NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (November 16, 2019) -- Trailing 2-1 early in period three, the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team relied on special teams to tie and take the lead, as the Ravens skated to a 4-2 win on the road against non-conference opponent UMass Dartmouth at Hetland Arena.
With the win, the Ravens improve to 2-2-1 on the season, while the Corsairs fall to 1-3-0.
It seemed destined special teams would be the difference. In the opening 20 minutes alone, the teams combined for six minor penalties. For the game, the two teams would combine for 47 penalty minutes on 18 infractions. Neither power play could connect in the opening period, but at even strength it was UMass Dartmouth forward Michael Perrone, who broke the deadlock with 5:30 remaining in the period. For the freshman, it was his second of the season, while freshman forward Austin Miller and senior forward Steven Leonard picked up the assists.
In the second period, the Ravens would draw even. Sophomore forward Chris Stevenson (Arvada, Colo.) was able to beat Corsairs' sophomore goaltender Chris Stangarone to tie things up 5:23 into the middle period. Senior forwards James Morrissey (West Haven, Conn.) and Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) picked up the helpers on Stevenson's third of the season.
Shots were fairly even throughout the contest, with the Ravens accumulating a 27-26 advantage for the game. Making his second start of the season, sophomore goaltender Kyle Martin (Westford, Mass.) was steady, especially in the second, when he turned aside all 12 shots he faced.
The Ravens were handed a glorious opportunity to do major damage late in the period when Corsairs' senior forward Patrick Wrenn was issued a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for contact to the head. The Ravens were unable to capitalize on the first 56 seconds of the major, which left the game at 1-1 heading for the third.
It would instead be the Corsairs who would strike while shorthanded on the other side of the intermission. Miller buried a shorthanded tally at the 2:29 mark to give the Corsairs a 2-1 lead. For Miller is was his first goal of the season, while sophomore forward Jimmy Pelton added the lone assist.
The Ravens' power play was 0-for-4 entering the final period of regulation. But, to the team's credit, they would eventually cash in when it was needed most to put together a comeback. First, after surrendering the shorthanded tally, Franklin Pierce was able to convert before the major penalty expired. It was junior defenseman Paul Antkowiak (Salem, N.H.) who fired a point shot home for his first of the season. Freshman forward Conor Foley (Nahant, Mass.) picked up the assist as the Ravens tied the game at 2-2 at 4:03.
Then, just 2:05 later, on another man-advantage, it was freshman forward Jason Ladzinski (Norcross, Ga.), who was able to drive home his second career goal to give Franklin Pierce its first lead of the afternoon, at the 6:08 mark.
From there, the Ravens staved off the Corsairs, as Martin turned aside nine of 10 shots thrown his way in the third stanza. An empty-netter from Lester, his team-leading fourth goal, would seal the win for Franklin Pierce at 19:50.
Martin (2-0-0) turned aside 24 of 26 shots to pick up the win. Stangarone (1-1-0) stopped 23 of 26 shots and took the loss in goal for UMass Dartmouth.
The Ravens remain on the road, as they will face off against Westfield State on Tuesday, Nov. 19, for a non-conference contest. Puck drop against the Owls is set for 7:35 p.m.
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).