail, as the Ravens came away with the one-goal victory.
Martin (1-0-0) chalked up 40 saves against 42 shots in his first collegiate start to pick up the win for in net for Franklin Pierce. Harney (1-3-0) finished with 17 saves against 20 shots and suffered the loss in the Framingham State crease.
The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24 and 25, when they travel to Becker for the Steve Hoar Invitational at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. Franklin Pierce will open play on Saturday at 12:40 p.m. against Stonehill, while host Becker will face Fitchburg State at 3:40 p.m. The two winners will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday, following the 1 p.m. consolation game.
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).