MASASCHI LEADS PANTHERS TO 4-2 WIN OVER FAIRPORTFeb 14, 2022
A back-and-forth affair between two of the Section V powerhouses came down to the final period as the Pittsford Panthers scored twice to break a 2-2 tie and held on for a 4-2 over the Fairport Red Raiders in the annual Pink the Rink game Saturday at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex.
As he’s done all season long for Pittsford, senior forward Will Masaschi delivered yet another dominating performance by scoring twice and adding an assist later in the game for his team-leading eighth multi-point effort of the season.
Aidan McGrain (1+1), Lucas Procious (1+1) and Colin Norton (0+2) all notched two points as well for the Panthers, who won their fourth straight, while goaltender Aden Brown made 25 saves to pick up his 10th win of the season. Brown, who’s played every minute thus far for Pittsford, has now won four straight and five of his last six starts.
Nate Russo and Tyler Stantz each scored second-period goals in the loss for Fairport, which dropped its fourth straight. MacLean Ralston finished with 22 saves.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Despite Fairport nearly doubling Pittsford in shots in the opening period, it was the Panthers that would strike first courtesy of back-to-back goals from Masaschi less than a minute apart.
Masaschi’s first came with 1:51 remaining in the period when he redirected a centering feed from Norton and then picked the upper corner off a two-on-one odd-man rush on his very next shift in the final minute to give Pittsford a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Fairport, however, came out of the break determined and quickly flipped the script, turn a two-goal deficit into a 2-2 tie game with a pair of goals of its own.
Russo corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone and took advantage of an ill-advised Pittsford line change. After gaining the Panthers blueline, Russo sent a cross-ice pass to Matt Oberer, who returned it to Russo for the tap-in past Brown.
Stantz followed 1:26 later, converting on a partial breakaway opportunity for his second goal of the season. Jake Blaszak sprung Stantz free up the middle of the ice, and while fighting off a pursing defender, Stantz was able to get a shot through Brown before being tripped up at the last second.
The contest remained knotted at 2-2 until midway through the third period when Aidan McGrain capitalized on the power-play to restore Pittsford’s lead at 6:54. Following a defensive zone turnover, Norton kept the puck alive at the left point and sent a pass to near the corner for Brady McMahon. He wasted no time in centering a pass to McGrain, who steered it inside the right post.
Fairport, despite still leading in shots, continued to press and but the Panthers would another with 1:52 remaining to put the game out of reach.
Masaschi intercepted an outlet pass just outside the Red Raiders blueline and carried the puck back into the zone along right-wing boards. The puck made its way back to Edward Wu, who set up Procious for a one-time blast from the center point that handcuffed Ralston to secure the 4-2 win for Pittsford.