Pawtucket, RI --- It was a feisty Friday night as Westfield State and Rhode Island College played their second game in less than a week. The two teams would combine for 29 penalties as the two sides traded special teams opportunities. Westfield continued to get off to a slow start as RIC scored 49 seconds into the game. RIC would take a 2-0 lead when a Neil Sklubinski shot found the back of the net on a screen.
The Owls came out a different team in the second period scoring three times. John Galvin scored short-handed as he came into the zone on the left wing side and fired a shot high past Vinny Tudino. Colin Pierce would pick up the lone assist on the goal. Defenseman Cole Connolly would score his first collegiate goal when his slapper from the point went five hole and found the back of the net. Connor Sweeney would give the Owls their first lead of the night when he broke in all alone with 5:26 remaining in the period. The Owls continued to play strong defense in the third but a bad bounce on a dump in from center tied the game with under three minutes left in regulation to send it to extra hockey.
Both teams agreed to a shoot-out in the event that the game was still tied after the five minutes. Each team had to kill a 4 on 3 penalty and sent it to a best-of-three shoot-out. Corey Jenks, Schyler Reilly, Joe Santaniello, David Russo, CJ Kenny were all denied. Chase Thornton was spectacular on the other side matching each save. In the sixth round, Freshman Luke Foley, was able to put the puck in the back of the net for a 1-0 shoot-out lead. With the flash of the glove, Thornton made a huge save and gave the Owls the extra point.
NECHA does not recognize shoot-outs so it will go as a tie and each team will get a point in the league standings. However, it will count as a shoot-out victory in the ACHA. The Owls head down to Bridgeport, CT on Sunday night in a huge match-up against back-to-back NECHA champion Sacred Heart Pioneers at 8:45 pm. If you can't make the trip, please follow the team's twitter for updates.
Goals: Galvin (3), Connolly (1), Sweeney (3)
Goalie Thornton (3-2-0-1)