Westfield, MA -- It was the second meeting in less than a week, as the Westfield State University club hockey team hosted Holy Cross for the back end of a home and home, Saturday night. The first period was quick, as the teams traded scoring opportunities. With 5:29 remaining, Corey Jenks hustled down the left wing boards and centered a feed that was directed in by Schyler Reilly to give the Owls a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
Holy Cross would capitalize on an Owls miscue and would tie the game 36 seconds into the period. Zach Smith regained the lead two minutes later, as he battled for the puck and flew through the air after he shot it. Skating four aside, Josh Brown's strong fore checking, forced a turn over right in front of the Crusaders net. Brown was able to get it past Garrett Beaulieu for his first collegiate goal.
Joe Almeida would score his first goal of the season when his shot, right off the face off, put the Owls up 4-1 with 16:23 left in the game. Penalties once again hurt the Owls in the third, as Holy Cross would score twice on a double minor penalty to make the game 4-3. With 7:33 left, Colin Piece would give Westfield a little bit of insurance, after shooting the puck in from left wing side. Westfield would take three more penalties in the last seven minutes of regulation. With 2:48 left in the game, Holy Cross would once again score a power play goal to cut the Owls lead to one. With 26 seconds left, Holy Cross would pull their goalie for six on four advantage but Westfield held on to escape with the 5-4 victory.
Westfield returns to conference play next Saturday when they host Rhode Island College. It will mark the midway point of the season. Just a reminder that the Owls will be hosting a fundraising event on Veteran's Day when they host Norwich University. It has a special 2:00 pm start and all ticket sales will go to the Fontenot Memorial Fund & the Barnes Airmen Fund.
Goals: Reilly, Smith, Brown (1), Almeida (1), Pierce
Goalie: Franco (2-2-0)
Power Play: 0 for 2
Penalty Kill: 3 for 6