Fairfield drops their opener, 18-17. A score fest in Rhode Island as The Providence Friars (2-2) welcomed the Fairfield Stags (0-1) to Providence Stadium. Each time one squad started to gather momentum, they would be stopped.
The Stags scored the first two and 3 of the first four thanks to Matt Chiastawa (2g,1) and Travis Ford (2g,1) putting it at 2 zip. Two and a half minutes later, Tim Hinrichs set up Brendan Driscoll (2g,1) before Fairfield countered off a Taylor Strough (3g,1) goal that pushed it back to a two-goal edge. Ryan Nawrocki (2g,1a) followed by Dan Axelson (2g,2a) would get things knotted up. Kyle Borda (1g,1a) took all of forty-three ticks to put Fairfield back up before Mike O’Grady (1g) stepped up and once again, tie the game.
Do we see a trend being set here? Strough and Nawrocki exchanged markers to keep it tied. The Nawrocki goal came with just :35 remaining so it appeared the quarter would end at 5-5. Save your breath as the Nawrocki goal ignited a Providence run. Axelson closed the quarter with :03 to play and the Friars boasting a 6-5 advantage.
The second quarter was pretty much all Providence with run reaching five total goals. Tim Hinrichs (4g,1a) was the star of the stanza. He notched two in a row followed by a man up goal from Ryan Zimmerman (4g,2a). Tyler Wuchte (1g) stemmed the Friars tide but Hinrichs added his third of the quarter to give Providence a seemingly comfortable four goal edge at 10-6.
Fairfield opened the third by cutting the lead to two thanks to Dylan Beckwith (2g, 3a) at 12:37 and Strough just twenty-two seconds later. Providence roared back and said, “hold my beer.” Matt Grillo (2g), Zimmerman, and Grillo pushed it to 13-8. Fairfield not only held the Providence beer but drank it.
Chiastawa, Beckwith, Shane Osborn (1g) and twelve seconds later, Patrick Drake. Hinrichs ended the onslaught before Drake hit a pair to close the third with, you guessed it, a tie, 14-14. Chris Cusolito (1g,1a) and Zimmerman gave Providence a 16-14 advantage.
You can hazard a guess as to what would happen next. Travis Ford (1g) and Trent Moran (1g) once again evened it up. Brendan Driscoll at 2:21 and with :53 to go, Zimmerman seemed to end it but, Fairfield had no quit with Dean Ford (1g) making it 18-17 with :36 remaining.
The Stags couldn’t find the equalizer and the curtain came down on an absolute classic, 18-17. Fairfield drops their opener, 18-17.