By Tyler Wahl
Rams Ice Hockey faced o0 against Plymouth State March 1 in a heated MASCAC playoff semifinal game.
The game started o0 scoreless for the first eight minutes until the Panthers were able to squeeze one by sophomore goalkeeper Blake Carlson.
The finish came off a rebounded shot from Panthers’ Peter Laviolette and was put in by Whim Stalburg to make the score 1-0 in favor of Plymouth State.
Throughout the rest of the period, Plymouth State outshot FSU by a healthy margin.
FSU was having trouble setting up any scoring opportunities – meaning their defense was going to have to make up for their lackluster offense.
The final score of the first period finished at 1-0 with the Rams trailing, but the de@cit could have been worse if it wasn’t for Carlson’s incredible goalkeeping.
Within the last two minutes of the @rst period, four shots were sent on net and each of them were easily handled by Carlson.
Framingham State was not as fortunate in the second period, however, as they let PSU steadily take a lead.
A goal was quickly scored in under two minutes of play when PSU’s Jeromey Rancourt slotted one by the FSU goalkeeper for a 2-0 advantage.
Plymouth State began to take full control of the game in the second period – rattling o0 four more goals to bring the tally to 6-1 by the end of the second period for FSU.
PSU was playing like a number-one seeded team should, and ran away with the game early.
Despite the massive lead Plymouth State had built, FSU was not done fighting for the life of their season.
Framingham State was able to make the game competitive off power play goals in the third period. The first came during a power play when junior forward Jacob Garman scored off an assist from freshman Dylan Marty.
Garman also played a pivotal role in keeping the game close as he @nished with a total of 2 goals to end the night.
Marty put in the next goal a few minutes after Garman’s initial scoring play and was completely unassisted.
Marty’s solo play kept the Rams momentum flowing – as freshman defender Patrick Colgan rattled another one in to make the score a more manageable 6-4.
The Rams took the risk and pulled the goalkeeper in the @nal minutes of the third period, resulting in a PSU open net goal from JR Barone to put the Panthers up 7-4.
Panthers’ Mike McPherson put in the last goal of the match to solidify the score at 8-4 and knock Framingham State out of the MASCAC tournament.
Despite the hard loss, the Ice Hockey team still has a lot to be proud of coming out of this season. Taking down the number two seed in the conference as an underdog is something most teams can’t pull off.
Carlson spoke after the hard-fought game saying, “My teammates are the reason I play hockey. They all put in an exceptional amount of work during the season – on and o0 the ice.”
That hard work undoubtedly paid off in their playoff run. Although the team didn’t have the endurance to make the finals, this momentum will hopefully set the program up for a good start next year.
Carlson added, “I think we saw success come from our leadership group and their desire to win. Our captain, Brian Kozek, put in a ton of work o0 the ice to make sure we were prepared and in the right mindset for the playoffs.”
Kozek played his part in this game as well, chipping in with one assist on the night. Carlson also finished with an incredible 42 saves for the game.
The grueling regular season and unexpected playoff success of the Ice Hockey team gives the program and team motivation for their upcoming season next winter.