Volonnino posts hat trick in four-point effort
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) notched his first career hat trick and added an assist for good measure as Plymouth State University skated past Salem State University, 8-1, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Rockett Arena Thursday night.
PSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back. Volonnino scored on a power play 14:19 into the second period, then added an even strength goal three minutes later. He capped the scoring with his eighth of the year late in the third period.
Plymouth State extends its season-opening unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) and moves to 4-0-1 in MASCAC play. The Vikings fall to 1-5-0 overall and 1-4-0 in league action.
Plymouth State 8, Salem State 1
Plymouth State 6-0-1, 3-0-1 MASCAC
Salem State 1-4-0, 1-3-0 MASCAC
How it Happened:
* Sophomore JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) set the tone early, sneaking a rebound past Salem State goalie Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) just over five minutes into the game.
* Classmate Peter Laviolette (Nashville, Tenn.) doubled the lead with his second goal in the last two games five minutes later when he circled around Cleary and stuffed the puck into the weak side, and senior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) extended the PSU advantage to 3-0 with his third of the year with 1:30 remaining in the first period.
* Volonnino picked up his first of the night on the Panthers' power play. Senior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) passed to Volonnino on the left side and his slap shot went bar down to make it 4-0.
* Salem State got the goal right back just over two minutes later when freshman Matt Yianacopolus (Wakefield, Mass.) whipped a wrist shot for a power play goal, but Volonnino answered with a break-away goal just 20 seconds later to restore the four-goal advantage.
* Junior Victor Bergstrom (Angelholm, Sweden), the top-scoring defenseman in the country, added his fifth goal of the year midway through the third period. Barone picked up his second of the night four minutes later, and Volonnino completed the hat trick with just under two minutes left to play.
Inside the Numbers:
* PSU's offense kicked it into high gear for the second straight game. The eight goals scored are a season best. In two games this week Plymouth State has outscored the opposition by a 15-1 margin.
* Volonnino won 11-of-14 face-offs on the night.
* Senior goaltender Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 33 saves to improve to 5-0-1 on the year, while junior Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) stopped 34 shots in the first 49:41 for the Vikings. Freshman Olivier Lacroix (Montreal, Que.) relieved and gave up the final two goals while making two saves for Salem State.
* PSU went 2-for-5 on the power play, while Salem State had a goal in five opportunities.
* With his four points Volonnino moved into the team lead with 16.
* Bergstrom leads the nation in defensemen scoring averaging 1.86 points per game.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I thought we controlled the play well for most of the night," said head coach Craig Russell. "We established ourselves early with puck possession and were able to put some early shots on net that made Salem run around a bit."
* Plymouth State enjoys a two-week break before hosting MASCAC foe Framingham State for a Teddy Bear Toss game on Nov. 29 at 6:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring new stuffed teddy bears to toss on the ice following the Panthers first goal. All bears collected will be donated to the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) to be redistributed to families in need over the holidays.
* Salem State hosts Fitchburg State for a MASCAC contest on Saturday (Nov. 17) starting at 2:00 p.m.
– 30 –