Myles Abbate took the ice for Plymouth State’s opener against Plattsburgh in late October in a familiar place, but without some familiar faces.
Since his freshman year, before the pandemic threw Division 3 hockey — and life everywhere — into uncertain chaos, Abbate (Norwell, Mass.) would skate out to his left wing position knowing JR Barone and Mike McPherson were skating out with him.
That first line helped coach Craig Russell’s team prosper in recent years, winning MASCAC titles and reaching the NCAA tournament in 2020 and ’22. Last season, the trio produced 37 percent of the team’s goals and 31 percent of its points.
“It’s kind of crazy,” said Abbate. “I remember talking about it at the end of last season with Craig. Playing with JR and ‘Mickey,’ it was so fun. We just clicked right away. … I’d never played with anyone in my life for that long.”