Stevens, Morelli lead Panthers to fourth shutout in last five games
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) scored two goals and goalie Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 26 saves Tuesday evening as Plymouth State University blanked Salem State University, 4-0, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's hockey game at Hanaway Rink.
Morelli kept the Vikings scoreless in five power play opportunities and extended his scoreless streak to more than 200 minutes with his third consecutive shutout, improving to a conference-best 8-2-1 overall.
PSU pushed its unbeaten streak to nine games (8-0-1), with shutout wins in four of their last five outings. The Panthers, 15-5-2 overall, are comfortably in first place in the MASCAC with a 12-1-1 mark, while second-place Salem State is now 11-8-3 overall and 10-3-2 in conference play.
at Hanaway Rink, Plymouth, N.H. – Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017
Plymouth State 4, Salem State 0
Records: PSU 16-5-2 (13-1-1 MASCAC); SSU 11-8-3 (10-3-2 MASCAC)
* Stevens now has 17 goals on the season, tied for the top in the MASCAC.
* Senior Baxter Strachan (Sioux City, Iowa) rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal for his second of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* Neither team was able to score in the first period, as PSU squandered a two-man advantage for nearly two minutes without a shot on goal, and SSU came up empty on its only power play opportunity.
* Stevens put the Panthers on the board eight minutes into the second period on a power play. Following a face-off in the Salem State zone, Economos and Zuccaro had some nice passing to set up Stevens, who banged home the puck into an open net.
* The Panthers doubled their lead on Zuccaro's wrap-around goal with less than one second left in the middle period during a 5-on-3 power play.
* The visitors had an excellent opportunity to break through in the first minute of the third period with a 2-on-1 break during a shorthanded situation, but Morelli made two saves and a PSU defender cleared away a loose puck to prevent another scoring chance.
* Stevens made it 3-0 at the 5:12 mark when he buried a shot from point-blank range in the slot off a feed from Zuccaro, and Strachan's empty-netter sealed the victory.
* Salem State junior Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ont.) finished with 25 saves as PSU finished with a 29-26 advantage in shots on goal.
Both teams return to the ice with MASCAC games on Thursday, Feb. 16, as PSU hosts Fitchb urg State State University for a 6:00 p.m. contest and Salem State entertains UMass Dartmouth for a 7:00 p.m. face-off.
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