Kramer nets two goals in season opener
Henniker, N.H. – The Fitchburg State University ice hockey team opened its 2018-19 season this evening, dropping a tough 5-4 decision to the Pilgrims of New England College in non-conference action at the Lee Clement Arena.
Score: Fitchburg State 4, New England College 5
Records: Fitchburg State (0-1) | New England College (1-0)
How It Happened
Fitchburg State opened the scoring midway through the first period as senior Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, N.H./East Coast Wizards) collected a pass from junior Kyle Hillick (Byfield, Mass./Hawkesbury Hawks) and freshman Ryan Murphy (Wayzata, Minn./Trail Smoke Eaters) and found the back of net for his first tally of the season for the 1-0 margin.
New England College knotted the score (1-1) with just under three minutes remaining in the first period when senior Connor Fries (Barnstable, Mass./Proctor Academy) connected on his first marker on the year as juniors William Riise (Charlottenlund, Denmark/Atlanta Jr. Knights) and Keenan Haase (Mission Viejo, Calif./Kimberly Dynamiters) assisted on the play.
In the second period, Fitchburg State regained the lead just 21 seconds into the frame as junior Christopher Vicario (Cranston, R.I./Connecticut Jr. Rangers) netted his first marker of the 2018 campaign for the 2-1 edge.
The Falcons upped its advantage (3-1) at the 4:57 mark when Kramer collected his second goal of the contest, but the Pilgrims answered back as freshman Nikita Pintusov (Mogilev, Belarus/El Paso Rhinos) registered his first two collegiate tallies in the span of six minute to make the score 3-3 going into the final period of play.
In the final frame, New England College, took the lead 2:05 into the stanza when junior Patrick Deblois (Lewiston, Maine/Seacoast Prep) gathered a feed from classmate Adam Zollner (Varnamo, Sweden/Ogden Mustangs) and found the back of the net for his first goal of the year for the 4-3 lead.
The back and forth battle continued as senior Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn./Springfield Jr. Pics) buried a shot inside the near post for his first marker on the season as Vicario and sophomore Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland/Atlanta Capitals) assisted on the play to retie the contest at 4-4.
The hosts secured the victory with 4:50 left in regulation when Zollner received a pass from DeBlois and notched his first goal of the year, resulting in the 5-4 final.
Inside the Numbers
This evening's contest will mark the 14th meeting between the two teams on the ice with the Falcons currently 3-10-1 all-time when taking on the Pilgrims
The two squads had split the previous five matchups (2-2-1), with the Falcons earning a 2-1 victory last season at the Wallace Civic Center.
In between the pipes, sophomore Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass./Boston Jr. Bruins) made 37 saves for the Falcons in the setback, while junior Christoffer Sjoo (Stockholm, Sweden/Ogden Mustangs) stopped 20 shots for the Pilgrims in the victory.
Kramer led the way for the Green and Gold with two goals, while Figi added a pair of assists.
Falcons will host the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday for a MASCAC tilt, starting at 7:00 PM. Pilgrims will travel to Babson College on Friday for an NEHC matchup at 7:00 PM.