WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University men's ice hockey team picked up its third consecutive victory on Thursday afternoon, defeating Framingham State University 5-3 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at the Worcester Ice Center.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 8-5-0 overall on the season and 5-3-0 in the MASCAC. The Rams fall to 2-10-1 overall and 0-6-1 in conference play.
The Lancers wasted no time jumping out to the early advantage, as sophomore Matthew Manning (Novi, Mich.) deposited his first goal of the season at the 2:51 mark of the first period to put the Lancers on top 1-0. Mike Moran (Milford, Mass.) was credited with an assist on Manning's seventh goal of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Worcester State extended its lead to two when Nick Patullo (Doylestown, Pa.) found the back of the net for a 2-0 Lancer lead. Freshman Brian Smith (Dracut, Mass.) dumped a puck from the neutral zone on net, but the puck was misplayed by Ram goaltender Greg Harney (East Haven, Conn.). Patullo, rushing the net, jumped on the rebound and put it in to put the Lancers up by a pair.
Smith, fresh off his first collegiate point, an assist on Patullo's tally, scored his first collegiate goal at 12:40 of the first period to extend the Lancer lead to three. Smith made a steal in the neutral zone before walking in and scoring on a 1-on-1 with a Framingham State defender. The Lancers would carry the 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Just over two minutes into the second, captain Mitch Purdie (Peterborough, Ont.) pushed Worcester State's lead to 4-0 when he scored his fifth goal of the season. Moran found Purdie streaking down the slot from the left wing boards, and Purdie made no mistake, hammering it past Harney for a four-goal advantage.
Framingham State refused to go down quietly, as the Rams would score three goals in the span of 6:19 later in the period to cut the lead to one. Freshman Bryan Whelan (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) opened the scoring for the Rams on a breakaway at the 12:17 mark, followed by two power play goals in 40 seconds off the sticks of Ryan Paul (Morgan, Vt.) and Ryan McDonough (Dorchester, Mass.).
A goal from Moran with 33 seconds remaining in the period took all the wind out of Framingham State's sails. Moran took a feed from Manning before firing it into the cage for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Framingham State was never able to regain the momentum in the third, a period which saw no goals scored despite a 15-6 Worcester State shot advantage.
Worcester State goaltender Aaron Callan (South Lyon, Mich.) got his seventh win of the season with a 23 save performance. Harney turned aside 42 shots, but picked up the hard luck loss.
After the game, Moran was named the game's number one star with one goal and two assists in the victory. Smith was named the second star with his first two collegiate points, while a goal and an assist from Manning was good for the game's third star.
Next up, the Lancers will travel to Salem State to take on the Vikings at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Rams kick off a four-game homestand by hosting Westfield State, also on Saturday.