Warila and Hillick net one goal each for Falcons in key MASCAC victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman forward Tyler Warila netted the game-winning tally just 1:23 into overtime to propel the Fitchburg State ice hockey team to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Panthers of Plymouth State University in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at Hanaway Rink this evening.
Plymouth State put nine shots on target in the first seven minutes of play, but Falcon keeper Kirby Saari was up to the task turning aside all seven shots, en-route to making 12 first period saves to preserve the 0-0 stalemate.
In the middle stanza, Fitchburg State nearly took the lead with just over four minutes remaining in the second period when junior defenseman Evan Byrnes and sophomore forward Nick DiNicola put back-to-back shots on frame, only to be denied by Plymouth State goaltender Thierry Messervier as the score remained 0-0 after 40 minutes of play.
In the third period, Plymouth State took the lead just 17 seconds into the frame as sophomore forward Matt Volonnino collected a feed from senior Tommy Dowell and sophomore Ludvig Steenberg and fired a shot into the back of the net for his third goal on the year for the 1-0 advantage.
The Falcons knotted the score (1-1) at the 13:54 mark when freshman forward Kyle Hillick blasted a shot inside the near post for his first collegiate tally off assists from classmate Justin Plumhoff and senior Mike Fish to send the game into overtime.
In the extra stanza, the Green and Gold capitalized on the lone scoring chance of the overtime as Warila wristed a shot into the back of the net for his team-leading sixth goal on the year on an assist from sophomore Josh Victor for the 2-1 final.
Throughout the contest, Plymouth State finished with a 37-24 advantage in shots, while Fitchburg State went 0-for-4 on the power play. In goal, Saari was stellar for the Falcons, turning aside 36 of the 37 shots he faced in 61:23 minutes of action, while Messervier made 22 saves for the Panthers in the complete game effort.
Fitchburg State (3-3-1, 3-1-1 MASCAC) returns to action on Saturday, November 26th as it takes on Neumann University in opening round action of the 2016 Skidmore Thanksgiving invitational at 5 p.m. Plymouth State (4-3-0, 3-1-0 MASCAC) is off until Thursday, December 1st when it hosts the Lancers of Worcester State for a contest starting at 6 p.m.