Panthers explode for seven goals in MASCAC win
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team scored four first period goals to coast to a 7-1 win over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a physical Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game at Hetland Arena on Saturday evening.
Freshman JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) scored his first two career goals, junior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) added a goal and three assists, and classmate Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) chipped in with a goal and an assist to move the Panthers to 4-1-0 overall (2-1-0 MASCAC). UMass Dartmouth dropped to 1-3-1 overall and 1-1-1 in league play.
PSU turned the game into a laugher in the first period. Junior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) got the Panthers on the board just 3:11 into the game, with sophomore Alec LeFave (Hudson, N.H.) and junior Quinn Carroll (Amherst, N.H.) collecting the assists.
Four-and-a-half minutes later freshman Marc Happy (Sterling, Mass.) potted his first career goal off a feed from sophomore Tim Larocque (Middleboro, Mass.). Barone score his first, with assists from senior Caleb O'Brien (Saginaw, Mich.) and Stevens, 55 seconds later and the rout was on. Barone added his second goal at the 16:43 mark, with Stevens picking up another assist.
PSU outshot the Corsairs 19-9 in the first period, and the four goals allowed ended the night for UMD's starting goaltender, senior Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.). Junior Tommy Bay (Duluth, Ga.) relieved Michals, but the Panthers didn't treat him any better.
Stevens made it 5-0 just over two minutes into the second period, scoring off assists from Volonnino and junior Cam Cundy (Portsmouth, N.H.) and things got chippy from there. Matching minor penalties and a pair of 10-minute misconducts, one to each team, were handed out at the five-minute mark.
The Corsairs broke through with a goal by junior Connor Court (Swansea, Ill.) at the 7:04 mark, but Volonnino restored the five-goal advantage with a score just 17 seconds later. Stevens and sophomore Victor Bergstrom (Angelholm, Sweden) had the assists.
Moments later, Court earned a five-minute major and game misconduct, and less than three minutes after that the Corsairs were hit with another 10-minute misconduct.
Freshman Peter Laviolette (Nashville, Tenn.) scored his first career goal on a breakaway 5:08 into the third period to cap the scoring, with Larocque picking up his second helper of the night.
All told, the two teams were penalized 18 times for 98 minutes, including two game misconducts, five 10-minute misconducts and two five-minute major penalties.
Junior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) recorded 34 saves to remain perfect (4-0-0) on the year. Michals, who made 15 saves in the first period, took the loss for the Corsairs to fall to 1-3-1. Bay, who relieved Michals, also made 15 stops in net.
Plymouth State is back at home on Thursday when the Panthers welcome MASCAC-rival Salem State to Hanaway Rink. PSU and Salem have met in the MASCAC championship game in five of the last six seasons. Puck-drop is set for 6:00 p.m.
– 30 –