Auburn, MA --- Freshman Alex Dewitz (Oronoco, MN/Helena Bighorns) registered a hat-trick to help lead Worcester State past Fitchburg State, 5-3, in MASCAC men's ice hockey action this evening at Horgan Memorial Rink.
With an evenly matched opening period drawing to a close junior Andrew Bates (Marblehead, MA/Boston Jr. Bulldogs) gave Worcester State (6-6-1, 2-5-1 MASCAC) the one-goal advantage as he registered his team-leading fifth goal of the campaign with just 29 ticks left on the clock.
Fitchburg State (6-9, 3-5 MASCAC) was not phased, however, and quickly equalized the score 1-1, when sophomore Nat Rojas (Elkridge, MD/Washington Jr. Nats) capitalized on a neutral zone turnover to register a short-handed marker when he sniped the top right corner of the net with just 1:06 off the clock in the second stanza.
Freshman Richard Bohan (Phoenix, AZ/Dallas Ice Jets) gave the Lancers another lead headed into the second intermission when he was able to light the lamp for his first collegiate goal at the 17:25 mark for the 2-1 edge.
The Falcons responded early in the third frame when they netted a pair of goals over a three-minute span to take a 3-2 advantage.
Freshman Cameron Snyder (Shawnee, KA/Hampton Roads Whalers) registered the tying score at 4:02 before sophomore John Celli (Leominster, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) used the man-advantage to give Fitchburg State their first and only lead at the 6:56 mark.
Dewitz then took the game over, scoring a natural hat trick with three consecutive goals. The first came at 9:14 as he sniped a wrist-shot from the dot beating the goalie glove side to tie the contest at 3-3.
Just 80 ticks later, Dewitz grabbed a loose puck at the blue line after a defensive zone lob off the glass from junior Rich Ledy (Marquette, MI/Soo Thunderbirds) and beat the goalie five-hole for the eventual game winning marker making the score 4-3.
Fitchburg State seemed poised to send the game into overtime after a late tripping call with two minutes remaining gave the Falcons a two-man advantage.
However, the defense for Worcester State buckled down and even after Fitchburg State opted for the empty net to skate 6-on-3 they only managed one shot on goal. The Lancers defensive line skated hard blocking multiple shots and clearing the puck on three ocassions to preserve the lead.
Dewitz became the beneficiary of a stellar defensive stand and flicked home a short-handed empty net goal to turn the trick and the victory for the hosts.
WSU sophomore goaltender Salvatore Tecci (Franklin, MA/Long Beach Bombers) finished the night with 29 saves improving to 4-4-1 on the season while his counterpart, junior Ryan Wysocki (Grand Rapids, MI/Toledo Cherokee), stopped 34 shots and fell to 3-6 for the year.
Worcester State outshot the Falcons 39-32, but were unable to convert with the man-advantage (0-for-5) as Fitchburg State registered one power play goal on five chances.
The Lancers return to action Tuesday night as they travel across town to face-off with Becker at 7:45 PM and Fitchburg State returns home Thursday night as they take on Westfield State when the puck drops at 7 PM.
Story By John Hanna --- Sports Information Graduate Assistant