Abbate scores twice, named MVP, as Panthers top UMass Dartmouth
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Myles Abbate (Norwell, Mass.) scored twice and added an assist as top-seeded Plymouth State University battled to a 6-2 win over third-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the championship game of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey tournament at Hanaway Rink on Saturday night.
Abbate, named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, gave Plymouth State the lead midway through the first period, but the Corsairs evened the score in the opening minutes of the second. PSU went back ahead with a power play tally midway through the frame and pushed the margin to 3-1 with eight minutes to play. Abbate tallied his second of the night for a 4-1 advantage with 3:09 left on the clock before PSU's two empty net goals and a power play tally for the Corsairs capped a wild final 90 seconds.
Plymouth State (15-9-3) claims its fourth MASCAC Tournament title, going back-to-back for the first time in program history, and earns the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. PSU will learn its opponent when the NCAA reveals the tournament bracket Monday (Mar. 9) at 10:30 a.m. on NCAA.com.
UMass Dartmouth has its season come to an end with a 13-12-3 mark.
Plymouth State 6, UMass Dartmouth 2
Plymouth State (15-9-3)
UMass Dartmouth (13-12-3)
How it Happened.
- UMass Dartmouth built up some zone pressure midway through the first period, including the game's first power play chance, but senior Andreas Pettersson (Trollhattan, Sweden) made multiple key stops.
- The Panthers rode the momentum into the next shift as Abbate banged home a rebound on the far side at 13:35 to give PSU a 1-0 lead.
- UMass Dartmouth pulled even early in the second period when junior Kai Kapossy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) launched a slapshot off a face-off win from senior Cameron Mack (Long Beach, Calif.) at 1:35.
- Junior Eric Bolden (Oswego, Ill.) had a prime opportunity to put the Corsairs in the lead four minutes later when he received a pass right in front of the crease, but Pettersson made two brilliant saves to keep the game tied.
- PSU capitalized on its first power play chance to regain the lead midway through the period when senior Victor Bergstrom's (Angelholm, Sweden) shot from inside the blue line went through traffic to the top left corner at 13:05.
- The Panthers extended the margin to 3-1 with 8:02 left in regulation when junior JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) fired an off-balance low angle shot to the far side.
- Abbate gave PSU a three-goal cushion with a remarkable pair of moves with 3:09 on the clock. He took a long pass, deked around a defender and put a move on the UMD goalie before flipping the puck in the near side post.
- Junior Brett Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) potted an empty net goal with 1:31 to go to seal the win. The Corsairs cut it to 5-2 at 19:28, before freshman Marcus Seidl (Stockholm, Sweden) capped the scoring with an empty netter of his own with 15 seconds left.
Inside the Numbers:
- Abbate leads the team with 16 goals and 28 points on the year.
- Barone also had a three-point game with a goal and two assists. His 18 helpers are a team high.
- Backman and Seidl each had a goal and an assist.
- Pettersson finished with 34 saves to improve to 14-4-3 on the year.
- UMass Dartmouth freshman goaltender Daniel Davidson (Surrey, British Columbia) stopped 20 shots but dropped to 6-5-3.
- PSU snapped the Corsairs' string of four straight shutouts, while Davidson had posted shutouts in five straight starts.
- UMD held a 36-26 advantage in shots, including a 17-5 edge in the second period.
- Plymouth State advances to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time. PSU will learn its opponent during the selection show on NCAA.com Monday (Mar. 9) at 10:30 a.m.
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