PSU Men’s Ice Hockey rallies to tie Fitchburg State

PSU Men’s Ice Hockey rallies to tie Fitchburg State

Gerbner pots game-tying goal in final five minutes

            FITCHBURG, Mass. – Sophomore Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) one-timed a shot from the bottom of the slot past Fitchburg State University goaltender Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) with 4:29 remaining in regulation as Plymouth State University rallied for a 2-2 overtime tie in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Wallace Civic Center on Thursday night.

            In a testy match-up between last season's regular season and tournament champions, the Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. PSU got one goal back late in the second period, setting up Gerbner's game-tying goal in the third.

            The teams were whistled for a combined 22 penalties for 77 minutes and three game misconducts. Despite all the time in the penalty box, each team finished 0-8 on the power play.

            Plymouth State outshot the Falcons by a remarkable 54-25 margin, including 6-2 in the overtime period, but neither team was able to slip one past the opposing goalie in the extra frame.

            Plymouth State extends its season-long unbeaten streak to four games, moving to 3-0-1 (1-0-1 MASCAC), while Fitchburg State goes to 1-2-1 and 1-0-1 in league play.


            The Basics:

            Plymouth State 2, Fitchburg State 2 (OT)


            Plymouth State 3-0-1, 1-0-1 MASCAC

            Fitchburg State 1-2-1, 1-0-1 MASCAC


            How it Happened:

            * The Falcons offense started fast when freshman Ryan Murphy (Wayzata, Minn.) converted a soft pass from the right wing that somehow snuck through the Panthers' defense just 3:40 into the game.

            * Fitchburg doubled its lead five minutes later when sophomore Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) tipped a bouncing puck into the net.

            * Plymouth State started the comeback late in the second period. Junior Alec LeFave (Hudson, N.H.) picked up his first goal of the season, driving home a feed from sophomore JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) with just 1:50 left in the frame.

            * Gerbner evened the score at the 15:31 mark of the third period when he took a feed from freshman Jarrett Slear (West Chester, Pa.) from the right corner at the bottom of the slot and one-timed it past McGrath.


            Inside the Numbers:

            * Plymouth dominated on the offensive end, though McGrath was brilliant in goal for the Falcons.

            * PSU outshot the hosts 16-8 in the first period, 23-4 in the third, 6-2 in the overtime period and 54-25 for the game, but McGrath made 52 saves, including several incredible stops, to earn the tie.

            * Plymouth State senior goaltender Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 23 stops.

            * Both teams went 0-for-8 on the power play.

            * The Panthers won 57-of-84 face-offs, highlighted by senior Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.), who controlled 24-of-33.


            Straight from the Coach's Mouth:

            "I thought we played well after the first period," said head coach Craig Russell. "We had a ton of chances and McGrath salvaged that tie for Fitchburg. Too many penalties on our side, but we were able to get over that hump and started to string together some good shifts at the end of the second period and that set the tone for us to finish the game."


            Up Next:

            * PSU hosts UMass Dartmouth for a Salute the Troops game on Saturday (Nov. 10) at 7:00 p.m.

            * The Falcons welcome Anna Maria for a non-conference game Saturday (Nov. 10) at 4:00 p.m.



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