Plymouth State Edges Ice Hockey in Final Minutes, 4-2

Plymouth State Edges Ice Hockey in Final Minutes, 4-2

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Despite a 49-save effort from sophomore goalie Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.), two goals in the final two minutes of play kept No. 14 Plymouth State undefeated in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) competition on Thursday at Hetland Arena, as the Panthers bested UMass Dartmouth 4-2.

Panther senior Andrew Wigg (Lantz, Nova Scotia) broke the 2-2 tie at the 18:42 mark of the final stanza, narrowly tipping the puck past a sprawling Michals on a breakaway pass from classmate Josh Woody (Sunderland, Md.). Seconds later, freshman Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) converted on the Corsair empty net to put the contest out of reach.

Michals recorded double-digit saves in every period for UMass Dartmouth, including 18 in the third to post his third-highest save total of the season. His counterpart, senior Gordon Caesar (Oak Park, Calif.), turned aside 34 shots on the evening.

Plymouth State came out firing on the contest, outshooting the Corsairs 16-9 in the first period. It took the Panthers nearly 17 minutes to score on Michals, when freshman Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) went top glove on assists from Woody and Wigg on the power play, putting the visitors up 1-0 at the first intermission.

The Corsairs then came out surging to restart play, as junior Mike Kelly (Stoneham, Mass.) tipped in his fourth score of the season off the rebound from a Billy Boudreau (Newburyport, Mass.) shot.

Colby Lanceleve (Stewiacke, Nova Scotia) and the Panthers responded to close the period, again capitalizing on the power play as Woody and Wigg assisted on the freshman's seventh goal of the year at 18:49.

Despite a Panther onslaught to begin the final stanza, UMass Dartmouth took advantage of several acrobatic Michals' saves, striking next to even the score as freshman Connor Court (Swansea, Ill.) buried the first goal of his career on a breakaway.

The tie score would not hold, however, as Wigg put the visitors back up for good 12 minutes later.

With the win, Plymouth State now sits 12-2 on the season and 7-0 in the MASCAC, while UMass Dartmouth falls to 4-6-3 overall and 3-3-2 in the conference. The visitors dominated the offensive totals, outshooting the hosts 53-36 on the game and capitalizing on 2-4 power play situations. The Corsairs were unable to convert on two man-up opportunities.

Both teams will continue MASCAC play on Saturday, as UMass Dartmouth continues its four-game home stand against Westfield State at 4 p.m. Plymouth State will host Salem State at 6 p.m.