FITCHBURG, Mass. – Seniors Robert Neuwirth (Ziln, Czech Republic) and Francois-Xavier Girard (St. Lazare, Que.) had a goal and an assist each to force a 4-4 tie with Fitchburg State University in MASCAC action on Saturday afternoon.
The Owls scored three of the first four goals, but the Falcons had a strong finish to push the game into a tie.
Westfield State capitalized on the first man-advantage of the game for an early 1-0 lead. Senior Robert Neuwirth found a streaking Francois-Xavier Girard down the left wing, where the Girard wristed the puck top-shelf for his fourth goal of the season.
Westfield doubled the score at 17:14 of the first frame, when sophomore Justin Alves (Woburn, Mass.) intercepted a pass at the blue line and scored his third goal of the season with a shorthanded tally.
Sophomore Ryan Murphy (Wayzata, Minn.) cut the deficit in half for the Falcons at the 12:40 mark of the second period with a power-play goal from the top of the circle. However the Owls answered back less than a minute later with a goal from Daniel Backstrom (Helsinki, Finland) to push the lead back to 3-1.
The Falcons once again responeded. Playing four-on-four, Murphy made a skilled move towards net to beat Westfield's netminder Thierry Messervier (Monteral, Que.) and freshman Geoffrey LaMorre (Hubley, NS) notched his first collegiate goal from the blue-line to knot the score 3-3 heading into intermission.
Westfield pulled ahead 4-3 with a power-play goal from Neuwirth just 34 clicks into the third. Fitchburg then tied the game for the last time at 6:36 with a goal from Wyatt Wilmshurst (Massena, NY) off the assist from Hunter Fortin (Westerville, Ohio).
Fitchburg State held a 45-33 margin in shots, and finished 2-for-7 with the man advantage, while Westfield State was 2-for-6 on the power-play.
Junior Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) stopped 29 shots for the Falcons, while Messervier posted 41 saves for the Owls.
With the tie, the Owls move to 2-3-2 on the year (2-1-1) in the MASCAC.
Up next, the Owls host Johnson and Wales (RI) on Tuesday night at 7:35 p.m. before the Thanksgiving break.