PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) and JR Barone (West Chester, Pa.) each tallied two goals as Plymouth State University defeated Salem State University, 4-1, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Hanaway Rink on Thursday night. Billy McGwin (Rochester, N.Y.) broke the shutout with less than three minutes left for the only Vikings' goal.
Salem State drops to 4-6-0 in the league and 5-10-1 overall. The Panthers improve to 6-2-2 in MASCAC play and 9-4-3 overall.
Plymouth State took the lead at the 8:33 mark of the first period when Stevens faked a shot from the far side faceoff circle, then fired a pass through the slot to Covach, who beat the Salem State goaltender to the short side. Barone fired a shot bar down from just outside the crease to double the Panthers' lead at the 10:11 mark. Plymouth State controlled the puck most of the first period, with the Vikings mustering just five shots in the opening frame.
PSU got some help from the post in the second period as senior goalie Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) tipped a shot with his right pad that deflected off the nearside post, across the goal line and out of harm's way. Covach picked up his second goal of the game on a rebound off a shot from Stevens 4:55 into the second period.
Barone notched his second of the game off a feed from senior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) from the left faceoff circle.
The Vikings got on the board with 2:56 remaining after a turnover at the Panthers' blue line led to a two-on-none break. Morelli won the battle on a shot by sophomore Joe Smith (Holbrook, Mass.), but McGwin poked the rebound five hole to ruin the shutout.
Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) stopped 39 shots while Morelli saved 24 shots for the Panthers.