Panthers win rematch of NCAA Tourney game
BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Travis Stevens' (Montclair, Calif.) goal at 12:26 of the second period proved to be the game winner Monday night as Plymouth State University held off a furious Wentworth comeback attempt in the final minute and defeated the Leopards, 2-1 in non-conference action at Matthews Arena. The game was a re-match of the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament, where Wentworth prevailed, 3-1, in the opening round.
While both teams would have chances in the opening period, the first 20:00 remained scoreless with the Leopards, who entered the contest ranked 15th in the latest USCHO.com Division III Poll, holding a slim, 10-9 shot advantage. The Panthers had a pair of odd-man rushes, but both shot attempts were thwarted by sophomore netminder Alex Peck (Kirkland, Que.).
The Panthers, who claimed their first-ever win at Matthews Arena in nine tries, broke the stalemate at 6:05 of the middle stanza when senior JC Richardson (Fort Collins, Colo.) scored a power play goal from inside the right face-off circle from sophomore Mike Freitag (Westmont, Ill.) and freshman Brantley Sherwood (San Anselmo, Calif.) Freitag had his second helper of the game when he and senior Kyle Greco (Hillside, Ill.) set up Stevens, who put home a shot from the left side. Plymouth State held a 10-6 shot advantage in the second period.
Wentworth pulled within a goal at 2-1 when sophomore Jordan Bourgonje (Spruce Grove, Alta.) beat Panther junior netminder Tyler Ingerson (Concord, N.H.) with a shot from in front, which was assisted by freshmen Adam Frank (Clarkston, Mich.) and Mike Cox (Marlborough, Mass.) just 51 seconds into the period.
Plymouth State successfully killed off a penalty to keep the lead, however the Panthers were whistled for a slashing penalty with 1:28 left. Already up a man, Peck was lifted to make it a 6-on-4 game. During the two-man advantage, the Leopards had five attempts – three were blocked by Panther defensemen and two went wide – before Plymouth State cleared the puck to run out the clock.
Ingerson made 24 saves in the win, while Peck turned back 23 shots. Shots were even at 25-all and Wentworth held a 32-30 face-off advantage.
Plymouth State improves to 3-1-0, while Wentworth falls to 4-2-1. Both teams are idle until Thursday, Nov. 29, when they both return to conference play. The Leopards host Nichols at 8:15 p.m., while the Panthers travel to Salem State for a re-match of the 2012 MASCAC Championship Game.
(Courtesy of Wentworth Sports Information)
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