Morelli leads Panthers to second straight shutout
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore goalie Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) stopped all 24 shots Saturday evening to lead Plymouth State University to a 3-0 victory over Westfield State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Hanaway Rink.
Morelli made 21 saves in the first two periods but needed to make just three stops in the third period to record his first career shutout and improve his season record to 6-2-1. The whitewash comes on the heels of a 5-0 Panther victory at Worcester State University on Thursday, led by freshman goaltender Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Que.)
PSU extended its unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1), improving to 12-5-2 overall and strengthening its hold on first place in the MASCAC with a 10-1-1 mark. Westfield State dropped its fourth in a row and slid to 8-10 overall and 4-8 in the conference.
MASCAC Men's Ice Hockey
at Hanaway Rink, Plymouth, N.H. – Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017
Plymouth State 3, Westfield State 0
Records: PSU 12-5-2 (10-1-1 MASCAC); WESTF. 8-10-0 (4-8-0 MASCAC)
* Senior Dan Dupell (Collegeville, Pa.) led the Panther offense with a pair of goals in the win. His first goal with three minutes left in the second period broke a scoreless tie and proved to be the game-winner, and his second was an empty-netter late in the third period, sealing the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* The visitors had a 9-6 advantage in a scoreless first period. Each team had one power play opportunity by neither was able to convert.
* Plymouth State killed off two penalties in the first half of the second period, including a five-minute major. Just 35 seconds after the Panthers got back to full strength, Dupell broke the scoreless tie by deflecting home a shot from the point by freshman Drake Longaker (San Jose, Calif.) near the right post for his fifth goal of the season. Zuccaro also assisted on the play.
* The Panthers doubled their lead at 9:54 of the third period when Dowell's shot from just inside the blue line went through some traffic in front of the crease and through the goalie's pads for his fourth of the season.
* Dupell closed out the scoring with 1:03 left in the final period, capitalizing on a Westfield turnover and firing the puck into an empty net for an unassisted marker.
* It was an easy night for the officials, with just three goals scored and a total of six penalties on the two teams combined. Westfield was 0-for-4 on the power play and PSU was 0-for-1.
* Owls senior goaltender Jonathan LoParco (Vaughan, Ont.) made 21 saves but took the loss (3-6-0).
* PSU honored one of its loyal fans in a brief ceremony during the first intermission (pictured below), when family and friends of the late Mark Younger gathered to dedicate two seats in Hanaway Rink as a tribute to Mark.
* Westfield State plays another MASCAC game Thursday (Feb. 2) at Salem State University (7:00 p.m.) while PSU doesn't play again until next Saturday, Feb. 4, at UMass Dartmouth (4:00 p.m.)
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