McGrath posts career high in saves
Fitchburg, Mass. – Freshman Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) posted a career-high 53 saves but it wasn't enough as the Fitchburg State University men's ice hockey team fell to the Panthers of Plymouth State University 5-3 on Thursday evening in Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference action at the Wallace Civic Center.
Score: Fitchburg State University 3, Plymouth State University 5
Records: Fitchburg State (7-5-1, 3-4-1 MASCAC) | Plymouth State (11-3-1, 7-1 MASCAC)
How It Happened
Fitchburg State opened up the scoring as junior Michael Fretz (Seattle, Wash.) scored his third of the season from James Gordon (Hingham, Mass.) and Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, NH) four minutes into play. Plymouth knotted the game 1-1 on an even-strengthened score from senior Chris Zuccaro (Hudson, NH), which was assisted by junior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Tex) and junior Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.). The Panthers took the lead when junior Ludvig Steenberg (Stockholm, Sweden) threaded a pass backdoor to classmate Quinn Carroll (Amherst, Mass.) for a 2-1 advantage after one frame.
Plymouth State put two past McGrath with a power-play blast from Victory Bergstrom (Angelholm, Sweden) and a goal from Perron to push the scoreboard to 4-1. The Green and Gold pulled within 4-2 at 12:14 of the second on Fretz's second goal of the game, assisted by Gordon and senior Evan Byrnes (New City, NH).
The hosts tallied quickly to start the third period. Just 1:32 into the stanza sophomore Patrick Germain (Auburn, Mass) converted a pass from Connor McPherson (Clovis, Calif.) to cut the deficit to 4-3. Plymouth answered with an insurance goal from junior Matt Volonnino (Hackettstown, NJ) at 4:10 for the 5-3 final.
Inside the Numbers
Plymouth State's netminder junior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) made 23 saves for his ninth win of the season.
Fretz finished with two goals, while Gordon added two assists for the Falcons.
Zuccaro and Perron each had a goal and an assist to lead the visitors.
58th meeting between the two schools in ice hockey with the Falcons 25-27-6 all-time when taking on the Panthers.
Plymouth State has won nine of the previous ten matchups against Fitchburg State, including a 2-0 decision earlier this season (11/19/17).
Both teams return to action on Saturday, the Falcons travel to Wentworth Institute of Technology for a 2:00pm puck drop, while Plymouth State will host UMass Dartmouth at 6:00pm.