WESTFIELD, Mass. - Westfield State sophomore forward F.X. Girard (St. Lazare, Quebec) scored on an end to end rush with 4:45 left in the third period to lift Westfield State to a 4-3 win over Fitchburg State in a hard-fought MASCAC hockey game at Amelia Park Ice Arena on Thursday evening.
Westfield State improves to 3-5 on the season and 1-4 in the MASCAC. Fitchburg drops to 6-3-1 and 2-2-1 in the conference.
The two teams traded goals with regularity all evening. Fitchburg got on the scoreboard first with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, NH) 5:01 into the match, lifting a shot from the blue line through traffic and into the upper left corner of the goal.
Westfield responded just 22 seconds later, as sophomore centerman Jordan Mardirossian (Monroeville, Pa.) stole the puck at the redline and skated in on Falcons goalkeeper Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) unchecked, and Mardirossian buried the rebound of his own shot to tie the game at 1-1.
Westfield took a 2-1 lead six minutes into the second period as Sam Gagnon fed Danny Ferri (Chelmsford, Mass.) for a slapshot in the slot, but this time Fitchburg answered 26 seconds later as Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) fed Tyler Warila (Shirley, Mass.), who found a wide open left side of the net in a 2-on-none breakway to tie the game 2-2.
Westfield took a 3-2 lead 3:20 into the third as David Chavis (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich) ripped a shot from the blueline that slipped through the short side of the net, but again the Falcons answered, this time about five minutes later as Figi got a stick on a loose puck near the blue line and spun and flailed an impossible spinning shot while slipping down that Owls' netminder Kameron Limburg (Howell, Mich.) never saw as it found the back of the net for a 3-all tie.
Westfield finally got the game winner from Girard on the power play with 4:45 left in regulation. The Falcons had a power play of their own with four minutes left to play which did not yield a goal, then Limburg came up with a big save on Nick DiNicola's (Wolcott, Conn.) shot with less than a minute left, and James Gordon (Hingham, Mass.) fired a shot wide off the faceoff with seven seconds left.
Limburg stopped 30 shots for Westfield State, while McGrath came up with 33 saves for the Falcons.