As far as home openers go, Saturday’s game against Anna Maria is unlikely to go down in annals of Fitchburg State hockey as one that should be studied on how to win.
Still, a win is a win and despite play being heavily controlled by the visiting Amcats and facing a huge deficit in shots for most of the contest, the Falcons were indeed able to pick up a victory to kick of their slate of games at the Wallace Civic Center.
It was a showcase of the Falcons’ resolve and put a spotlight on a young netminder, shining in his collegiate debut.
The guests often pinned the Falcons in their own end for decent spans of time and held advantages in shots of 15-5 after 20 minutes and 38-17 after two periods, but the figure that truly mattered was the 3-2 final score as Fitchburg State held its own in the third period and took control in overtime.
Even though they were outshot throughout, the Falcons (1-1-1, 0-0-1 MASCAC) never trailed. Samuel Rennick gave FSU a 1-0 lead in the second and after the Amcats pulled even in the third, freshman Nicklas Millhorn put the Falcons ahead with a power-play marker.
Though Anna Maria tied things midway through the final frame, the Falcons never wavered. Their effort was rewarded with just over a minute left in the extra frame as freshman Kristopher Zapata used an exceptional burst of speed to get around a defender and snapped the game-winner past Anna Maria goalie Matthew Hennessey.
It gave freshman netminder Frederick Soderberg his first collegiate victory and it was certainly deserved. The first-year goalie from Harrison Township, Michigan, stopped 46 shots and kept the Falcons in the game even when the ice seemed tilted against them.
Bernardians put it all together
In a renewal of a Thanksgiving Eve rivalry game on Friday night, the St. Bernard’s football team put together a strong effort in a 38-8 road victory over Lunenburg.
After making their way through a season of close games that they came up on the wrong end of, the Bernardians (2-7) left no doubt in the non-playoff consolation game. After a scoreless first quarter, the guests took a 20-0 lead into halftime after a trio of touchdowns in the second.
They visitors never relented, scoring the first touchdown of the second half and rolling to win No. 2 on the season.
As it had been in the past, the ground game was the key for St. Bernard’s. Keegan Rose racked up 131 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while Jarius Williams had 118 yards on 11 touches, scoring twice.
The Bernardians will host Quabbin Regional on Friday night and close the campaign on Nov. 22 with St. Paul visiting on Thanksgiving Eve.
Week 10 football schedule set
While the football postseason rolls on, the non-playoff slate for Week 10 has been announced.
Westboro will visit Doyle Field to take on Leominster, while Fitchburg heads to Assabet. North Middlesex Regional will host Tantasqua, Oakmont Regional faces old rival Gardner and Algonquin Regional will travel to Bolton to play Nashoba Regional.
Rounding out the locals, Lunenburg plays at Narragansett and Ayer-Shirley hosts Worcester Tech.