Messervier makes 32 saves in non-conference win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore goaltender Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Que.) turned aside 32 shots to help lead Plymouth State University to a 4-3 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in non-conference men's hockey action at Hanaway Rink on Friday night.
The Panthers (9-3-1) returned to the ice following a 23-day layoff for exams and the holiday recess, while Wentworth (4-8-3) hadn't played since a loss at Suffolk University on Dec. 9, yet both teams looked sharp at the start.
PSU took a 1-0 lead at the 6:21 mark of the first period. Sophomore Tim Larocque (Middleboro, Mass.) fired a shot through traffic from just inside the blue line. The puck deflected off a skater to freshman Marc Happy (Sterling, Mass.), who toe-dragged around a defender before snapping off a wrist shot to the low left corner.
Plymouth State went up 2-0 with 2:24 remaining in the period. Sophomore Drake Longaker (San Jose, Calif.) slipped a pass towards the left slot that ricocheted off the back boards to freshman JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.). The rookie flipped the puck over the right pad of senior goalkeeper Ryan Hubbard (West Roxbury, Mass.), who never saw it.
Wentworth used a pair of power play scores to even the game in the second period. Junior Mathew Kennedy (Mount Pearl, N.L.) fired a shot off a faceoff that Longaker blocked. The puck bounced to sophomore Connor Busch (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) at the point. Busch passed to junior Jonny Spada (Glen Rock, N.J.), who flipped it back to Busch at the point and the defenseman's wrist shot beat Messervier high to the right corner.
Just a minute later the Leopards took advantage of a 5-on-3 opportunity. Junior Ethan Weiss (Troy, Mich.) kept a PSU clear attempt along the right boards in the zone. He fed sophomore CJ Grinnell (Burlington, Mass.) at the left circle, who found Weiss back in the middle. Just after the first Plymouth penalty expired, Weiss fired a wrist shot high to the blocker side, beyond a screened Messervier to even the game.
The Panthers took advantage of a two-man advantage late in the period to regain the lead. Following an offensive zone faceoff, junior Quinn Carroll (Amherst, N.H.) collected the puck in the right corner and passed along the side boards to junior Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.). Perron fed the puck along the blue line to Happy, who slid the puck toward the goal. It deflected off a defender's stick and just beyond the outstretched glove of Hubbard to put the home team back in front.
Plymouth added an important insurance marker 2:39 into the third period with another power play strike. Happy collected a loose puck at the blue line and ripped a wrist shot. Hubbard made the initial stop but senior Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, N.H.) was there to clean up the rebound for what would prove to be the game-winner.
Wentworth added a late goal after pulling Hubbard for an extra skater. Sophomore Connor Beaudet (Buffalo, N.Y.) had his first shot stopped by Messervier, but he snuck the rebound under the goalie's glove to account for the final tally of the night.
Messervier earned his first win of the season to improve to 1-2-1 on the year, while Hubbard drops to 2-5-1.
PSU is right back on the ice again tomorrow night in a key Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference contest against Worcester State University. The Lancers are responsible for Plymouth's lone conference blemish, as the two teams are tied atop the league with identical 5-1 marks.
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