Westfield Comes From Behind to Power Past Men’s Ice Hockey, 5-4

Smith tallies his first-career goal

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (December 1, 2016) – The Stonehill College men's ice hockey team's two-goal lead in the third period was short lived as Westfield State University scored three unanswered goals in under 10 minutes to take a 5-4 non-conference victory Thursday night at Foxboro Sports Center.

Jacques tallied his third game with two points this season

For Stonehill, (3-4-2) Conor Cassidy (Wilmington, Del./Canterbury and Kents Hill), Evan Jacques (Norton, Mass./South Shore Kings-EJHL), Ryan Smith (Arlington, Mass./Tilton School), and Cameron Wright (West Dummerston, Vt./Springfield Pics-USPHL Premier) tallied the four goals, as goaltender Billy Palmer (Cranston, R.I./Boston Bandits-EHL Premier) recorded 40 saves in the loss. Both Jacques and Nicholas Godin (New London, N.H./Tabor Academy), who had two assists, collected two points.

Westfield (6-3-0) saw Jackson Leef register two goals, as Nik Passero, Pearce Vance, Donovan Gardiner, and Jackson Leef pick up one tally apiece.

Both teams were very defensive in the first period as Westfield held a 13-9 shot advantage at the end. The Owls picked up its first goal at 16:21 off a Skyhawk power play as Carl Greco and Daniel Backstrom assisted Nick Passero's first goal. Stonehill's Cassidy picked up the slack after the Owl's held a 1-0 advantage scoring his second goal of the season at 17:20, as Robert Stickles (Marion, Mass./Tabor Academy) tallied his first point of his career in the helper, 1-1.

Westfield was able to get off four more shots before the end of the period, which included Vance's third goal of the season off passes from Aaron Clancy and Passero, 10 seconds before the buzzer giving the Owl's a one-goal lead, 2-1.

Stonehill increased its shots in the second period tallying 14 volleys, to Westfield's 15, as the Skyhawks scored two goals to take its first lead, 3-2. Jacques picked up his sixth goal of the season after Stickles slapped the puck at the cage, and Godin collected the rebound and dished it off to Jacques tallying his third assist of the season at 14:04. Less than two minutes later, Smith gathered the dish from Jack Scannell (Medfield, Mass./Proctor Academy) and Thomas Mahoney (Suffern, N.Y./The Taft School) at 15:28 to record his first goal, and their first assists of the season.

A little after a minute of play in the third period, Wright connected on passes from Godin and Jacques for his third of the season, giving the Skyhawks a two-goal lead, 4-2. Westfield cut the deficit to one, 4-3, as Stonehill was down to three men on the ice after three penalties and Leef found the back of the cage at 3:10.

With still a man advantage, the Owls persisted as they scored the tying goal, 4-4, less than a minute after the last tally. This one was Gardiner's first goal of the season at 4:03 in the third period. The Skyhawks were back to even strength, as Stonehill was held to only four shots as Westfield recorded 17 in the final period. The Owls were able to capitalize on a faceoff as Leef tallied his second goal of the game at 12:49 with assists from F. Girard and Josh Delezenne.

Westfield connected on three of the four power plays and won 47 face-offs to take a non-conference win from the Skyhawks, 5-4.

Stonehill travels to Worcester, Massachusetts to face Assumption College at Buffone Arena with a 6:35 p.m. puck drop.

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