WESTFIELD, Mass. – Junior goaltender Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Quebec) spoiled a late comeback attempt by the falcons, as Westfield State defeated Fitchburg State 3-2 in MASCAC action Saturday night at Amelia Park.
Messervier ended up with 32 saves, handing the first-place Falcons their first conference loss in three games.
Robert Neuwirth (Zlin, Czech Republic) got things going for the Owls only two minutes into the game when he sent a shot that caromed off the back boards and right back to his stick. Regaining control of the puck, Neuwirth fired a shot past Falcons goaltender Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) to put Westfield State up 1-0.
The Owls would add to their lead later in the periodafter a Francois-Xavier Girard (St. Lazare, Quebec) one-timer blast from the slot to put the home team up 2-0.
After a Paul Frys (Portland, OR) goal put the Owls up 3-0 early in the second period, Fitchburg State finally got on the board after Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) tallied his league-leading 21st goal of the season. On a Falcon power-play, Figi received a pass from senior linemate Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, N.H.) and fired home a wrister from the slot to cut the Westfield State lead to 3-1.
The Falcons were able to inch a bit closer at the beginning of the third when Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) deked one past Thierry Messervier on the breakaway to pull Fitchburg within one.
The Falcons put many shots on the Owl goaltender, including a breakaway try with 1:34 left, but Messervier denied them all, securing the 3-2 win for the Owls.
Westfield State outshot Fitchburg, 39-34, in the game. Messervier had 32 saves for the Owls, while McGrath gathered 36 for the Falcons.
With the win, Westfield State improves improves to 9-6-3 (6-4-1 in MASCAC play). With the loss, Fitchburg drops to 9-7-2 (6-3-2 in the MASCAC).
Next up for the Owls, they take on Plymouth State Saturday in MASCAC action beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Plymouth.
The Falcons resume conference play as they host Worcester State Saturday evening, puck drop scheduled for 5:00 p.m.