Mustangs Erase Two-Goal Deficit to Down Neumann, Clinch First Round Bye

Mustangs Erase Two-Goal Deficit to Down Neumann, Clinch First Round Bye

ASTON, Pa. - Stevenson men's ice hockey senior Mike Davis and sophomore Dominic Brenza each recorded a goal and an assist while sophomore Alfred Panelin-Borg dished out a pair of assists as the Mustangs scored five unanswered goals en route to a 5-2 United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) victory over Neumann Friday evening at IceWorks Complex.

With the win, the Mustangs (11-7-7, 9-3-4 UCHC) set a new program record for wins and clinch a first round bye in the upcoming UCHC playoffs and will be the second seed. The win was also the first in the four-game series versus head coach Dominick Dawe's former squad. Stevenson is 5-1-1 over its last seven games to conclude the regular season.

After firing the opening two shots on net to start the game, Stevenson went on its first power play attempt just 1:29 into the contest. Sophomore Christian Ripley sent a shot off the post early in the man advantage the Mustangs managed just one shot on net that was saved by Matt Gibney.

Despite the visitors recording seven of the first 10 shots on net, the Knights (9-14-2, 8-6-2 UCHC) scored the game's opening goal, 52 seconds into their first power play of the game. Just 1:44 later, Neumann again went on the power play but the Mustangs recorded three shorthanded shot during the two-minute advantage for the hosts.

Stevenson started the second period with 1:56 power play after the hosts were whistled for a tripping penalty with four seconds left in the opening period but were only able to get one shot on Gibney. The Knights extended their lead to two at the 4:28 mark of the period, scoring an even strength four-on-four goal.

With 46 seconds remaining in the Mustangs third power play opportunity, senior Jordan Watt found the back of the net to close to deficit to within one on assists from Panelin-Borg and freshman Martino Piccarello. It is the first goal for Watt, who had five assists in his previous five games, in the last 10 games. Just 4:17 later Davis tied the game on assists from lines mates Brenza and freshman Carl Lyden.

Davis has a goal in three consecutive games while Lyden has an assist in five of his last seven games.

The visitors took the lead early in the third period as sophomore Colin Woods netted his fourth goal of the season off assists from freshman Aaron Murray and sophomore Colton McMenamin. Murray has five assists over his last four games. Sophomore Christian Ripley converted a power play goal to push the Mustangs lead to two with 8:04 remaining off the second assist from Panelin-Borg. Senior Doug Rose recorded the secondary assist, his third assist in the last two games.

Neumann elected to pull Gibney in favor of an extra skater with the Knights on the power play. But Brenza made them pay with a shorthanded empty net goal. It is his second shorthanded goal of the season and fifth overall for Stevenson. Davis was credited with the assist and now sits just six points shy of 100 for his career.

The Mustangs held a 39-32 edge in shots and finished 2-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. The visitors also won 39 of the 64 face-offs with Brenza going 13-for-17. Senior Jacob Caffrey finished with 30 saves.

Stevenson will host a UCHC semifinal contest on Saturday, February 24. Opponent and game time are TBA.