Ecklund nets his first two goals of the season in key MASCAC victory
Plymouth, N.H. – Junior forward Brandon Ecklund (Fitchburg, Mass.) netted a pair of goal, including the game-winner to lift the Fitchburg State University ice hockey team to a 7-5 victory over the 15th ranked Panthers of Plymouth State University in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action this evening at the Hanaway Rink.
Score: Fitchburg State 7, Plymouth State 5
Records: Fitchburg State (12-6-3, 7-4-3 MASCAC)| Plymouth State (16-4-1, 12-2-0 MASCAC)
How It Happened
Fitchburg State opened the scoring at the 12:02 mark as senior James Gordon (Hingham, Mass.) collected a feed from sophomore Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) and struck for his tenth tally of the season for the 1-0 margin
The Falcons doubled their margin (2-0) roughly three minutes later when freshman Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) connected on the power play for his 11th tally of the year off assists from junior Ricky Kramer (Barnstead, N.H.) and sophomore Kyle Hillick (Byfield, Mass.).
In the second frame, the Green and Gold upped their advantage at the 5:37 mark as senior Evan Byrnes (New City, N.Y.) buried a shot into the back of the net for his first score of the season before Plymouth State responded with back-to-back tallies from junior Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.) and freshman JR Barone (West Chester, Penn.) to make the score 3-2.
Fitchburg State extended its lead (4-2) minutes later though as Figi gathered a pass from sophomore Christopher Vicario (Cranston, R.I.) and newcomer Spencer Segui (North Haven, Conn.) and deposited a shot inside the near post for his second goal of the game.
Trailing 5-3 going into the final period of play, the Panthers knotted the score (5-5) as Perron notched his second goal of the contest before junior Ryan Stevens (Colleyville, Tex.) collected his eighth marker on the year.
The Falcons answered back however with just over five minutes remaining in the contest when Ecklund blasted a one timer into the back of the net for his first score of the season for the 6-5 edge. Ecklund doubled Fitchburg State's margin a minute and half later as he redirected a shot off the stick of Byrnes into the top left corner for his second tally on the night, resulting in the 7-5 final.
Inside the Numbers
59th meeting between the two schools in ice hockey with the Falcons 28-27-6 all-time when taking on the Panthers.
Plymouth State had won the last five contests against Fitchburg State, including a 5-3 decision in the last matchup (1/11/2018) earlier this season at the Wallace Civic Center.
Panthers finished with a 51-28 advantage in shots.
Fitchburg State finished 4-for-8 on the power-play, while Plymouth State went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Junior Kirby Saari (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) finished with 46 saves for the Falcons in the complete game effort
Junior Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) stopped 12 shots for the Panthers in 35:54 minutes of relief for the Panthers.
Falcons will host the Rams of Framingham State next Saturday for a MASCAC tilt, starting at 5:00 P.M. Panthers will travel to UMass Dartmouth on Thursday to take on the Corsairs for a conference tilt at 7:35 P.M.