Panthers fall in overtime in MASCAC opener
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Sophomore Frank Zuccaro scored with 1:23 remaining in overtime Tuesday night to lift Westfield State University to a 3-2 victory over Plymouth State University in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey opener.
The surprising Owls, who won just seven games last season, improved to 4-0 in defeating the defending MASCAC champions. Plymouth State, receiving votes in this week's USCHO national poll, drops to 1-1 overall.
Zuccaro scored near the faceoff circle after Plymouth had attempted a clear out on an Owls' power play. Zuccaro's game-winning shot was directed just inside the left post.
Just prior to the game winner, Westfield had fought off a Plymouth 5-on-3 power play for nearly two minutes. Both teams played well defensively and Plymouth killed a Westfield 5-on-3 power play late in the third period.
Westfield opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the first period on a goal by freshman Mike Puddifant, with the puck fluttering over the goalie's shoulder into the net.
PSU got power play goals from junior Travis Stevens (Montclair, Calif.) midway through the first period and senior Kyle Greco (Hillside, Ill.) in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Westfield knotted the score on Brad Norkum's power play goal from inside the blue line with 5:57 remaining in the second period.
Westfield goalie Ian Perrier, a sophomore transfer from Northland College in Wisconsin, was outstanding between the pipes in his season debut with 47 saves, including 17 in the third period and six in overtime. Plymouth goalie Jack Astedt (Angelholm, Sweden) made 36 saves.
Both teams play MASCAC road games on Thursday, Plymouth State traveling to Framingham State and Westfield State visiting Worcester State.
(Courtesy of Westfield Sports Information)
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