Panthers' eight-game MASCAC unbeaten streak halted
SALEM, Mass. – Junior Brett Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) notched a goal and an assist, but Salem State University scored four straight times to top Plymouth State University, 4-2, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game at Rockett Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Backman gave the Panthers a first period lead, but the Vikings evened the game late in the period and scored twice in the middle stanza. Salem State pushed the margin to 4-1 early in the third before freshman Myles Abbate (Norwell, Mass.) trimmed the deficit to 4-2 with a power play strike with 12:29 remaining, but the Panthers couldn't get any closer.
Plymouth State drops its first MASCAC game since mid-November, a span of eight games, to fall to 9-2-1 in the conference and 9-8-2 overall. Salem State improves to 4-11-4 and 4-6-2 in league action.
Plymouth State 2, Salem State 4
Plymouth State (9-8-2, 9-2-1 MASCAC)
Salem State (4-11-4, 4-6-2 MASCAC)
How it Happened.
- Salem State had a prime chance midway through the first period as the Vikings skated in on a 3-on-1 break, but Backman made a great defensive play to break up an initial shot and freshman Brendahn Brawley (Morton, Pa.) kicked away the ensuing wrister.
- Sophomore Grant DeWitt (Bowling Green, Ohio) picked up the loose puck and broke into the offensive zone, before finding junior Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) in the middle. Gerbner dropped the puck off for Backman, who snapped a wrist shot under the glove of the Salem goaltender at the 11:22 mark.
- The Vikings evened the game five minutes later when freshman Connor Woolley (Poghquag, N.Y.) skated in on the right side and fired a shot off Brawley's glove.
- Salem State went ahead when freshman Spencer DeRidder (Rochester, N.Y.) made a move around Brawley and found the open net at 9:36 and freshman Richard Coyle (Weymouth, Mass.) picked up a loose puck at the right face-off dot and whipped a shot to the top right corner to make it 3-1 with 5:32 left in the second.
- The hosts pushed the margin to 4-1 early in the third period.
- Abbate converted a cross-ice feed from Backman on the power play to make it 4-2 with 12:29 remaining, but Plymouth State was unable to get any closer.
Inside the Numbers:
- Abbate's tally was his team-best 11th of the year. He also paces the Panthers with 17 points.
- Backman now has five goals and six assists for 11 points.
- Brawley made 10 saves over the first 44:14 but fell to 0-3-0, while senior Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) stopped 14 shots to improve to 4-8-3 for the Vikings.
- Both teams fired 16 shots for the game.
- PSU went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Vikings were held scoreless in three opportunities.
- Plymouth State visits Fitchburg State for a 7:00 p.m. MASCAC game on Thursday (Feb. 6).
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