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Late Goal Lifts Fitchburg State Past Hockey

Late Goal Lifts Fitchburg State Past Hockey

EVERETT, Mass. – Junior Nick DiNicola's (Wolcott, Conn.) goal with 2:42 remaining in regulation snapped a 1-all tie and lifted the Fitchburg State University ice hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a non-conference contest played at Allied Veterans Memorial Rink.

With the win the Falcons improve to 8-5-1 on the season while the Leopards fall to 5-9-3.

The hosts jumped on the board first, thanks to a goal from sophomore CJ Grinnell (Burlington, Mass.). Sophomore Georgy Gorodetskii (Yekaterinburg, Russia) started the play from inside the left face-off circle where he chipped a pass to junior Jonny Spada (Glen Rock, N.J.). Grinnell, who had just come on the ice for Gorodetskii, received the pass from Spada and went in from the left side. His shot initially hit the post but rebounded in at 6:43.

Fitchburg State evened the score with 17 seconds left in the period on sophomore Alexander Joselyn's (Bow, N.H.) first collegiate goal. Senior James Gordon (Hingham, Mass.) sent a pass to junior Mike Fretz (Seattle, Wash.). Fretz carried the puck into the offensive zone and sent a pass along the left side to Joselyn, who beat senior Ryan Hubbard (West Roxbury, Mass.) to the left side.

While the second period saw no scoring, the Leopards had a 14-7 shot advantage, including a stretch where Gorodetskii had three shots in a row. Both teams had chances in the third period as Fitchburg State sophomore Dean Zerby (Harrisburg, Pa.) went in alone on a breakaway but was stopped by Hubbard and Gorodetskii nearly made the Falcons pay for a miscommunication on a line change as his shot from in front was stopped by freshman Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.).

DiNicola's game-winning goal came as he put home a shot from in front which was assisted by junior Josh Victor (Killeen, Texas) and sophomore Kyle Hilick (Byfield, Mass.). However, Fitchburg needed to hang on as, with 1:33 remaining, Hubbard was pulled for an extra attacker and eight seconds later the Falcons were whistled for an interference penalty, making it six-on-four for the remainder of the game. Wentworth put two shots on goal during this time but was unable to get the equalizer.

McGrath made 38 saves, including 31 over the final two periods, while Hubbard made 22 stops. Fitchburg State had a 39-24 shot advantage for the game.

Both teams resume conference play this week as Wentworth hosts No. 14/13 University of New England on Friday night and Fitchburg State is at Framingham State on Thursday night.

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