Panthers erupt for six goals in second period in battle for MASCAC's top spot
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – With the winner assured of taking the top spot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) standings, Plymouth State University erupted for six goals in the second period en route to an 8-1 win over Westfield State University at Hanaway Rink on Thursday night.
The Panthers held a 2-1 lead after an entertaining opening period that featured back-and-forth action, but Plymouth State put the game away with a dominating effort in the middle stanza. Junior Peter Laviolette (Brentwood, Tenn.) notched a pair of goals and an assist in the period alone and four other players lit the lamp as the hosts took an 8-1 lead into the second intermission. Sophomore Ben Parker (Ashland, Mass.) made his debut between the pipes in the third period and stopped all 15 shots he faced.
Plymouth State improves to 11-9-2 and 11-3-1 in the MASCAC and now holds a three-point lead over the Owls atop the league standings. Westfield State drops to 11-6-5 and 9-4-2 in league play.
Plymouth State 8, Westfield State 1
Plymouth State (11-9-2, 11-3-1 MASCAC)
Westfield State (11-6-5, 9-4-2 MASCAC)
How it Happened.
- PSU got on the board 8:26 into the opening period on a goal from freshman Myles Abbate (Norwell, Mass.). Classmate Lukas Holmqvist (Floda, Sweden) fired a shot from the blue line and Abbate was there to clean up the rebound.
- Westfield State evened the game at 16:41 when freshman Wyatt Lawrence (Sexsmith, Alberta) converted a cross-ice feed from sophomore Joseph Carbone (Marshfield, Mass.).
- The Panthers came right back just 21 seconds later as freshman Jacob Laurin (Stockholm, Sweden) one-timed a feed from classmate Marcus Seidl (Stockholm, Sweden) through the five-hole of senior goaltender Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Quebec).
- Plymouth State extended the lead to 3-1 just 46 seconds into the middle stanza when freshman Leo Stolpe (Stockholm, Sweden) sent a two-line pass to junior JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.), who skated in alone and beat Messervier to the glove side.
- Junior Peter Laviolette (Brentwood, Tenn.) made it a three-goal game at the 3:01 mark when he tipped in freshman Tim Austin's (Sylvania, Ohio) shot from just inside the blue line.
- It looked like Westfield got a goal back midway through the period when freshman Andrew McCormick (Canton, N.Y.) blasted a slapshot from the right side that rang the post.
- PSU came right back as sophomore Grant DeWitt (Bowling Green, Ohio) snagged a clearing attempt in the offensive zone, dropped the puck and stuffed a shot inside the near post to make it 5-1 with 10:00 left in the period.
- The Panthers chased Messervier when junior Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) knocked home a shot from the backdoor after a feed from sophomore Mike McPherson (Somerville, Mass.) at 13:12, and junior Brandon Barillaro (Alexandria, Ontario) made it 7-1 just 42 seconds later.
- Laviolette potted his second of the night with 1:25 left in the frame to cap the improbable outburst.
Inside the Numbers:
- Abbate extended his team-lead with his 13th goal of the year, while Laviolette now has nine goals and three assists on the season.
- Stolpe and Barone each had three-point games. Stolpe dished out three assists, while Barone logged a goal and two assists. The duo is tied for the team lead with 11 helpers apiece.
- Senior goaltender Andreas Pettersson (Trollhattan, Sweden) stopped 18 shots over the first two periods and even added his third assist of the year, before giving way to Parker, who made 15 saves in the third. Pettersson improved to 10-4-2.
- Messervier made 18 saves but let up six goals over his 33:12 in net to drop to 10-6-4. Senior Kameron Limburg (Howell, Mich.) made 15 saves in relief.
- The Panthers have outscored Westfield State by a 15-2 margin at home this year.
- The six second-period goals were the most scored in a period since the Panthers put up seven in the opening period of a 12-2 win over Framingham State on Jan. 29, 2015.
- Plymouth State heads to Worcester State for another league clash on Saturday (Feb. 15), with puck-drop set for 7:10 p.m.
- The Owls are off until next Thursday (Feb. 20) when they visit Fitchburg State for a 7:00 p.m. contest.
– 30 –