WORCESTER, Mass. - Three first period goals propelled the Worcester State University men's ice hockey team to a 5-3 win over Fitchburg State in the Quarterfinals of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Saturday evening at the Worcester Ice Center.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 15-9-2 overall on the season, and advance to the MASCAC Semifinals, where they will face top-seeded Plymouth State on Tuesday evening. Fitchburg's season comes to a close with a record of 12-12-2.
The first period was all Lancers, as Worcester State outshot Fitchburg 19-4 in the opening frame. Goals from Tim Drevitch (Oxford, N.J.), Kyle Hayter (Helena, Mont.), and Nick Patullo (Doylestown, Pa.) had the Lancers on top 3-0 after the opening 20 minutes.
Fitchburg's Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) and Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) in the opening eight minutes of the second period tightened up the contest, cutting Worcester State's lead to 3-2. Fitchburg State outshot Worcester 15-14 in the period, but still trailing the Lancers going into the third.
Patullo's second goal of the game, a power play goal, 6:43 into the third gave the Lancers a two-goal cushion, but Fitchburg still refused to go down quietly. The Falcons would cut the lead to 4-3 with the extra attacker as Figi found the back of the net for his second of the night with 2:43 remaining. Fitchburg had a handful of chances to pull even in the closing seconds, but Patullo won a pair of key in-zone draws late, and Drevitch sealed the victory with an empty netter with 1.6 seconds remaining.
Freshman Ryan Hoff (Brockton, Mass.) extended his unbeaten streak to five with a 26-save effort to improve to 4-0-1 on the year. The loss went to Fitchburg's Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.), despite a 37-save outing.
Patullo was named the game's number one star, scoring two goals and two assists, as well as winning 15 of his 21 faceoffs taken. With a goal and an assist, as well as a +3 rating, Hayter was named the game's second star. Fitchburg State's Figi scored two goals and an assist to earn third star honors.