McGrath turns aside 39 shots for Green and Gold
Harrisville, R.I. – The Fitchburg State University ice hockey team dropped a tough 3-1 decision to the Bison of Nichols College this evening in first round action of the NCAA Division IIII Ice Hockey Championship Tournament at the Levy Rink.
Score: Fitchburg State 1, Nichols 3
Records: Fitchburg State (18-7-3)| Nichols (18-8-3)
How It Happened
Nichols opened the scoring at the 1:57 mark of the first period as sophomore Vincent Crivello (Rosemere, Que.) collected a feed from junior T.J. Roche (Northport, N.Y.) and sophomore J.B. Baker (Columbia, Md.) and deposited the puck inside the far post for his 15th goal on the year for the 1-0 edge.
In the second stanza, the Falcons nearly knotted the score midway through the frame when junior Brandon Ecklund (Fitchburg, Mass.) skated in on a breakaway attempt, but Bison goaltender Colin Brennan (Chester, N.J.) turned aside the shot to preserve the 1-0 lead.
In the final period of play, Nichols doubled its margin (2-0) at the 6:32 mark as senior Scott Cuthrell (Waterford, Mich.) gathered a pass from junior Matt Menta (Lima, Penn.) before wristing a shot into the back of the net for his 13th tally on the year.
Fitchburg State cut into the deficit midway through the stanza when sophomore Christopher Vicario (Cranston, R.I.) netted his 12 goal of the 2017-18 campaign off assists from junior Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) and sophomore Tyler Warila (Shirley, Mass.) to make the score 2-1.
The Bison added an empty netted with 58 seconds left in regulation as senior Chris Deming (Madison, Ala.) connected on his seventh marker of the season, resulting in the 3-1 final.
Inside the Numbers
60th meeting between the two schools on the ice with the Falcons 41-16-3 all-time when taking on the Bison.
Nichols has won the last three contest against Fitchburg State, including a 4-2 decision in the last meeting on March 4, 2009.
Bison finished with a 42-19 advantage in shots.
Fitchburg State finished 1-for-3 on the power-play, while Nichols went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Freshman Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) finished with 39 saves for the Falcons in the 58:25.
For the Bison, Brennan stopped 18 shots in 59:33 minutes of action.
Falcons conclude their 2017-18 season this evening with an overall record 18-6-3 and an 11-4-3 mark conference play. Nichols advances to the quarterfinal round and will travel to Salve Regina University next Saturday for a contest starting at 7:00 PM.