FITCHBURG, Mass. - Junior Jeff DuRoss (Weymouth, MA) and sophomore Tony Cinquegrano (Hingham, MA) each scored a pair of goals Wednesday night as Fitchburg State College eliminated Plymouth State College from the Eastern College Athletic Conference Northeast Division play-offs, 6-2, at the Wallace Civic Center.
It is the second straight year the Panthers have been eliminated by Fitchburg State in the first round of the ECAC play-offs. PSC made a better showing this year, compared to last season's 11-2 Falcon verdict. Fitchburg scored four times on the power play to put away the Panthers.
The seventh-seeded Panthers complete the season with a 13-12-0 overall record under first-year head coach Mike Bonelli, while second-seeded Fitchburg improves to 18-5-3.
It was a 1-1 hockey game with two minutes to go in the second period, but the Falcons scored a pair of power play goals in the final 1:32 of the middle frame and added another power play score in the opening minute of the third period to open up a three-goal advantage.
Fitchburg State took a 1-0 at the 16:14 mark of the first period on a power play goal by Robert Higgins (Reading, MA). PSC drew even two minutes and 50 seconds into the second period, when junior Rich Vega (New Milford, CT) connected on a power play score from Steve Colonna (Falmouth, MA) and Erik Nadeau (Waterville, ME). The Falcons went ahead for good on PPGs by Jason Cook (Westminster, MA) and DuRoss late in the second and Cinquegrano early in the third stanza.
Senior Josh Perry (Falmouth, MA) notched a power play goal for PSC midway through the third period, with assists from Eric Ryan (North Chelmsford, MA) and Kevin Creighton (Falmouth, MA), but Cinquegrano scored his second goal of the evening a minute later and FSC went on to the win.
PSC freshman goalie Larry Forgue (Nashua, NH) made 37 saves, while Fitchburg's Nick Gangemi (Tewksbury, MA) made 36 stops. Forgue completes the season with a school-record goals against average of 2.56. The old mark was held by Colin Heward, who posted a 3.38 mark in 1993-94.
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