WESTFIELD, Mass. – Western New England junior forward Anthony Frati (Churchville, N.Y.) scored two goals to lead the visiting Golden Bears over Westfield State, 4-1, on Friday night in the season opener for both teams at Amelia Park Ice Arena.
Western New England applied heavy pressure on the Owls all game, wearing them down with physical play throughout and outshooting Westfield 26-21 through the first two periods.
The Owls stormed back in the third period, however, and outshot the Golden Bears in the game, 38-34. But due to the stellar play of Western New England goaltender Kyle Carducci (Hartford, Conn.), the Golden Bears were able to maintain their advantage throughout and pick up their first win of the 2019-20 season.
Western New England struck first on a powerplay in the first period when Corey Kennedy (Clemmons, N.C.) fed a crisp pass across the slot to junior Luciano Bucci (Franklin Square, N.Y) who buried it in the back of the net for the 1-0 Golden Bear lead.
Early on in the second, senior captain Andrew Green (Plainview, N.Y.) capitalized off a Thierry Messervier (Montral, Quebec) misplay behind the net and fed the puck to a wide-open John D'Aniello (Toms River, N.J.) who threw it in the empty net for a good goal.
The Golden Bears added to the advantage midway through the period when yet again another Owl defensive mishap led to a Western New England goal. Junior Nolan Zweep (Abbotsford, B.C.) stole the puck right off a Westfield State defenders stick and fed Fratti for the finish and 3-0 lead.
After a slow start, the Owls woke up early in the third and sent 17 shots on net for the period, one of which by the stick of Francois-Xavier Girard (St. Lazare, Quebec) found the back of the net to bring the game to 3-1 late.
But with Messervier pulled late, Fratti would tack on an empty-netter to cap off his two-goal game and the 4-1 victory for Western New England.
The Owls return back on home ice next Tuesday as they face off against MASCAC opponent Worcester State in a 7:35 p.m. start.
Western New England will host Wentworth in a Commonwealth Coast Conference battle a week from today, that game beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Olympia Ice Center.