Falcons Sail Past Vikings, 3-2
Fitchburg, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University men's ice hockey team downed the Vikings of Salem State University with a decisive 3-2 victory Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action on Saturday evening at Wallace Civic Center.
Score: Fitchburg State University 3, Salem State University 2
Records: Fitchburg State (4-2-1, 2-1-1 MASCAC) | Salem State (2-4-2, 1-3 MASCAC)
How It Happened
Salem State was on the board before the fans were in their seats, just 54 seconds after the puck drop freshman Landon Hasenfuss (Hanover, Mass.) put a rebound past the hosts' goaltender, Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) for the quick 1-0 lead.
With less than five minutes remaining in the first frame, Fitchburg State forward Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) blocked a shot in the Falcons defensive zone to create a 2-on-1 through neutral ice with Tyler Warila (Shirley, Mass.). DiNicola, streaking down the left wing, flipped a cross ice pass to his line-mate who deposited a wrist shot top shelf to notch the game at 1-1.
The Falcons' broke the tie in the last minute of the second stanza. Freshman Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) had the outlet pass up the boards from deep in the Falcons defensive zone, tipped through by DiNicola, that Warila corralled down the left wing and potted his second goal of the game in the upper right corner past Vikings goal tender Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ont.).
Salem knotted the game at 2-2 just 1:50 into the third period, junior Brody Heleno (Mississauga, Ont) found an open Derek Makimaa (Swartz Creek, Mich.) for his second goal of the season. However, the Falcons wasted little time and converted a power-play tally just two minutes later for the lead. Captain James Gordon (Hingham, Mass.) tipped a blue-line blast from Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, NH) for the game-winning goal.
By The Numbers
McGrath posted 39 saves for his third win of the season, while his counterpart Pucciarelli turned aside 41 shots in the loss.
Warila figured in all three goals for the Falcons with two goals and an assist.
It was the 48th meeting between two schools on the ice with the Falcons 8-35-5 all-time when taking on the Vikings.
Salem State has won five of the previous six contests against Fitchburg State with the Falcons last defeating the Viking on November 17, 2016 (5-3).
Fitchburg State University returns to action next Saturday at the Steve Hoar Memorial Tournament. The Falcon will face Stonehill College at 4:00pm. Salem State travels to University of Southern Maine on Tuesday evening at 7:00pm.