Panthers open 2017-18 season at Endicott on Friday night
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team was picked second in the 2017-18 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Men's Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office on Tuesday.
The Panthers, last year's regular season champions and MASCAC Tournament runners up, collected two first place votes to accrue 32 points in the poll. Salem State, which knocked off PSU 4-3 in last year's championship game, was picked first with seven first place votes for 35 total points.
UMass Dartmouth (24 points), Fitchburg State (22 points) and Worcester State (16 points) round out the top five.
PSU will return two of its top three goal scorers from last winter. Junior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) led the team in goals (20), assists (20) and points (40), while also finishing tops in the nation with six short-handed goals. Senior forward Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, N.H.) was third on the team with nine goals last year.
All three netminders are back for the Panthers. Sophomore Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) logged the most minutes in net for PSU last year, finishing the season with a 2.19 goals against average and a .920 save percentage with both marks being tops in the MASCAC. His 11-3-1 record gave him the highest winning percentage among league goalies. Sophomore Thierry Messervier (Chambly, Que.) also saw significant time in net last year, while classmate Andreas Pettersson (Trollhattan, Sweden) is expected to compete for ice time.
The Panthers are set to open the 2017-18 campaign on the road at Endicott College on Friday night. The Gulls are ranked sixth in the US College Hockey Online (USCHO) preseason poll. Puck drop is set for 7:00. PSU opens its home schedule on Saturday (Nov. 4) with a game against NCAA Division II Stonehill College.
2017-18 MASCAC Men's Ie Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll
|1||Salem State (5)||35|
|2||Plymouth State (2)||32|
– 30 –