Morelli earns 28-save shutout for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) turned aside 28 shots to record his second shutout of the year, helping Plymouth State University to a 4-0 win over NCAA Division II Saint Anselm College in a men's ice hockey contest at Hanaway Rink on Salute the Troops night.
Freshman Brett Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) got the Panthers on the board early in the first period. The rookie notched his first career goal when he poked in a rebound off a shot from freshman Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) just 1:51 into the game. Junior Cam Cundy (Portsmouth, N.H.) was also credited with an assist on the score.
The Panthers doubled their lead midway through the opening period when junior Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) scored his team-leading sixth goal of the year. Skating with a man advantage, senior Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, N.H.) set up junior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas), who blasted a shot on net. Saint Anselm junior goaltender Colin Soucy (North Andover, Mass.) made the initial save, but was caught out of position as Volonnino flipped the rebound into an open net.
Plymouth State upped the lead to 3-0 at the 4:14 mark of the second period. Sophomore Victor Bergstrom (Angelholm, Sweden) set up junior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden), whose initial blast was turned aside by Soucy, but sophomore Alec LeFave (Hudson, N.H.) was there to jam the rebound home.
The Hawks' best opportunity to get on the board came late in the second period. A long pass found junior Bryan Green (Weymouth, Mass.) alone at the blue line and the forward split two defenders to get behind the defense for a 1-on-1 with Morelli. After a series of moves, Green went to the left side but Morelli, with his stick flat on the ice, made the save to keep Saint Anselm off the scoreboard.
Stevens added his fifth goal of the year midway through the third period on the tail end of a 5-on-3. Just as the first penalty expired, Stevens hacked at a puck in front of the Hawks' goal and it flipped up and over Soucy to account for the final score.
Stevens finished with a goal and an assist to add to his team-leading 18 points. The 6-3 forward is currently in the top ten in the nation averaging 1.64 points per game. Bergstrom added a pair of assists for the Panthers. Morelli turned away all 28 shots he faced to improve to 7-1-0, while Soucy dropped to 1-3-1 on the season despite making 32 saves. Plymouth outshot the visitors by a 36-28 margin.
PSU wraps up the 2017 portion of the schedule with a Teddy Bear Toss game at Castleton University on Tuesday (Dec. 12). Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.
– 30 –