WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University men's ice hockey team scored three goals in the first five minutes of the third period to shut down Plymouth State 4-1 to open 2019 in Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday night at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.
With the win the Lancers advance to 7-5-0, 4-3-0 in MASCAC play Plymouth State falls to 8-2-2 overall and 5-1-1 in the conference.
Before the game, nearly 50 Worcester State men's ice hockey alumni were on the ice for a special ceremony celebrating the 50 year anniversary of ice hockey at the university. The alumni presented the current Lancers with commemorative pucks, showing their appreciation for continuing the tradition of Worcester State hockey.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the opening 20 minutes of action, despite a heavy territorial advantage for Plymouth State. The Panthers outshot Worcester State 20-8 in the first period, but goaltender Aaron Callan (South Lyon, Mich.) was up to the task to keep the game scoreless.
With just over five minutes remaining in the second period, the Panthers finally broke the ice when sophomore Peter Laviolette (Nashville, Tenn.) found the back of the net on a breakaway to put Plymouth State up 1-0. An assist was given to freshman defenseman Ben Chipman (North Vancouver, B.C.) on the tally.
The lead was extremely short-lived however, as sophomore Matthew Manning (Novi, Mich.) evened the score 40 seconds later at the 15:29 mark of the second period. Manning deposited a rebound off a shot from defenseman Cody Weaver (West Greenwich, R.I.) to tie the score. The game would stay 1-1 into the second intermission.
The Lancers opened the third with 2:37 of carry-over power play time after a major butt-ending penalty call at the end of the second and took full advantage. Worcester State took its first lead of the game as a shot off the stick of Mike Moran (Milford, Mass.) snuck through the Plymouth State goalkeepers pads to put the Lancers on top 1:42 into the third period.
Forty-four seconds after Moran's tally, assistant captain Andrew Etheridge (Burrillville, R.I.) scored his first goal of the season to extend Worcester's lead to 3-1. Moran tallied an assist on the goal, and both goals went down as power play goals.
Moran redirected in a point shot from Manning at the 4:25 mark of the third period for insurance, putting the Lancers up 4-1. Plymouth State had multiple opportunities to climb back into the contest, but were unable to capitalize on an extended 5-on-3 power play in the closing minutes, as the Lancers went on to the victory.
Callan picked up his sixth win of the season on the night, making 37 saves to be named the game's first star. Plymouth State junior Andreas Pettersson (Trollhattan, Sweden) got the loss despite 27 saves.
Moran, with two goals and an assist, was the game's second star, while Manning's one-goal, two-assist performance landed him third star honors.
Next up for the Lancers, they face Framingham State on Thursday with a puck drop scheduled for 3:40 p.m.