Backman's three points lead Panthers to seventh-straight MASCAC win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Brett Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) scored a goal and added two assists to lead Plymouth State University to a 7-2 win over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Hanaway Rink on Monday evening.
With the win Plymouth State moves to 12-3-1 overall and has won seven straight MASCAC contests to improve to 8-1-0 in league play. The Corsairs (7-8-1, 4-4-1 MASCAC) allowed seven goals to PSU for the second time this season and have lost the last nine match-ups between the two teams.
After a scoreless first period the Panthers pounced for three goals in the second frame. Junior Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) got the Panthers on the board with his team-leading tenth goal of the year at the 3:11 mark. The 5-11 forward took the puck through the neutral zone and sniped a wrist shot to the top left corner to break the scoreless tie.
Junior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) redirected a shot from the blue line by sophomore Victor Bergstrom (Angelholm, Sweden) at 11:20 to double the hosts' lead, and freshman Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) made it 3-0 in the final minute of the period after finishing a beautiful give-and-go with Backman.
Junior Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) put the Corsairs on the board just 1:01 into the third period. Ruiz took the puck from the left corner, skated along the end boards and flicked a backhanded shot to the far post for his 11th tally of the year.
PSU responded with two more goals less than two minutes apart. Freshman Peter Laviolette (Nashville, Tenn.) took a pass from sophomore Tim Larocque (Middleboro, Mass.) along the right boards, made a move to get past a UMD defender and fired a shot to the top left corner at the 3:18 mark. Minutes later freshman Hunter Gunski (Goffstown, N.H.) blasted a slapshot from just inside the blue line for his first goal in a Panther uniform.
Ruiz struck a second time for the visitors to make it 5-2, but Backman answered less than a minute later. Freshman JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) sent a backhanded shot through the crease and Backman was there to one-time it into the open net.
Junior Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.) skated the length of the ice, around a defender and his backhander deflected off a Corsair to cap the scoring at 17:14.
Junior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 25 saves to run his record to 10-1-0 on the year. Senior Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.) fell to 5-8-1. After making 27 stops he was relieved by junior Tommy Bay (Duluth, Ga.) for the final nine minutes.
Plymouth State will travel to MASCAC rival Salem State on Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. contest.
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