NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- Junior Steven Leonard’s (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) power play goal with 3:19 remaining capped a third period comeback and lifted UMass Dartmouth to a 3-3 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference ice hockey tie with Plymouth State Saturday afternoon at Hetland Arena.
The host Corsairs (7-7-1, 4-3-1 MASCAC) trailed 3-1 entering the final 20 minutes of action, as the visiting Panthers (8-4-3, 5-2-2 MASCAC) grabbed a 2-0 first period lead on a pair of tallies by senior Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, N.J.) in the first 5:46 of action. Sophomore Eric Bolden’s (Oswego, Ill.) power play goal with 6:53 remaining in the frame sliced UMass Dartmouth’s deficit in half, and that score held up until freshman Grant Dewitt’s (Bowling Green, Ohio) marker with 5:26 to play in the middle stanza restored Plymouth State’s two goal advantage.
Sophomore Kai Kapossy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) pulled the Corsairs within one with 5:53 remaining after netting the hosts’ second power play goal of the day to set up the heroics by Steven Leonard, who converted feeds from senior Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) and junior Sean Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) on the tying tally and UMass Dartmouth’s third man-advantage marker of the contest. Both squads had chances in the extra session that saw the hosts’ hold a 5-4 edge in shots, as the Corsairs extended their unbeaten streak to three straight while the Panthers saw their winless skein stretch to six straight.
Steven Leonard added an assist to finish with two points in the draw for the Corsairs, who received a pair of assists from Sean Leonard as well as single helpers off the sticks of senior Mason Nichols (Oviedo, Fla.) and junior Cameron Mack (Long Beach, Calif.). Senior Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) and sophomore Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.) collected assists on Volonnino’s first period tallies for the Panthers, who received a helper from sophomore Peter Laviolette (Nashville, Tenn.) on Dewitt’s goal.
Sophomore Parker Butler (Summit, N.J.) made 24 stops in the tie for UMass Dartmouth, while senior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 47 saves in the draw for Plymouth State, as the Corsairs outshot the Panthers by a 50-27 margin and held a 51-37 advantage in the face-off circle for the contest.
UMass Dartmouth travels to Westfield, Mass. on Tuesday afternoon to take on Westfield State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference clash that faces off at 1:35 pm, while Plymouth State hosts Salem State in a MASCAC match-up on Thursday evening in Plymouth, N.H. that faces off at 6:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)