Panthers extend streak, maintain spot in first place
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Andrew Stewart (O’Leary, P.E.I.) scored two goals Thursday evening at Hanaway RInk to lead Plymouth State University to a 4-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a battle of first-place teams in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).
Stewart scored once in each of the first two periods to give the Panthers the lead, and sophomore goaltender Jack Astedt (Angelholm, Sweden) made 18 saves to record the victory. PSU extends its unbeaten streak to 13 games (8-0-5) and remains atop the MASCAC standings with a 5-1-3 league mark, 9-1-5 overall.
The Corsairs got a goal midway through the third period from senior Jason Stahl (Londonderry, N.H.) to break up the shutout, but Astedt and the Panther defense did the rest, shutting down the Corsairs the rest of the way. UMD falls out of a tie for first place, slipping to 9-5-1 overall and 5-3-1 in conference play.
Senior Sean Buckley (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) helped set up both of Stewart’s goals that gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Buckley shoveled a pass to sophomore Sean Foley (Weymouth, Mass.) along the right boards, and Foley found an open Stewart in front of the net, who converted at 14:45 of the first period. Stewart made it 2-0 a minute into the second period with his second of the game and seventh of the season on a rebound after the goalie had made a save on Buckley. The Panthers held the two-goal lead after two periods as the PSU defense allowed only 11 shots in the first 40 minutes.
Junior Brian Johnson (East Bridgewater, Mass.) stuffed home his first goal of the year for PSU on a rebound five minutes into the third period. Stahl put in his seventh of the season for UMD on a scramble in front at the 12:32 mark, but an empty-net goal by Foley in the final minute sealed the win for the home team.
PSU finished with a 33-19 margin in shots on goal as the Panther defense posted a season-fewest 19 shots allowed. Senior Collin Tracy (Medford, Mass.) took the loss in the UMD goal despite making 29 saves.
Both teams are back on the ice Saturday, PSU hosting Franklin Pierce University in a non-conference contest and UMD visiting Worcester State for a MASCAC encounter.
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