Panthers take 12-game unbeaten streak into post-season
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Sophomore Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 34 saves Tuesday evening as Plymouth State University defeated Westfield State University, 3-1, in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey regular season finale at Amelia Park Arena.
Morelli lost his bid for his fourth shutout of the season in the final minute of the game when Westfield State senior Jackson Leef (Fort Wayne, Ind.) netted his 19th goal of the season for his 100th career point.
PSU, 18-5-2 overall, 16-1-1 in the MASCAC and riding a 10-game winning streak, will be the top seed in the MASCAC tournament and awaits the winner of Saturday's quarterfinal between #4 Fitchburg State and #5 Worcester State. Westfield falls to 10-14, 6-12 in the MASCAC, and will be the #6 seed in the conference tournament; the Owls will travel to #3 seeded UMass Dartmouth on Saturday.
at Amelia Park Arena, Westfield, Mass. – Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Plymouth State 3, Westfield State 1
Records: PSU 18-5-2 (16-1-1 MASCAC); WSU 10-14-0 (6-12-0 MASCAC)
* The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by sophomore Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) at 17:01.
* PSU salted the game away with a pair of markers in the second period. Sophomore Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) tallied on a rebound with assists from freshman Drake Longaker (San Jose, Calif.) and sophomore Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.) at 11:24 for what proved to be the game-winner. Junior Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, N.H.) added the Panthers' third goal at 13:36 with assists from Michael Economos (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas).
* Leef broke up the shutout by netting the Owls' lone marker on a slapshot from the blueline with 22.1 seconds left in regulation.
* Westfield State goaltender Jonathan LoParco (Vaughn, Ont.) stopped 27 shots.
* No penalties were recorded by either team in the game.
* The MASCAC Tournament begins Saturday, with Westfield State traveling to UMass Dartmouth for a first-round game. PSU receives a bye on Saturday and will host a semifinal game next Tuesday at Hanaway Rink at 7:00 p.m.