PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A pair of two-goal periods combined with a 25-save effort for Plymouth State senior goalie Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) earned the Panthers a key MASCAC victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4-2, inside Hanaway Rink on Thursday evening.
The hosts (13-6-3, 10-3-2) provided themselves with slightly more breathing room atop the conference standings, widening the gap to three points over the second-place Corsairs (12-9-1, 9-5-1).
How it Happened
- Following a scoreless first, Plymouth State senior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) unleashed a lefty blast from just inside the blue line that caught a piece of classmate Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) and into the top right corner of the frame to earn the hosts a 1-0 lead 65 seconds into the middle period.
- Volonnino struck again at the 11:04 mark, taking the feed from the weaving Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) and Stevens to double the Panther advantage.
- UMass Dartmouth would shave the deficit back down to one just two minutes later as sophomore Dillon Radin (Long Beach, N.Y.) zipped a pass across the crease over towards senior Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.) to ultimately queue up a goal by junior Cameron Mack (Long Beach, Calif.).
- The hosts would restore the two-goal differential as freshman left defenseman Simon Besner (North Lancaster, Ontario) unsuccessfully fired a shot on the Corsair net but ended up notching the point anyways as sophomore center Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) buried the rebound.
- A slew of penalties for both sides brought the affair to a three-on-three matchup for two minutes late in the third to precede a bizarre score for Stevens; the left winger uncorked a hard shot into the pads of the UMass Dartmouth net minder that resulted in the puck popping straight up into the air and bouncing off multiple players until eventually landing between the pipes.
- With two minutes still to go for a pair of Panthers serving five-minute majors, UMass Dartmouth upped its two-man advantage to a six-on-three by opting to go with an empty net. Corsair junior forward Steven Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) finally snuck one past Morelli following a myriad of Blue and Gold tries to narrow the deficit (4-2), but time ran out on the squad's comeback effort.
Inside the Numbers
- Plymouth State owned the shot total by a 43-27 clip.
- Corsair sophomore goaltender Parker Butler (Summit, N.J.) registered a 39-save outing for the squad, including 20 in the first period alone.
- 22 of the Panthers' 26 penalty minutes were assessed in the final frame.
- Stevens finished with three points on the evening while Volonnino lagged close behind, submitting a pair.
- Leonard's nine markers on the season keep him right on the heels of Volonnino, who has 11 this year. The Panther's goal total sits in second place of the MASCAC ahead of Leonard and the fourth-place Corsair sophomore Eric Bolden (Oswego, Ill.).
The Panthers travel to Salem, Mass. to take on the Vikings on Saturday at 2 p.m. Later on, UMass Dartmouth competes in its final regular season away game against Westfield State at 5:35 p.m.
(Recap by: Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)
(Photo Credit: Zack Roy '18)