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Friday, January 20, 2012

Owls Clinch Playoff Spot

Westfield, MA --- On Sunday night, the Westfield State Owls lost 6-5 in overtime against MIT. With the point, the Owls clinched a playoff spot and will be heading to Nashua, NH on February 18th. The Owls last qualified for the playoffs in 2008 when they lost to MIT in the semi-finals.

The Owls fell behind early when MIT scored 6 minutes into the game when Allen Lai was alone in the slot and beat Owls' netminder Chase Thornton. The Owls would tie the game midway through the period when Rob Collins rushed the puck up the left wing boards and passed the puck to Anthony Hardy who fired the puck past Jenna Klein. With 2:30 remaining in the first period, Corey Tobin would put the Owls on top 2-1 with a shot from the point. The lead did not last for long and the Engineers would score 3 goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead going into the final period. Chase Thornton would finish the night making 26 save on 30 shots.

In the third, MIT would make it a 5-2 game with a power play goal from Dustin Kendrick. The Owls would start their comeback when Anthony Hardy picked up a loose rebound and put it into the back of the net. The Owls would score again when Greg Rice scored with 1:30 left giving the Owls hope. With the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, the Owls tied the game up with 28 seconds remaining in the game to earn a point to clinch a playoff spot. It was Hardy's third goal of the night to record the hat trick for the freshman. MIT would grab the extra point when Larry Was scored just 40 seconds into overtime. Nick Franco played strong in relief and ended up making 12 saves.

The Owls host Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon at 5pm. The Owls beat the Pioneers 8-3 in Shelton, Connecticut back on December 4th. You can get game updates by following the team on twitter @wsuclub.

KEY STATS:
Goals: Hardy (3), Tobin (1), Rice (1)
Saves: Thornton (26), Franco (12)
Power Play: 1 for 1 (100%)
Penalty Kill: 4 for 5 (80%)

http://achahockey.org/game_details.php?game_id=1218394&schedule_id=94216&league_id=1061&date=20120115

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