FITCHBURG, Mass. – The No. 5 seeded Worcester State University's men's ice hockey team's season concluded on Saturday as the No. 4 seeded Fitchburg State Falcons topped the Lancers 5-2 in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) quarterfinal game at the Wallace Civic Center.
With the win, the Falcons (11-14-1) move onto the MASCAC semifinal and will face the No. 1 seed Plymouth State University on Tuesday (Feb. 28). The Lancers conclude the season with a record of 9-14-3.
Senior Cameron Snyder (Shawnee, Kan.) led all players with two goals and two assists for the Falcons. Tyler Warilla's (Shirley, Mass.) stat sheet read two goals and an assist, while sophomore Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, N.H.) added a goal for the Falcons.
Cody Weaver (W. Greenwich, R.I.) and Jim LeNoir (Exton, Pa.) tallied markers for the Lancers, Ryan Flynn (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Kyle Griffin (Marlboro, Mass.), Crissostomos Villarreal (Corona, Calif.) and Andy DeAngelis (Poughquag, N.Y.) notched helpers for the visitors.
The Lancers dominated play for much of the first half of the opening period outshooting the Falcons 7-0 with two power play opportunities. The hosts were able to weather the storm and with the puck deep in the Falcons zone senior Jon Johannesson (Red Lake, Ont.) chipped the puck up the boards and over the blue line to a streaking Kramer down the right wing.
The speedy sophomore collected the biscuit and cut to the net. His initial shot was blocked by the Lancer defense, however Kramer followed his shot and deposited the Falcons first shot of the game under the sprawling netminder and inside the left post for the 1-0 advantage.
Worcester State would respond, leveling the score (1-1) with 3:03 remaining in the first frame. Sophomore Patrick Germain (Auburn, Mass.) broke out of the Lancers defensive zone after a face-off win and ripped off a wrist shot toward the Falcons net that Saari blocked into the corner before Villarreal gathered the rebound behind the net and found Weaver wide open on the right wing for his first tally of the season.
Fitchburg State University netted the only goal of the second period when Snyder settled a loose puck in the corner and found Warilia in the slot for a power-play goal and a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Worcester State evened the score just 2:30 into the final frame with a power-play goal from
LeNoir for his fifth score of the 2016-17 campaign.
The Green and Gold responded less than two minutes later with the eventual game-winner.
Breaking out of the neutral zone junior Evan Byrnes (New City, N.Y.) threaded a pass up the wing to Warilia, who while using the Lancers defense as a screen, fired a slap-shot five-hole past Josh Reinstein (Woodland Hills, Calif.) for his 10th of the season for the 3-2 margin.
Snyder would add a pair of goals to round out the scoring for the Falcons. First at the 12:05 mark the fourth-year Falcon would add his tenth goal of the season with a power-play score and an empty net tally for the 5-2 final.
Worcester State held a large advantage in shots (31-18) and were 1-for-5 with the man-advantage while the Falcons were 2-for-4 on the power play. In net, sophomore Kirby Saari (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) posted 29 saves for his seventh win of the season, while Reinstein made 13 saves for the Lancers in the setback.
Release Courtesy of Fitchburg State Sports Information