FPU hockey splits invitational contests

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 11:15AM

Just a day after grinding out an important Northeast-10 Conference victory, the Franklin Pierce University men’s ice hockey team surrendered a 41-26 deficit in shots on goal on Sunday afternoon, in the championship game of the Steve Hoar Invitational, hosted by Becker College. The shots on goal margin spelled a similar disparity in the final score, as Fitchburg State rolled to a 9-1 victory over the Ravens in the non-conference, neutral-site contest at Worcester Ice Center. 

With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 5-4-0.

Fitchburg State scored twice in the opening period before the Ravens finally got on the scoreboard with 1:49 gone by in the second to cut the deficit in half.

From the right point, junior forward Matthew Toombs sent the puck to junior forward Alex Lester, who was off to the right-wing side of the net. Lester put his shot off the pads of Fitchburg State sophomore goaltender Brian McGrath, and junior forward James Morrissey cleaned up the rebound on the left side for his fourth goal of the year.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, the wheels fell off from there. Fitchburg State struck three times in a span of just 5:38 to surge to a 5-1 lead by the end of the second.

It was more of the same in the third period, as Fitchburg State poured in four more goals on the way to the 9-1 final. 

Sophomore goaltender Ian Wallace started in net for Franklin Pierce and would suffer the loss (4-4-0). He made 22 saves against 27 shots and departed after the fifth Fitchburg State goal. Freshman netminder Adam Carman logged the final 29:49 and made 10 saves against 14 shots.

A week after suffering a four-goal defeat on the road at Stonehill, the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team struck back against the Skyhawks on Saturday afternoon. Three different goal-scorers found the net, and Wallace made 37 saves, as the Ravens picked up a 3-1 win in the first round of the Steve Hoar Invitational.

Franklin Pierce had the only two goals of the first period on Saturday, with freshman forward Danny O'Connell netting his first collegiate goal. 

Freshman forward Anthony Nikolopoulos (Burlington, Mass.) tallied his team-leading fifth goal of the season to double the lead.

In a second period where the teams combined for 23 more shots, but it was Franklin Pierce junior forward Alex Lester who was able to capitalize for the 3-0 lead.

Stonehill would post a 13-3 advantage in shots in the third period and mustered the frame's only goal.

Wallace bounced back nicely, after being pulled in each of his previous two starts and allowing a combined nine goals in the two outings. He went the distance on Saturday and chalked up 37 saves against 38 shots to pick up the win.

The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, when they travel to Southern New Hampshire for an NE-10 contest. Opening faceoff is set for 6:40 p.m. at the Ice Den in Manchester.