WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 1, 2019) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team opened up the 2019-2020 campaign with a 3-2 loss at the hands of Suffolk University at home on Friday night. Despite a strong offensive performance with 50 shots on goal, the Ravens could find just a pair of power-play goals while suffering the non-conference defeat at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena.
With the loss, the Ravens open their season 0-1-0, while the Rams of Suffolk start their season at 1-0-0.
Freshman goaltender Nathan Pickett (1-0-0) earned his first collegiate win making 48 saves in the process, while Ravens junior goaltender Ian Wallace (West Islip, N.Y.) recorded the loss (0-1-0) after giving up three goals on 29 shots against.
Near the end of an opportunity-filled first period, the Ravens struck gold at the 18:29 mark while on the power play. Sophomore forward Chris Stevenson (Arvada, Colo.) was the first to find the puck in front of the net after senior forward James Morrissey (West Haven, Conn.) sent a shot from the point low and to the far side of the net. Senior captain and reigning Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) got the secondary assist on the goal.
The Rams would score the next two goals, both in the second period. The first was a power-play goal at 3:17 by junior forward Joseph Mortillaro, who put home a rebound off the end boards from just outside the left post to even the score. Junior defenseman Miller Rubin had the original shot on the play, which sailed wide, and he picked up an assist on the play, as did sophomore forward Shawn Montgomery.
The second goal came at 15:10, from senior forward Phil Kreuser, who would later assist on the game-winner as well. Rubin held the puck in at the left point and worked it deep into the left-wing corner for junior forward Jack Kelly. Kelly slipped a centering pass out front for Kreuser, who had the one-time finish from right on top of the crease.
The Ravens' second and final goal of the night came at 18:39 to even the score at 2-2. It was another power-play goal (2-for-7), this time for Morrissey, who collected his second point on the night (1-1-2). Morrissey tipped a shot by sophomore Ryan Gorbett (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) from the left point. Senior defenseman Mark Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.) had the secondary assist on the goal after sending the puck along the blue line to Gorbett.
The game-winner came on a quick end-to-end rush by the Rams in the middle of the third period, after an extended period of pressure by the Ravens was defused by Pickett. Deep in his own right defensive corner, Kreuser fired the puck ahead and into the neutral zone, where he found Kelly. The latter hurried into the offensive end on a partial breakaway and then made a sharp right-to-left cut into the slot. The buried his shot from there to give Suffolk a 3-2 lead it would hold the rest of the way.
The Ravens are back in action on Friday, Nov. 8, as the SNHU Penmen come to Winchendon. Franklin Pierce will host Youth Appreciation Night in conjunction with the contest. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. 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 ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).