WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Junior F.X. Girard’s (St. Lazare, Que.) power play goal with 6:44 remaining proved to be the game-winner and lifted Westfield State to a 4-3 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference ice hockey victory over UMass Dartmouth Saturday evening at Amelia Park Ice Arena.
Girard converted a feed from senior Aaron Clancy (Quincy, Mass.) on the decisive man-advantage marker for the host Owls (13-6-3, 10-4-1 MASCAC), who moved into sole possession of second place in the league standings with their fifth straight triumph. Westfield State jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:59 into the contest on sophomore Josh Boulos’s (Burlington, Mass.) goal, but the visiting Corsairs (12-10-1, 9-6-1 MASCAC) received power play tallies off the sticks of sophomore Dillon Radin (Long Beach, N.Y.) and senior Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) in a 3:31 span midway through the frame to take a 2-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes of play.
That score held up until late in the second stanza when the Owls struck for two goals from Girard and Clancy in a 2:44 stretch to take a 3-2 edge into the final frame, but senior Brendan McDonough’s (Wilmington, Mass.) power play goal 7:15 into the third period evened matters once again for UMass Dartmouth and set up Girard’s heroics. Junior Thierry Meservier (Montreal, Que.) made that stand up with a yeoman’s effort in goal for Westfield State, as he made 51 saves (including a combined 40 in the first and third periods combined) to pick up his 12th win of the season between the pipes for the hosts.
Boulos added an assist on Clancy’s tally to finish with two points on the night for the Owls, who also received a helper from junior Daniel Backstrom (Helsinki, Finland). Senior Mason Nichols (Oviedo, Fla.) and junior Sean Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) collected assists in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, as sophomore Parker Butler (Summit, N.J.) suffered the setback in goal with a 19-save effort for the visitors. The Corsairs outshot Westfield State by a 54-23 margin on the evening, but the Owls held a 36-33 edge in the faceoff circle to take two of the three regular season meetings between the two teams.
UMass Dartmouth hosts Framingham State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference outing on Thursday evening at Hetland Arena that faces off at 7:30 pm, while Westfield State entertains Worcester State in a MASCAC clash on Thursday evening at Amelia Park Ice Arena that faces off at 7:35 pm.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)