PSU Men’s Ice Hockey gets back on track with win over Salem State

PSU Men’s Ice Hockey gets back on track with win over Salem State

Covach and Barone each pot two goals in victory

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) and sophomore JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) each tallied two goals as Plymouth State University defeated Salem State University, 4-1, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Hanaway Rink on Thursday night.

            Plymouth State applied heavy zone pressure throughout the first period and was rewarded with single goals from each. Covach notched his second of the game in the second period, while Barone added an insurance marker in the third. The Vikings spoiled the shutout bid in the final three minutes to account for the final score.

            Prior to the game Plymouth State honored senior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas), who became the 12th player in program history to record his 100th career point in a 3-3 tie at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth over the weekend.

            The Panthers also welcomed area Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as part of the team's second annual Scouts' Night.

            The win snaps a six game winless streak for Plymouth State, as the Panthers improve to 6-2-2 in MASCAC play and 9-4-3 overall. Salem State drops to 4-6-0 in the league and 5-10-1 overall.


            The Final Score:

            Plymouth State 4, Salem State 1



            Plymouth State (9-4-3, 6-2-2 MASCAC)

            Salem State (5-10-1, 4-6-0 MASCAC)


            How it Happened:

            * Plymouth State took the lead at the 8:33 mark of the first period when Stevens faked a shot from the far side faceoff circle, then fired a pass through the slot to Covach, who beat the Salem State goaltender to the short side.

            * Barone fired a shot bar down from just outside the crease to double the Panthers' lead at the 10:11 mark.

            * Plymouth State controlled the puck most of the first period, with the Vikings mustering just five shots in the opening frame.

            * PSU got some help from the post in the second period as senior goalie Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) tipped a shot with his right pad that deflected off the nearside post, across the goal line and out of harm's way.

            * Covach picked up his second goal of the game on a rebound off a shot from Stevens 4:55 into the second period.

            * Barone notched his second of the game off a feed from senior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) from the left faceoff circle.

            * The Vikings got on the board with 2:56 remaining after a turnover at the Panthers' blue line led to a two-on-none break. Morelli won the battle on a shot by sophomore Joe Smith (Holbrook, Mass.), but freshman Billy McGwin (Rochester, N.Y.) poked the rebound five hole to ruin the shutout.


            Inside the Numbers:

            * Plymouth State outshot the Vikings by a 43-25 margin.

            * Both teams finished 0-for-2 on the power play.

            * Morelli saved 24 shots for the Panthers to improve to 8-3-3 on the year, while junior Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) stopped 39 shots but fell to 4-8-1.


            Straight from the Coach's Mouth:

            "I thought we were able to put a lot of pressure on their defense," said head coach Craig Russell. "We played with a lot of speed, didn't turn the puck over and the energy was great on the bench. It has been the last couple of games, even though the results have not been there, so it was just a matter of time before the group turned it around."


            Up Next:

            * The Panthers head to #14/#15 Salve Regina for a non-conference game on Tuesday (Jan. 22) at 7:35 p.m. The Seahawks were national runners up a year ago.

            * Salem State visits Fitchburg State University on Saturday (Jan. 19) for a MASCAC tilt at 5:00 p.m.


Stevens with head coach Craig Russell      Area scouts participate in Scouts' Night

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