Covach's hat trick leads Panthers to MASCAC win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) recorded his first career hat trick to power the Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team to a 7-1 win over Framingham State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game at Loring Arena on Saturday evening.
PSU moves to 18-4-2 (14-2-1 MASCAC), while Framingham drops to 3-19-2 and 2-15-0 in league play.
The Panthers struck first. After killing off an extended 5-on-3 power play, freshman Hunter Gunski (Goffstown, N.H.) put PSU on the board with the game's first goal with assists from freshman Christian La Croix (Northford, Conn.) and junior Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.).
The Rams answered just over two minutes later when freshman Matt Siegel (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored with junior Ryan McDonough (Dorchester, Mass.) assisting.
Covach scored his first of the game on the power play a few moments later, the first of six unanswered goals by the Panthers. Perron and freshman Marc Happy (Sterling, Mass.) were credited with the assists as PSU skated into the first intermission up 2-1.
The Panthers added two more in the second frame. Junior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) struck in the opening minute with help from Happy and senior Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, N.H.). Then, midway through the period freshman JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) scored a short-handed unassisted goal to increase the Panthers' lead to 4-1.
Plymouth State tacked on three more scores in the third period. Covach tallied his second of the game at the 4:59 mark, then completed the hat trick with 6:45 remaining. Stevens had the primary assist on both scores, with sophomore Drake Longaker (San Jose, Calif.) and Zuccaro earning the secondary assists.
It was Covach's first three-point game of his career. The 5-11 forward has five points over his last two games after recording a pair of assists during the Panthers' 3-3 tie against Salem State last Saturday (Feb. 10). Stevens had his fourth three-point game of the season. Perron, Zuccaro and Happy all had a pair of helpers.
Junior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) turned away 24 shots in the win for the Panthers while upping his mark to 15-2-1. Despite making 41 stops in net, junior Adam Calabrese (Philadelphia, Pa.) fell to 1-6-0.
The Panthers finished 1-for-4 on the man advantage and added a short-handed goal, while FSU went 0-for-5 with the extra skater.
Plymouth State wraps up the regular season on Tuesday (Feb. 20) with a home contest against Westfield State University with game time set for 6:00 p.m.
** With contributions from Framingham State University Sports Information **
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