WINCHENDON, Mass. (February 10, 2018) – A pair of goals in the third period started the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team on the comeback trail late on Saturday night, but it would not be enough to erase the troubles from earlier in the game. Saint Anselm used three first-period goals to set the table for a 4-2 win over the Ravens in Northeast-10 Conference play at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Freshman forward John Femia scored twice in the win for the Hawks.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 6-16-1 (2-9-1 NE10), while Saint Anselm improves to 12-9-1 (9-4-0 NE10). Saint Anselm finished off a three-game season sweep of the Ravens with the victory. Saint Anselm took over first place in the NE10 with the win, while the Ravens were eliminated from NE10 Championship contention with the loss.
Saint Anselm put home three first-period goals to seize control of the game early. Femia opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season at the 7:02 mark. Senior defenseman Nick Gorski sent the puck into the slot from the left-wing corner, and the feed deflected off the stick of a Franklin Pierce skater to Femia in the right circle. Femia then picked the top-left corner with his shot.
The Hawks doubled the lead to 2-0 with a power-play marker at 10:16. After the puck popped up into the air in the slot in front of the Franklin Pierce net, Ravens sophomore defenseman Jonathan Busolin (Goose Creek, S.C.) gloved down the free puck and attempted to clear it up the middle. Saint Anselm sophomore defenseman Jake Grade narrowly held the puck in at the blue line and then sent a shot towards the net. The puck made its way untouched through traffic -- including both Busolin and Femia -- and slipped past Franklin Pierce senior goaltender Tom McGuckin (Clayton, N.J.), for Grade's fifth goal of the campaign.
Grade then picked up an assist on the 11th goal of the year for senior forward Jon Pallotta. Grade worked the puck to the left point for freshman defenseman Shawn Moors, who took his shot from there. Moors' shot was saved by McGuckin, but Pallotta knocked home the rebound at the right post at 13:21.
Saint Anselm tacked on the second period's only goal to push the lead out to 4-0. On a rush up the ice, freshman forward Alec Andreucci sent a pass across the ice from the left wing over to sophomore forward Sean Verrier as the Hawks entered the zone. Verrier's shot from the right side was saved, but Femia crashed the net and put away the rebound for his second goal of the night, at 3:52.
Franklin Pierce put home a pair of third-period goals to close the gap to 4-2, but could get no closer. Sophomore forward Cameron Shepardson (Albany, N.Y.) finished off his ninth of the season, on the power play, just 50 seconds into the final stanza. From the right point, sophomore forward Matthew Toombs (Pleasanton, Calif.) sent a pass across to junior defenseman Jack Williams (Suffield, Conn.) at the left point. Williams' shot from there went wide, but Shepardson tracked down the loose puck behind the net. Shepardson quickly wrapped around and slipped the puck in at the right post.
The Ravens closed within two goals at the 11:52 mark. The play started at the right point with freshman defenseman Patrick Gagliardi (Bedford, N.H.), who moved the puck to junior forward Nate Indelicato (Pembroke, Mass.) at the bottom of the right-wing circle. Indelicato's centering feed found the stick of senior forward David Wilcox (Stillwater, Maine) at the top of the crease. Wilcox was stymied by the goaltender initially, but banged home his own rebound while taking a hit to tally his seventh goal of the year.
Franklin Pierce earned a pair of power plays in the latter half of the final frame, and got McGuckin to the bench for the extra attacker over the final 2:03, but could not find another goal, as Saint Anselm came away with the 4-2 victory.
McGuckin (3-13-1) made 27 saves against 31 shots on goal in defeat for Franklin Pierce. Junior netminder Colin Soucy (5-4-1) stopped 25 of 27 shots to pick up the win for Saint Anselm.
The Ravens return to the ice on Tuesday, Feb. 13, when they travel to Stonehill for an NE10 contest. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. at Foxboro Sports Center in Foxborough, 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).