WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University men's ice hockey team fell short to Plymouth State University 5-2 Saturday evening in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.
With the loss, Worcester State drops to 5-16-2 overall on the season and 3-12-1 in MASCAC play.
Prior to the game, the Worcester State Athletic Department honored the three members of the men's ice hockey team's Class of 2020. Nick Patullo (Doylestown, Pa.), Colin Whitt (Southlake, Texas), and Josh Reinstein (Woodland Hills, Calif.) were all joined on the ice by friends and family for the ceremony.
Once the contest got underway, the Lancers got on the board first. Junior Matthew Manning (Novi, Mich.) went end-to-end before scoring high on the short side for his eighth goal of the season 6:37 into the contest. Worcester State appeared to be headed to the locker room ahead by a goal, but Jake Gerbner's sixth of the season with just under a minute to play in the first sent the game to intermission knotted at 1-1.
Three Panther goals in a span of 4:50 in the final six minutes of the second period all but put the contest out of reach for the Lancers. Myles Abbate, Brett Backman, and Gerbner all scored in the frame to extend Plymouth's lead to 4-1.
Just over three minutes into the third, Brian Smith (Dracut, Mass.) made things interesting for Worcester State, burying his sixth goal of the season of a rebound to cut the deficit to 4-2. Gunther Stange (Niles, Ill.) and Jake Karelas (Melrose, Mass.) tallied helpers on the goal.
Worcester State could get no closer however, as Gerbner completed the hat trick with an empty netter with 30 seconds to play. Backman and goaltender Andreas Pettersson were credited with assists on the play.
Reinstein took the loss in net for Worcester State despite making 36 saves. Pettersson stopped 30 Lancer shots in addition to his helper.
Next up for Worcester State, they'll play their final road contest of the season at Salem State next Saturday at 2 p.m.