PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University rode its special teams to a 4-0 victory over the Saint Anselm College men's ice hockey team in the first meeting between the two programs in over 12 years on Saturday evening at Hanaway Rink.
Plymouth State (8-2-1) went 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off all seven power plays for Saint Anselm (5-6-1) on the evening. The Hawks and Panthers had not met since November 26, 2005 when Plymouth State recorded a 5-4 victory.
Matt Volonnino and Ryan Stevens each recorded a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who had nine skaters record at least one point in the win. Evan Morelli posted a 28-save shutout for Plymouth State in goal, while Colin Soucy made a season-high 32 stops for Saint Anselm.
The Panthers got the only goal they would need on the night from Brett Backman just 1:51 into the opening period. The hosts would double their lead midway through the first when Volonnino struck at the tail end of a power play to give Plymouth State a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
After Alec LeFave made it 3-0 at 4:14 of the second, Saint Anselm had a chance to cut into the deficit in the final two minutes of the period following a pair of penalties on the Panthers just 32 seconds apart. Morelli, however, made four saves to help Plymouth State kill off the 5-on-3 and preserve its 3-0 lead.
Stevens scored the lone goal of the third period for the Panthers at 10:16 to complete the scoring. Plymouth State outshot Saint Anselm in each period of the game and by a 36-28 margin on the night.
The non-conference matchup was Saint Anselm's final game of 2017. The Hawks return to action on Saturday, Jan. 6 when Wentworth visits Sullivan Arena for a 4 p.m. start.