Covach, Volonnino, Perron, Bergstrom and Stevens honored for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Fresh off a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament championship, five members of the Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team were among those honored when the league announced its major awards winners and all-conference teams on Wednesday afternoon.
Seniors Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.), Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) and Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.) and junior Victor Bergstrom (Angelholm, Sweden) were all named to the All-MASCAC First Team, while senior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) picked up Second Team honors following a vote of the conference's head coaches.
It is the second straight year that five Panthers earned All-MASCAC recognition and first time since the 2014-15 season that four Plymouth State athletes were named to the First Team.
A 5-11 forward, Covach leads the high-scoring Panthers with 40 points on 12 goals and a team-high 28 assists. His 1.39 points per game in conference play were tied with Volonnino for the second most in the league, while he led the MASCAC in assists (20). He opened the season on a tear, recording a point in ten of the first 11 games, including seven multi-point games, and was selected as one of 25 semifinalists for the 19th Joe Concannon Award as announced by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston last month.
Volonnino, also a 5-11 forward, was a two-time MASCAC Player of the Week recipient and is second on the team with 38 points after tallying a team-high 19 goals and adding 19 assists. With a helper on the Panthers' game-winning goal in the MASCAC title game, he became the 13th player in program history to reach the 100-point mark. He ranked second in the league in goals scored, eighth in assists and was second in the conference with six power play strikes. Volonnino was a Second Team all-star last year and was named MASCAC Rookie of the Year following the 2015-16 season.
A 6-2 defenseman, Perron earned All-MASCAC honors for the third straight season, but picked up First Team honors for the first time. He led the league in defenseman scoring after tallying three goals and 10 assists in MASCAC play. His five goals and 16 assists overall were top-20 in all of Division III among defensemen, while helping anchor a defense that allowed just 2.59 goals per game.
Bergstrom, a 6-0 defenseman, claims First Team honors for a second straight year. Despite missing ten games due to injury he still finished with six goals and five assists to end up seventh in the league in defensemen scoring. His six power play markers were second on the team and his 0.35 power play goals per game were the sixth most in the country.
A 6-3 forward, Stevens will go down in history as one of the top scorers in program history. His 113 points in a Plymouth State uniform are currently tied for the fifth-most all time. A First Team selection in both 2016-17 and 2017-18, Stevens was named the MASCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player after recording a goal and four assists in the Panthers' two tournament games. His tally came in the final minute of the opening period of the championship game and held up to be the game-winner. He currently has 11 goals and is second on the team with 25 assists on the year, while his 1.00 assists per game average is ninth in the country.
Plymouth State (17-7-3) travels to #6/#8 Hobart College (19-7-2) on Saturday (Mar. 9) for the first round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
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