Men’s Ice Hockey Redeems Itself on Special Teams, Snatches 4-3 (OT) Victory from Stonehill

Photo credit: Meg Stokes.
Photo credit: Meg Stokes.

WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 9, 2019) – Somewhere, perhaps, in the universe, things have aligned in just such a manner. Some stars have crossed the right paths, some planets have tilted just right, some quasars have spit out just the right combination of radiation, to cause a heaping mound of cosmic drama dust to descend on the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena at this moment in time. It would be as good an explanation as any for the theatrics on display on the building's ice sheet this week.

Four days removed from the women's team's wild, 5-4, come-from-behind victory over Plymouth State on Tuesday night (recap), it was time for the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team to pull a victory back from the brink of defeat on Saturday night. Just a night after a rash of penalties headlined a four-goal loss to Southern New Hampshire, the Ravens used four power-play tallies (4-for-7) to take a 4-3 win over visiting Stonehill in Northeast-10 Conference play. Franklin Pierce cashed in twice on a five-minute major in the final 5:07 of regulation to erase a 3-1 deficit and set the stage for a power-play winner 103 seconds into overtime by sophomore forward Chris Stevenson (Arvada, Colo.).

With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 1-2-0 (1-1-0 NE10), while Stonehill falls to 1-2-0 (0-2-0 NE10). The two teams will meet later in the year, for a home-and-home weekend on Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1, to round out the three-game season series.

Trailing 3-1 headed into the latter stages of the third period, the Ravens got extended power-play time to spark their comeback, as Stonehill senior defenseman Michael Seibold was sent packing with a five-minute major and a game disqualification for contact-to-the-head at the 14:25 mark. Franklin Pierce needed just 28 seconds to cash in for the first time on the major and cut the gap to 3-2. Junior forward Justin Blanchette (Monroe, Conn.) sent the puck to the middle of the blue line for sophomore defenseman Stephen Jacobs (Hingham, Mass.), who uncorked a shot from there. Freshman forward Jason Ladzinski (Norcross, Ga.) was stationed en route and tipped the shot home for his first collegiate goal.

Time became the enemy of the Ravens from there, as the clock wound down inside 90 seconds to play with the 3-2 deficit still showing on the scoreboard. Franklin Pierce pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker and converted again on the power-play to knot the game at 3-3 with just 1:13 to play. Working in the right-wing corner, both Ladzinski and sophomore forward Sean Crowley (Sandown, N.H.) got touches on the puck, before it wound up on the stick of senior forward Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.). Lester walked the puck out into the right circle and snapped home his second goal of the game to force overtime.

The Ravens would get yet another power-play chance in overtime, as Stonehill senior forward Cameron Wright took a cross-checking penalty 47 seconds into the frame. A tic-tac-toe passing play set up the game-winner for Franklin Pierce less than a minute later, at 1:43. From the top of the left circle, sophomore forward Ryan Gorbett (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) sent the puck down below the goal line for senior forward James Morrissey (West Haven, Conn.). Morrissey slipped a quick pass into the slot for Stevenson, who hammered home the one-timer to touch off a raucous celebration with his second goal of the season.

Earlier in the night, Stonehill opened the scoring at 19:37 of the first. Sophomore forward Mike Seoane sprung freshman forward Brendan Nehmer the other way on a breakaway, and the latter snapped home his second of the year from the left-wing circle.

Franklin Pierce evened things at 1-1 with a power-play tally at 7:05 of the second. Lester took a feed from Stevenson low on the right-wing side, had his initial shot stopped and banged home his own rebound for his second goal of the season.

A 5-on-3 power-play marker for Stonehill at 14:52 of the second put the Skyhawks in front again. Junior defenseman Sean Conley fed senior defenseman Zachary Frament at the right point, and the latter's shot from there was deflected home out front by Seoane.

Stonehill then pushed the lead to 3-1 just 60 seconds into the third to set the stage for the late Franklin Pierce rally. Frament kick-started a 2-on-1 the other way, which saw junior forward Kayser Raei feed senior forward Ryan Meade for Meade's first goal of the year.

Franklin Pierce sophomore goaltender Kyle Martin (Westford, Mass.) stopped 17 of 20 shots to pick up the win (1-0-0) in his season debut in the Franklin Pierce net. Stonehill senior Matthew Schoen (0-1-0) made 32 saves against 36 shots in defeat.

The Ravens return to the ice on Tuesday, Nov. 12, when they travel to Anna Maria for a non-conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 5:40 p.m. at Horgan Arena in Auburn, 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 ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).