November 7, 2013

Third-Period Penalties Spell Trouble for Men’s Ice Hockey in 4-2 Loss at Fitchburg State

Cornele scores first collegiate goal since February 2012

Cornele Cornele scored his first goal in 21 months on Thursday night at Fitchburg State.

FITCHBURG, Mass. (November 7, 2013) – Sophomore forward Brendan Glynn (Quincy, Mass.) and senior forward Tyler Cornele (Cape Coral, Fla.) each capitalized on defensive miscues on Thursday night for the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team, but a rash of third-period penalties would allow Fitchburg State to come away with a 4-2 win in non-conference play at Wallace Civic Center. Freshman forward Jake Martin scored the game-winning goal and had a pair of assists in the win for Fitchburg State.

With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 0-3-0 (0-0-0 Northeast-10), while Fitchburg State improves to 2-2-0 (0-0-0 Massachusetts State).

In a high-paced first period which saw Franklin Pierce post a 13-12 advantage in shots, the Ravens came away with the stanza's only goal after the Fitchburg State defense inadvertently turned a clearance attempt into a Three Stooges skit. With the teams playing in a 4-on-4 situation, a pair of Falcons suffered a miscommunication coming out of their own end and collided a few feet inside the blue line, toppling head-over-heels over each other. Glynn swooped in, snagged the now-loose puck, headed towards the net all alone and snapped a shot to the top-right corner for his second goal of the season, unassisted at 16:35.

Fitchburg State came out buzzing after the intermission and would chalk up a 14-7 shots advantage in the second period, though it took the Falcons until the final two minutes of the period to get on the board with a slick play off the cycle on the right-wing side of the ice. Martin sent the puck to sophomore forward John Celli on the right-wing halfboards, and the latter stepped out into the right-wing circle. Once he got to the faceoff dot, he slipped a pass to the bottom of the circle to cutting sophomore forward Max Lorenzen, who had a head of steam heading towards the crease. Lorenzen sliced in front of Franklin Pierce sophomore goaltender Kyle Moran (Marshfield, Mass.) and slipped his first of the campaign in on the far side.

Despite being outgunned for much of the middle frame, Franklin Pierce found a quick answer for the Lorenzen goal and reclaimed the lead at 2-1 just 39 seconds later. Again, the goal came off a defensive miscue, as the Fitchburg State defense lost control of the puck near the bottom of the right-wing circle. This time, Cornele was the beneficiary of the turnover, as he took a quick shot which beat Fitchburg State junior goaltender Dan Finn at 19:36. For Cornele, it was his first goal of the season, as well as his first goal since Feb. 8, 2012, as he sat out all of the 2012-13 campaign.

In the final 24 seconds of the period, senior forward Ted Walsh (Quincy, Mass.) committed an elbowing penalty, which would not be assessed until the second period expired. The ensuing power play on a fresh sheet of ice allowed the Falcons to tie the game at 2-2 just 65 seconds into the third. Martin fed the puck to junior defenseman Craig Halpin at the point, and the latter wound and fired from there. Sophomore forward Ryan Connolly was stationed between the hash marks, got his stick to the shot and deflected it inside the right post for his third goal of the season.

From there, the game went without another goal until 2:33 remained in regulation, though the stage was set beforehand by a parade of Ravens to the penalty box. At the 11:40 mark, Glynn was whistled for roughing after he was wiped out carrying the puck into the offensive end and elected to retaliate immediately after he got up. At 13:15 junior defenseman Brendan FitzPatrick (Winthrop, Mass.) was caught chasing the puck on the penalty kill in his own end and committed a slashing penalty, setting Fitchburg State up for 25 seconds of 5-on-3, followed by yet another 1:35 of 5-on-4. The Falcons took their timeout following the FitzPatrick penalty to try to draw up the game-winning goal.

Just 22 seconds later, still before the Glynn roughing minor had expired, freshman defenseman Alex Schleper wrapped up a Fitchburg State forward and was called for holding. This left Fitchburg State with an extended, 2:25, 5-on-3 power play, as the Ravens could not return a fourth player to the ice until FitzPatrick's penalty expired. However, an inspired penalty kill was equal to the task, as the Ravens allowed only two shots on goal between the Schleper holding call and the end of all the penalty trouble. In all, those two shots -- both by Martin -- were the only shots for a Fitchburg State power play which was on the ice for four straight minutes from the 11:40 mark to the 15:40 mark.

At the 16:06 mark, at the first whistle after the long penalty kill expired, Franklin Pierce took its timeout to get a minute of much-needed rest and to attempt to refocus on the tie game at-hand. The latter initiative proved ineffective, as FitzPatrick would go to the penalty box again -- for the third time in the period -- just 36 seconds after the timeout for hitting from behind. The ensuing power play would be the straw which broke the camel's back, as Fitchburg State popped home the eventual game-winner. The puck came to Halpin at the right point, and he sent it to the center of the blue line for Celli, who unleashed a slapshot from there. Martin was set up in front of the net this time, and he was able to redirect the shot for his second goal of the season.

After the goal, Franklin Pierce quickly lost its composure. Just 41 seconds later, FitzPatrick took yet another penalty, this time for boarding. When he protested the call, the referee decided he had seen enough and issued a 10-minute misconduct, which sent FitzPatrick packing for the rest of the proceedings. The Franklin Pierce bench was also vocal in its protests and picked up a bench minor setting up yet another 5-on-3, which could have lasted for the remainder of the game and should have allowed Fitchburg State to effectively run out the clock with the one-goal lead.

However, not about to be outdone, the Falcons saw their composure melt away in the final minute as well. At the 19:20 mark, a sloppy line change got the home team tagged for too many men on the ice, reducing the man-advantage to 4-on-3. Just 21 seconds later, with 18.5 seconds to play, Lorenzen was called for slashing, which left the teams with three men apiece on the ice. With the manpower situation now even and an offensive-zone faceoff coming after the penalty, Franklin Pierce pulled Moran for the extra attacker in hopes of finding the game-tying goal.

One of the Fitchburg State captains, junior forward Sean Loebs, appeared confused by the extra attacker and perhaps thought the teams were playing 4-on-4, as he attempted to take the ice as well. When he was told to return to the bench, he offered some magic words to the referee and picked up a 10-minute misconduct for his troubles, which spelled the end of his night as well.

When the dust finally settled, Franklin Pierce won the offensive-zone draw and put one final surge towards the net, but Finn made one last save against Glynn. The rebound came out near the top of the right-wing circle, in the general vicinity of Fitchburg State sophomore forward Ryan Bedard, who used his backhand to flip the puck up in the air and clear the zone. The clearance wound up falling inside the Franklin Pierce zone and making its way into the vacated net with less than two seconds to play for Bedard's first goal of the season to create the 4-2 final.

Moran, making his season debut, piled up 35 saves on the night, including 13 in each of the first two periods, but suffered the loss (0-1-0) in net for Franklin Pierce. Finn, also making his first appearances of 2013-14, made 26 saves to pick up the win (1-0-0) between the pipes for Fitchburg State

The Ravens return to the ice on Saturday, Nov. 9, when they return home to host Assumption in their Northeast-10 Conference opener. Opening faceoff is set for 7 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 (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). 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 men's ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).

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