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What to Watch For

By Gary Zirpolo; For The Clock
On February 22, 2016

What to Watch For

Gary Zirpolo

 For The Clock

As we enter the final weeks of winter sports here at Plymouth State University, we take a look at what to watch for in the upcoming events for each sport.

Men’s Basketball

Under 5th year Head Coach Andrew Novick, the Men’s Basketball team currently is in the #4 seed in the little east conference, currently 15-8.

If the season ended today, the Panthers would have home court during the LEC Quarterfinals and could host Keene State on Tuesday, February 23rd here at Foley Gymnasium.  Clinching their 30th straight playoff berth dating back to the 1986-87 season.

Senior Forward Uche Nwokeii is one of the players to watch in these final games in the regular season. Nwokeii is currently in the top 5 in Rebounds per game (tied for 4th overall with Luis Bridtter of Western Connecticut) and in Field Goal Percentage (sitting at 3rd overall)

Junior Guard Curtis Arsenault currently leads the team in points and is 8th overall in the Little East Conference with 355 points this regular season.

Women’s Basketball

Under rookie head coach Allyson Flynn, the Women’s team sits in last place coming into the final two regular season games winning once in their past 12 games (1-11).  

If the season ended today:  as the #8 seed, the Women’s team would travel to #1 seeded Keene state for the first round of the playoffs

What needs to happen: in these last two games is the Panthers must win both games against Southern Maine and Western Connecticut while hoping Rhode Island College LOSES their final two games so Plymouth could clinch the #7 seed and face eastern Connecticut next Tuesday.

Player to watch: Junior Guard Ace Lawrence leads the team in points per game with 12.6 and is currently tied for 10th overall in the conference.   

Men’s Ice Hockey

An impressive season so far for the men’s hockey team going 17-4-1 this year under head Coach Craig Russell in a tight race for the #1 seed under Salem State (17-5-0) in the MASCAC.

If the season Ended today: Plymouth would have the first round bye and host the winner of the lowest remaining seed in the playoffs here at Hanaway Rink. In their sixth consecutive playoff appearance, the defending conference champions look to earn their 3rd conference title in the past 5 seasons

What Needs to happen:  nothing big needs to happen but if the Panthers want to clinch the top seed in the MASCAC, they need to win their final regular season games against Fitchburg and Worcester state before coming home to face Westfield State while Salem State has to lose 2 or 3 of the final games.

Player to watch for: Senior Forward Andrew Wigg who leads the team and the conference with 19 points (7+12) in 13 games is someone to watch in the final regular season games. Wigg has scored a point in 12 of his past 20 games. Watch for him in this tight scoring race.

One other player to keep an eye on during the last few games is senior goaltender Gordon Ceasar. Ceasar, who is 2nd overall in minutes played, save percentage and overall, is 12-2-0 in 14 games with a .926 save percentage that is second best in the conference.

Women’s Ice Hockey

The Women’s Ice Hockey Team currently is in 10th in the New England Hockey Conference at 8-15-0 under head coach Ashley Kilstein just 4 wins out of the 8th and final playoff spot. BUT: according to sources, with St. Anselm, Franklin Pierce, St. Michael’s, and Holy Cross not eligible for the post season the women’s team COULD earn the #7 seed.

If the season Ended Today:  again with the four schools not eligible for the 2016 postseason due to different divisions (St. A’s Franklin Pierce, St Michaels: Div. 2 while Holy Cross: Div. 1) the women would be the 8 seed and face #1 seeded Norwich College.

What Needs to happen:  all I can say is this: win and you’re in.

Player to watch for:  Keep an eye out for senior Forward Kelsey Lynch as she leads the women’s team with 12 points (7+5) heading into the final games.

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