Byrnes, Hillick and Kramer notch goals for Falcons in key MASCAC victory
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Fitchburg State ice hockey team received goals from three different player as the Falcons defeated the Owls of Westfield State University, 3-2 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action this evening at the Amelia Park Ice Arena.
In the first period, Fitchburg State took the lead at the 11:52 mark as junior defenseman Evan Byrnes collected a loose puck off his own shot and blasted a shot into the upper right corner of the net off an assist from classmate Corey Hayashi for his second goal on the season for the 1-0 margin.
The Falcons doubled their advantage (2-0) roughly two minutes later when freshman forward Kyle Hillick gathered a feed from junior James Gordon and sophomore Michael Fretz and deposited the puck into the back of the net for his fifth score of the year.
The Green and Gold upped its lead just 1:42 into the middle frame as sophomore defenseman Ricky Kramer blasted a shot into the right side of the net for his fourth score of the 2016-17 campaign on assists from sophomore Nick DiNicola and newcomer Tyler Warila for the 3-0 edge.
Westfield State broke its scoring silence five minutes into the stanza when junior defenseman Donovan Gardiner took a pass from freshman Pearce Vance and classmate Rob Neuwirth and fired a shot inside the far post for his third marker on the season to make the score 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
In the final period, the Owls battled back (3-2) with just over a minute remaining in the contest as junior forward Jeremy Young converted with the man advantage, tucking the puck inside the near post for his sixth tally of the year, but that's as close as the hosts would get as the Falcons managed to hold on for the 3-2 victory.
Throughout the game, Westfield State held a 44-27 margin in shots, while Fitchburg State finished 1-for-4 win the man advantage. In between the pipes, sophomore Charles Jakobsson turned aside 42 shots for the Falcons in the complete game effort, while senior Jonathan LoParco made 24 saves for the Owls in 57:35 minutes of action.
Fitchburg State (10-10-1, 7-6-1 MASCAC) returns to action on Thursday as it hosts the Lancers of Worcester State University for a contest starting at 7 p.m. Westfield State (8-12-0, 4-10-0 MASCAC) will host UMass Dartmouth on Thursday at 7:35 p.m.