The men's ice hockey team opened the 2014-15 campaign with a 5-2 victory against Franklin Pierce in a non-conference contest at Lynch Arena/Blackstone Valley Sports Center on Friday evening.
Franklin Pierce got on the board at the 6:50 mark of the first period on an unassisted goal by junior Matt Batis (Lakewood, N.Y.) for the 1-0 advantage. The visiting Ravens extended their lead to 2-0 at the 17:59 mark of the first period as freshman Brad Riccardi (Scarsdale, N.Y.) tallied a short-handed goal with assists to freshman Jonathan Lee (Staten Island, N.Y.) and sophomore Matthew Geib (Cleveland, Ohio). Franklin Pierce took the two goal lead heading into the locker room for the first intermission with a 10-7 advantage in shots for the period.
Johnson & Wales erupted offensively in the second period, out shooting Franklin Pierce by a 16-4 margin with three goals in a five minute stretch to take the 3-2 lead heading into the locker room after two periods of play. Senior captain Alex Porrier (Rutland, Vt.) got the Wildcats on the board just 1:25 into the stanza with his first goal of the season, putting in a pass from senior Jason Healey (Goshen, N.Y.) after sophomore Matt Lanzillotti (Chicago, Ill.) set up the play. The Wildcats knotted the game at 2-2 less than two minutes later as sophomore Stefan Brucato (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) scored with an assist to sophomore Michael Mazzotta (Mars, Pa.) and junior captain Cody Sarmiento (Sarasota, Fla.). JWU took their first lead of the game at the 6:04 mark as Porrier scored his second goal of the game, this time with an assist to sophomore Drew Kariofiles (Cincinnati, Ohio) for the 3-2 advantage. That goal would later prove to be the game-winner.
The Wildcats added a pair of insurance goals in the third en route to the 5-2 victory. Junior Josh Obregon (Omaha, Neb.) notched his first goal of the season at the 7:04 mark with assists to Mazzotta and Brucato. JWU then capped off the scoring for the season in the 14th minute of the period as freshman Luke Veitch (Lewis Center, Ohio) tallied his first collegiate goal, scoring with assists to Porrier and Kariofiles to propel the Wildcats to the 5-2 victory.
Sophomore Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) tallied 21 saves for Johnson & Wales in the victory while junior Kyle Moran (Marshfield, Mass.) made 31 stops for Franklin Pierce in the setback.
With the victory Johnson & Wales is now 1-0 while Franklin Pierce drops to 0-1. The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday, November 8th when they travel to Wentworth for an ECAC Northeast contest at 3:00 p.m. The game will be played at Boston University's Walter Brown Arena.