WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester State University men's hockey team stumbled to a 4-1 loss against No. 15 Plymouth State University in a Thursday evening Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup at the Worcester Ice Center.
February 1, 2018
Worcester Ice Center
Score: Plymouth State 4, Worcester State 1
Records: Plymouth State (16-3-1, 12-1-0 MASCAC) | Worcester State (11-7-1, 6-6-1 MASCAC)
Both teams killed off two power plays in the first 15 minutes of play to keep the score at 0-0. It wasn't until the 19th minute that Plymouth State's Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Texas) put the Panthers on the board with a back-handed shot following passes from JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) and Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, N.H.).
Plymouth State added to their lead late in the second period as both Christian La Croix (Northford, Conn.) and Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweeden) scored late in the stanza. In the 14th minute Peter Laviolette (Nashville, Tenn.) passed the puck down to Tim Larocque (Middleboro, Mass.) who skated towards the net, turned to look to find La Croix unmarked. With no hesitation, La Croix took a slap shot and put it in the back of the net for the 2-0 gain. With just seconds on the clock, Brett Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) moved the puck up the right side of the ice, faked out a Worcester State defender, and found Steenburg to the left of the net who made a slap shot with five seconds on the clock for the 3-0 gain going into the third.
The Panthers extended their lead to 4-0 with another goal in the 7th minute from Jake Gerbner (Havertown, Pa.), assisted by Cam Cundy (Portsmouth, N.H.). Worcester State spoiled the shutout with just over two minutes to go when Andrew Etheridge (Burrillville, R.I.) snuck the puck past Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) on a power play for the 4-1 final score.
DOWN FOR A COUNT
- Plymouth State's scoring was spread amongst four different players (La Croix, Steenberg, Gerbner, Stevens) and six players earned assists on the evening.
- Despite the win for the Panthers, each team registered 32 shots in the contest.
- Morelli earned his 13th win in net this season, as he turned away 31 Worcester State shots to preserve the win.
- Worcester State's Josh Reinstein (Woodland Hills, Calif.) recorded 21 saves in 39:50 minutes played. He was relieved by Cory Lignelli (Glastonbury, Conn.) in the third who made seven saves in the setback.
- Worcester State converted on 1-of-6 power play opportunities while Plymouth State went 0-for-5.
- The game saw a total of 72 penalty minutes, split even between the teams at 26 apiece.
Worcester State returns to the Worcester Ice Center on Saturday (Feb. 3) to host Framingham State in a 3:30 p.m. MASCAC affair. Plymouth State will travel to Fitchburg State on the same date.