Wildcats Sneak Past Hawks 5-4 in Final Minute
MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Anselm men's ice hockey team opened 2010 at home this afternoon, as they hosted the Wildcats of Johnson and Wales University in Sullivan Arena. The entire game was neck-and-neck, neither team ever ahead by more than one goal, but with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, freshman Jason Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) completed his first career hat trick to give the Wildcats a 5-4 victory. The win lifts the Wildcats to 4-8 (2-2 ECAC Northeast), while the Hawks fall to 3-4 (2-3 ECAC East).
Pietrasiak opened the scoring for the Wildcats at the eight minute mark, as he flipped in a pass from behind the net off a Saint Anselm defenseman, to give his team the first lead. The goal was scored on the Wildcats' first shot-on-goal of the game. At 12:07, Pietrasiak committed a cross-checking penalty, and 40 seconds later, Coleman Noonan (Norfolk, Mass.) netted a slap shot from near the blue line, to tie the game at one. However, at 13:08, Pietrasiak, fresh from the penalty box, made up for the power-play goal by netting a second unassisted goal right off the faceoff, to regain the Wildcats' lead. Just over a minute later, another Wildcat penalty gave the Hawks a chance to tie the game, and before the end of the period, junior Jim Toomey (Billerica, Mass.) knocked in a pass from Bryan Luther (Scituate, R.I.) behind the net, to tie the game at two apiece.
At 6:20 in the second period, freshman John Hyslip (Andover, Mass.) gave the Hawks their first lead of the game, netting a slap shot from the circle on the left side, for a third Hawk power-play goal. However, just 37 seconds later, Joe Simeone (Cranston, R.I.) converted the rebound on his own shot to tie the game for the third time. Midway through the period, Pietrasiak passed to Craig Houle (Burrillville, R.I.) in front of the net, who scored a 4-on-4 goal after both teams committed matching penalties. But, with just 18 seconds remaining in the second period, Jim Toomey netted his first career short-handed goal, assisted by team captain Seth Goodrich (Salisbury, Vt.), to knot the score at four.
The third period was uneventful, until, at 19:40, with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation, Pietrasiak netted his third goal of the game, assisted by Houle, to complete his first career hat-trick, and give the Wildcats a dramatic 5-4 victory.
The Hawks outshot the Wildcats 43-16, and went .500 (3-for-6) on the power play, while the Wildcats were 0-for-3. Wildcat JR Woodland (Picton, Ont.) picked up his second victory of the season, making 39 saves, and Saint Anselm's Kevin Fairweather (Woburn, Mass.) turn aside 11 shots in 59:40 minutes in the net.
The Hawks return to action on Tuesday, January 5th, when they travel to Rindge, N.H., to take on the Franklin Pierce University Ravens in their second Northeast-10 Conference matchup of the season. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.