Men’s Ice Hockey Rallies Past SNHU, 5-4 (OT), to Force Weekend Split
WINCHENDON, Mass. (November 19, 2022) -- The tables turned on Saturday afternoon at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Just one day removed from surrendering a 4-1 lead on home ice, the Franklin Pierce University men's ice hockey team turned a 4-3 third-period deficit into a 5-4, overtime win over Southern New Hampshire. Senior Conor Foley (Nahant, Mass.) tied the game in the third with his second goal of the game, while graduate student Chris Stevenson (Arvada, Colo.) provided the game-winner just 46 seconds into overtime, as the Ravens forced a split of the Northeast-10 Conference weekend series.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 5-3-0 (3-3-0 NE10), while SNHU falls to 3-6-0 (3-4-0 NE10). Franklin Pierce will make the return trip to SNHU for a pair of games on Feb. 3-4.
Trailing 4-3 through two periods, the Ravens found a goal to level things at 4-4 in the back half of the third period. Senior Stephen Jacobs (Hingham, Mass.) dug the puck out of the corner in his own end and sent it up the left wing to Stevenson. Stevenson played it ahead to Foley, who had to work hard to shake a defender as he made his way into the offensive end. Eventually left with a tough-angle shot from low in the left-wing circle, Foley managed to pop the puck to the back of the net anyway, for his second of the day and team-leading eighth of the season, at 13:23.
After forcing overtime, it did not take Franklin Pierce long to end things in the extra session. Again, Jacobs was the catalyst, as he pushed forward in the 3-on-3 situation and won a battle for possession deep in the left-wing corner. After gaining the puck, he found a lane out front to Stevenson, who had room to maneuver at the top of the crease. Stevenson deked to the right post and slid home his third of the season to kick off the celebration for the Ravens.
The rally made a winner (5-3-0) out of graduate student goaltender Kyle Martin (Westford, Mass.), who finished with 33 saves against 37 shots in the Franklin Pierce crease. Graduate student Adam Mercer (3-4-0) stopped 29 of 34 shots and suffered the loss for SNHU.
Earlier in the day, the first period went scoreless, before the scoreboard lit up like a pinball machine in the second stanza. The two teams combined for seven goals in the frame, with the Penmen taking a 4-3 lead into the second intermission. SNHU senior George Thurston opened the scoring from the right circle on the rush at 3:57, while Foley answered by banging home a rebound on the power play at 5:13.
From there, SNHU capitalized on a pair of defensive miscues by the Ravens to build a 3-1 lead, as senior James Nash picked the top-left corner at 10:05, and Andrew Ray buried a shorthanded goal from the right circle at 13:58.
Franklin Pierce scored twice in 35 seconds to even things at 3-3, as senior Jackson Dobek (Natick, Mass.) snapped a penalty-shot goal inside the left post from the hash marks at 16:20, and senior Jason Ladzinski (Norcross, Ga.) finished off a nifty feed from Foley right out front on the next shift, at 16:55.
SNHU reclaimed the lead with just 8.2 seconds to play in the period, as Thurston set up senior Ryan Coady, who put a shot through traffic and past a screened Martin. The Penmen took the lead to the locker room, which set the stage for the heroics of Foley and Stevenson in the game's latter stages.
The Ravens have a midweek tilt ahead on the calendar, as they head out of conference for a trip to Framingham State on Tuesday. Puck drop is set for 7:40 p.m., at Loring Arena in Framingham, Mass.