Stevens helps send Panthers into Sunday's title game
BEVERLY, Mass. – Sophomore Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) tallied a goal and an assist Saturday evening to lead Plymouth State University to a 3-2 victory over Tufts University in the Endicott Holiday Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Bourque Arena.
PSU won in its first outing of 2017 to improve to 7-4-1 overall, while the Jumbos take their third loss of the season to put the team at 6-3-1 overall.
Stevens tallied his 11th goal of the season in the final minute of the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock, and he assisted on PSU's third goal by senior Michael Economos (Crystal Lake, Ill.), which ended up as the game-winner, with 1:28 remaining in the game. Stevens ranks fifth nationally with 11 goals in 12 games.
The Panthers will take on host Endicott in Sunday's championship game, after the Gulls edged nationally-ranked Neumann College in Saturday's first game, 4-3.
at Bourque Arena, Beverly, Mass. – Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017
Endicott 4, Neumann 3
Plymouth State 3, Tufts 2
Records: PSU 7-4-1; Tufts 6-3-1; Endicott 9-2-2; Neumann 10-4-1
* PSU sophomore Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 20 saves for the win in the Panther net.
* Senior Dan Dupell (Collegeville, Pa.) scored the only goal of the first period to give the Panthers an early lead. Sophomore Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) went up the right wing to drop a pass back into the slot to Dupell to shatter a back-hand goal into the top right corner of the net. The Panthers outshot the Jumbos 18-4 in the first period while senior goalie Mason Pulde saved 17 shots.
* Tufts got on the scoreboard with a one-timer goal from the slot by freshman Machlan Sawden at 7:06 of the second period.
* Stevens put PSU back in the lead after receiving a fast-break pass from sophomore Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) on the right side, which led to a back-hander goal into the left corner with 37 seconds left of the second period.
* Stevens went in for a shot in the left face-off circle that resulted in a free puck in front of the net for Economos to snap a shot into the left side of the goal to extend the lead to 3-1 at 18:32 of the third period.
* Tufts rounded out the scoring with one second left on the clock, sophomore Nick Balboa snapped a goal from the left red line.
* The Panthers and the Jumbos didn't play last year, but the Jumbos won the last time the two teams faced off back during the 2008-09 season. The Jumbos have the 5-1 advantage in the series with the Panthers, dating back to 1999.
* The Panthers will take on host Endicott in Sunday's championship game at 3:30 p.m. The Jumbos compete against No.11/15 Neumann in the consolation match on Sunday at 12 p.m.
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