WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 4, 2017) – At the end of a raucous third period, which saw six goals scored, the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team came out on the short end of a 4-3 decision at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Worcester State senior forward Michael Moran went for a natural hat trick in the final eight minutes on Saturday night, to rally the Lancers from a 3-1 deficit to the non-conference win.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 0-2-0, while Worcester State improves to 3-0-0.
The first 40 minutes on Saturday featured only one goal, before the roller-coaster finish. At 7:33 of the first period, Worcester State struck to open the scoring immediately off of a faceoff. Freshman forward Kyle Hayter won a draw in the left-wing circle back to freshman defenseman Jake Karelas at the left point. Karelas let his shot fly from there, and it was deflected en route by freshman forward CJ Buckingham, who notched his first collegiate goal.
After a scoreless second, the third period more than made up for the relative quiet of the first two stanzas. Franklin Pierce made the first surge, as the Ravens fired home three goals in a span of 4:17 to jump to a 3-1 lead.
Still facing the 1-0 deficit, and about to embark on a two-man advantage, head coach Shaun Millerick opted to call his timeout at the 6:16 mark. The move paid off less than 30 seconds later, as quality puck movement on the 5-on-3 led to the Ravens tying the game at 6:41. From the right point, junior defenseman Jack Williams (Suffield, Conn.) slipped a pass over to senior forward Jonathan Haun (Buffalo, N.Y.), who shot from there. Haun's shot was saved, but the rebound popped out into the slot for senior forward David Wilcox (Stillwater, Maine), who put away his first goal of the season on a one-time finish.
Later, sophomore defenseman Jonathan Busolin (Goose Creek, S.C.) would cash in his first career goal at the 10:06 mark, capping a rush down the left side. Junior forward Nicholas Fotiu (Falmouth, Mass.) had set Busolin up with a head of steam moving into the offensive zone, and the latter picked the top-left corner of the net from the top of the left-wing circle.
It took only 52 seconds for the Ravens to extend the lead. On a 2-on-2 rush into the offensive end, sophomore forward James Morrissey (West Haven, Conn.) snapped a shot from the left-wing circle. Worcester State junior goaltender Cory Lignelli made the initial stop on the play, but sophomore forward Alex Lester (Methuen, Mass.) was on the scene to put away the rebound for his second goal of the year. Sophomore forward Cameron Shepardson (Albany, N.Y.) added an assist on the play as well.
Worcester State set off on the comeback trail with a power-play marker at the 12:02 mark. Moran had the finish from the slot for his third goal of the campaign, off of a feed from the right-wing side by junior forward Mitchell Purdie, who would have a helper on each leg of Moran's natural hat trick. Sophomore forward Andy DeAngelis added an assist as well.
Just 37 seconds later, at 12:39, Moran put away a shot from the left-wing circle to tie the game at 3-3, just 2:33 after Franklin Pierce had taken the lead. Purdie provided the setup from the left-wing corner, with freshman forward Matthew Manning picking up the secondary assist.
With overtime looking like a more-probable ending to the game with every passing minute, Moran struck for the game-winning goal with just 91 seconds to play. Leading a rush down the left side, he turned on the afterburners and earned himself a route in on goal from the left-wing circle. Cutting in front of the goalmouth from left to right, Moran deked to his backhand and flipped the puck over the outstretched pad of Franklin Pierce senior goaltender Tom McGuckin (Clayton, N.J.) to cap the hat trick and put away the game-winning goal. Purdie had the assist yet again, at 18:29. The goal came less than a minute after Shepardson had hit the post at the other end of the ice while looking to break the tie in Franklin Pierce's favor.
McGuckin (0-2-0) finished with 22 saves against 26 shots on goal and suffered the loss in front of the Franklin Pierce net. Lignelli (1-0-0) tallied 15 saves against 18 shots to pick up the win for Worcester State.
The Ravens return to the ice on Tuesday, Nov. 7, when they travel to Fitchburg State for a non-conference contest. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. at Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg, 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 ice hockey apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).