WESTFIELD, Mass. – Junior Captain Matthew Manning (Novi, Mich.) scored two goals in Worcester State's 4-2 victory over Westfield State University on Tuesday night at Amelia Park in the first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action of the year.
Manning's two goals on the night gave him four points through the first three games of this season.
In the first frame the two teams went back and forth, only producing 15 total shots, typical of what you would see in early season conference play.
But the 15th shot of the period would prove a big one, as Josh Boulos (Burlington, Mass.) took a winding puck off the boards, slid to the middle of the ice, and ripped a wrister past the Lancer goaltender to give the Owls the 1-0 lead with 21 seconds remaining in the first.
Boulos would end the game with a goal and assist, both of his firsts of the season.
Worcester state then jumped on the attack at the start of the second, outshooting the Owls 7-0 in the first 11 minutes of the period. Despite the big shot differential, Westfield maintained their lead until the Lancers finally struck on the powerplay by the stick of Manning to tie the game at one.
The attack kept coming on the Owl defense, and if it were not for a tremendous save from Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Quebec) with 7:50 to go in the period, the Lancers would have added another tally to the board.
Moments later, however, Worcester would then be the beneficiary of their own penalty, as Jake Karelas (Melrose, Mass.) came streaking out of the box to create a 2-on-1 for the Lancers. Karelas picked up the puck and slid it across to sophomore Nick Pennucci (Worcester, Mass.) who would waste no time and bury the puck in the back of the net for Worcester's first lead of the night.
The Lancers would make the lead 3-0 after Manning carried the puck into the slot, where no Owl defenders picked him up, and banked a shot off the left post and in for his second of the contest.
That marked the third Worcester goal in the span of 7 minutes, quickly turning all the momentum in the Lancers favor.
Worcester then put the nail in the coffin at the start of the third when sophomore Will Ahern (Charlestown, Mass.) translated a blocked shot into a breakaway goal, beating Messervier blocker side for the tally.
The Owls tacked on a late power-play goal from John-Michael DiGregorio (Montreal, Quebec), their first man-advantage tally this season, but it wasn't enough as Westfield saw a 4-2 deficit on the scoreboard whewn the final buzzer rang.
Messervier made 24 saves in net for the Owls, while Worcester goalie Ryan Hoff (Brockton, Mass.) had 20 for the visiting Lancers.
The win moves Worcester to 2-1 on the season and gives them their first conference win of the young season (1-0). The loss drops Westfield to 0-2 on the year (0-1 MASCAC).
The Owls next travel to Post University on Thursday night for a 7:30 p.m. non-conference matchup with the Eagles.
Worcester stays within the MASCAC as they host UMass. Dartmouth on November 14th, puck drop scheduled for 4:40 p.m.