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Owls and Falcons Skate to 4-4 Tie

F.X. Girard carries the puck in an earlier game this season (Dave Caspole file photo)
F.X. Girard carries the puck in an earlier game this season (Dave Caspole file photo)

FITCHBURG, Mass. – Seniors Robert Neuwirth (Ziln, Czech Republic) and Francois-Xavier Girard (St. Lazare, Que.) had a goal and an assist each to force a 4-4 tie with Fitchburg State University in MASCAC action on Saturday afternoon.

The Owls scored three of the first four goals, but the Falcons had a strong finish to push the game into a tie.

Westfield State capitalized on the first man-advantage of the game for an early 1-0 lead. Senior Robert Neuwirth found a streaking Francois-Xavier Girard down the left wing, where the Girard wristed the puck top-shelf for his fourth goal of the season.

Westfield doubled the score at 17:14 of the first frame, when sophomore Justin Alves (Woburn, Mass.) intercepted a pass at the blue line and scored his third goal of the season with a shorthanded tally.

Sophomore Ryan Murphy (Wayzata, Minn.) cut the deficit in half for the Falcons at the 12:40 mark of the second period with a power-play goal from the top of the circle. However the Owls answered back less than a minute later with a goal from Daniel Backstrom (Helsinki, Finland) to push the lead back to 3-1.

The Falcons once again responeded. Playing four-on-four, Murphy made a skilled move towards net to beat Westfield's netminder Thierry Messervier (Monteral, Que.) and freshman Geoffrey LaMorre (Hubley, NS) notched his first collegiate goal from the blue-line to knot the score 3-3 heading into intermission.

Westfield pulled ahead 4-3 with a power-play goal from Neuwirth just 34 clicks into the third. Fitchburg then tied the game for the last time at 6:36 with a goal from Wyatt Wilmshurst (Massena, NY) off the assist from Hunter Fortin (Westerville, Ohio).

Fitchburg State held a 45-33 margin in shots, and finished 2-for-7 with the man advantage, while Westfield State was 2-for-6 on the power-play.

Junior Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) stopped 29 shots for the Falcons, while Messervier posted 41 saves for the Owls.

With the tie, the Owls move to 2-3-2 on the year (2-1-1) in the MASCAC. 

Up next, the Owls host Johnson and Wales (RI) on Tuesday night at 7:35 p.m. before the Thanksgiving break.