WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Plymouth State College and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth wrapped up the regular ice hockey season Saturday night, with the Corsairs handing the Panthers a 3-1 ECAC Northeast Conference defeat at the Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
The win guarantees the Corsairs (18-4-3, 14-1-2) at least a share of the Northeast regular season title, while the Panthers (13-11-0, 10-7-0) finish in seventh place in the Northeast. Both teams will be in the ECAC Northeast playoffs, which begin Wednesday (Mar. 3), with opponents to be determined.
UMD took a 2-0 lead in the first period on a pair of power play goals. Sophomore Shawn Alles (Brockton, MA) connected at 11:30 with assists from Jon Ruel (Mattapoisett, MA) and Jamie DiBona (Weymouth, MA), and then junior John DeFazio (Cranston, RI) put UMD up 2-0 at 13:09, with assists from Tom Brown (Framingham, MA) and Jamie Carroll (Easton, MA).
Plymouth State got on the board before the end of the first period, with freshman Dave Moore (Anchorage, AK) knocking home a goal from senior Rob Fox (Mashpee, MA) at 18:31.
UMD got its two-goal lead back at the two-minute mark of the second period, when Brown finished off a play from Chris Carboneau (Falmouth, MA) and Chris Sullivan (North Kingston, RI). Neither team was able to crack the scoring column the rest of the way, and UMD held on for the win.
The Corsairs held a slight 31-26 advantage in shots on goal. PSC freshman goalie Larry Forgue (Nashua, NH), the Northeast's leader in goals against average and saves percentage, made 28 saves, while UMD's Louis Weimann (Burlington, VT) turned aside 25 PSC shots.
Plymouth State will make its second straight post-season appearance, and will play at either UMass Dartmouth or Fitchburg State on Wednesday. Eight of the 18 teams in the Northeast advance to the play-offs.
UMass Dartmouth could share the ECAC Northeast regular season title with Fitchburg State, depending on the result of Sunday's Fitchburg - Tufts game. UMD is the defending conference champion.
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