Burns Nets Hat Trick, But Wheelock Falls to Rivier

NASHUA, NH - In the closest result of its inaugural campaign, Wheelock carried a two-goal lead until the latter portion of the second quarter before falling to a second-year Rivier squad, 9-6, on Saturday at Raider Field. The Wildcats completed their first season at 0-10, while the hosts moved to 1-10 in picking up the initial victory in program history.

Sophomore Matt Burns (Cheyenne, WY/Cheyenne East) notched the first hat trick in Wheelock history while adding an assist, nine ground balls and seven face-off victories. Junior Kevin Kareckas (South Berwick, ME/Marshwood), sophomore Adam Russo (Arlington, MA/Arlington) and freshman Zach Bushway (Bethlehem, NH/Profile) also scored, while sophomore Michael Manning (Brookfield, NH/Kingswood Regional) made 17 saves. Kareckas and junior Ben Lewis (Hopkinton, MA/Hopkinton) added seven ground balls apiece, while Lewis also went 2 for 4 on draws. The Wildcats were 3 of 6 on man-up opportunities.

Sophomore Justin Chenevert (Wilmington, MA/Shawsheen Tech) led the Raiders with three goals and an assist, while two others scored twice apiece. Junior Corey Oliverio (Salem, NH/Londonderry) was 10 for 14 on face-offs, while classmate Chris Benoit (Blackstone, MA/Blackstone-Millville Regional) made 15 saves.

Wheelock grabbed an early lead when Burns found Russo for his first collegiate marker at 11:49 of the opening period, and Kareckas scored with the man advantage at 6:37. Chenevert's goal early in the second quarter was countered by a Bushway man-up tally at 9:28, and the Wildcats carried a 3-1 lead with less than six and a half minutes remaining in the opening half.

From there, Rivier scored the final four goals of the quarter over a 6:06 stretch, pushing its lead to 5-3 with five seconds remaining. Burns converted another extra-man chance at 5:55 of the third to draw his team within 5-4, but the hosts tallied the next three goals in a matter of 6:11.

Burns went on a personal 2-1 run in the final 2:17 of the game, including making it 9-6 with 41 seconds remaining, but Wheelock came no closer.


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