WESTFIELD, Mass. (November 19, 2019) – On the road for the third straight game, the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team put together a stifling defensive performance to snag a 4-2, non-conference win at Westfield State on Tuesday night. The Ravens held the Owls to just 20 shots in the victory, while piling up 42 of their own at the Amelia Park Arena. Franklin Pierce matched its most-disciplined games of the season, as the Ravens recorded just eight penalty minutes and successfully killed all three power plays against on the way to the win.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 3-2-1, while Westfield State falls to 2-3-1.
The goals came fast and furious out of the gate on Tuesday night, as the two teams combined for three goals in the opening 10 minutes. Franklin Pierce broke the ice at the 3:38 mark, as senior defenseman Mark Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.) and graduate student forward Sam Gagnon (Montreal, Quebec) -- who spent his undergraduate days at Westfield State -- combined to send senior forward Cameron Shepardson (Albany, N.Y.) into the offensive end on a partial breakaway on the left-wing side. Shepardson put his shot high from the left circle. The puck caught the glove shoulder of Westfield State senior goaltender Thierry Messervier, but it was not enough to keep it out of the net as Shepardson notched his first goal of the season.
Westfield State evened things at 1-1 just 2:22 later, at the six-minute mark. Indelicato was stripped of the puck along the goal line, to the right-wing side of the Franklin Pierce goal. Senior forward Robert Neuwirth made his way out front uncontested, danced around sophomore goaltender Kyle Martin (Westford, Mass.) and slid his second of the season into the yawning net.
Franklin Pierce would take the lead for good another 3:37 afterwards, at the 9:37 mark. Freshman forward Jason Ladzinski (Norcross, Ga.) took possession behind the Westfield State net. He wrapped out front on the right-wing side and banked a backhand attempt off the skate of Messervier for his third goal of the season and second in as many games.
The game went without further scoring until a second-period power play allowed the Ravens to net the eventual game-winner. Sophomore forward Ryan Gorbett (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) banged home the rebound of a shot by senior forward James Morrissey (West Haven, Conn.) at the left post for his first goal of the campaign. Senior forward Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) added an assist as well at 12:47.
Westfield State closed the gap to 3-2 at the 8:52 mark of the third period. Senior forward Daniel Backstrom had the one-time finish on the right side on a slickly-executed 2-on-1 rush for his second goal of the year. Sophomore forward Justin Alves led the odd-man rush on the left-wing side, while junior defenseman Josh Boulos added an assist as well.
Westfield State would eventually pull Messervier for an extra attacker with 1:17 to play, but only succeeded in surrendering an empty-net goal to create the 4-2 final. Sophomore defenseman Stephen Jacobs (Hingham, Mass.) cashed in his second goal of the season with a shot from his own blue line, while Indelicato tallied his second assist of the night, at 19:12.
Martin (3-0-0) remained unbeaten on the year with an 18-save performance against 20 shots in the Franklin Pierce crease. Messervier (2-3-0) was peppered with 42 shots and made 38 saves, but suffered the loss anyway for Westfield State.
The Ravens return to the ice on Friday, Nov. 22, when they return home to host Saint Michael's in a Northeast-10 Conference contest. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena in Winchendon, 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).