Vankleef Nets Two as Hockey Defeats #13 Nationally-Ranked Plymouth State, 3-1

Vankleef Nets Two as Hockey Defeats #13 Nationally-Ranked Plymouth State, 3-1

MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College men's hockey team defeated #13 Nationally-Ranked Plymouth State, 3-1, in non-conference action on Thursday night at the Max Ulin Rink in Milton, Mass. With the win the Colonels improve to 4-7-2 overall.  The loss drops the Panthers to 10-2 on the season.

Curry held a two goal lead through 40 minutes of play, netting a goal in each of the first two periods.  Despite being outshot 10-5 in the first, the Colonels got on the board at the 9:10 minute-mark. Curry won the faceoff in the Panthers defensive end gaining possession of the puck.  Freshman Mack Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) sent a pass to junior James Murphy (Malden, Mass.) who found classmate Dan McGinnis (Hanover, Mass.) open in front of the net.  McGinnis one-timed the puck past the glove of Plymouth's senior netminder Gordon Ceasar (Oak Park, Calif.) for the score.  The Colonels junior goaltender Brett Sinclair (St. Catharines, Ontario) was solid between the pipes turning away all ten shots he faced.

The second period saw Curry with the advantage in shots at 14-11.  Once again Sinclair was strong stopping all 11 shots and holding Plymouth scoreless.  The Colonels tallied the game-winning goal at 16:41.  Junior Tyler Vankleef (Dundas, Ontario) intercepted a Panther pass at the blueline in Curry's defensive zone.  Vankleef skated with the puck all alone down the ice and from just outside the crease shot it into the top right corner of the net for his first of two on the night.  Ceasar made some big stops to hold the Colonels to the lone goal and keeping the game close heading into the final period.  Through two periods Sinclair made 21 saves. 

Plymouth came out strong in the third and controlled most of the period as they had a demanding lead in shots at 16-4.  The Panthers got on the board with their only score of the game upsetting a shutout for Sinclair with a power-play goal at 14:43.   The Colonels junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Cary, N.C.) was called for elbowing at 13:00 and Plymouth was able to take advantage of the man-up situation just 17 seconds before the penalty expired.  Senior Josh Woody (Sunderland, Md.) earned an assist after sending a pass to classmate Andrew Wigg (Lantz, N.S.).  Wigg took a slap shot that sailed over the shoulder of Sinclair.  The Panthers couldn't hold onto the one-goal deficit too long as the Colonels answered back just 2:20 minutes later.  With 2:47 left to play, Vankleef netted his second in the game.  Junior Jake Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and sophomore Adam Valadao (Ajax, Ontario) were credited with the assists.  Plymouth pulled Ceaser from the goal to give them an extra skater but with great goaltending by Sinclair and tough defense, Curry came up with the 3-1 victory.

Curry went 0-5 on power plays while Plymouth was 1-5. Plymouth had 37 shots while Curry had 23. .

Sinclair made an impressive 36 saves in net for the Colonels in the win. Ceasar had 20 stops in net for the Panthers in the loss.

Curry is back in action on January 9 when they host SUNY Potsdam in a non-conference match-up at 4:45 p.m.  Plymouth returns to action also on January 9 when they host Wentworth in a 6:00 p.m. contest.