BOSTON, Mass. - Junior Tom Beaulieu (Hudson, NH/Methuen H.S.) registered his first career hat trick Wednesday night, leading the Plymouth State College ice hockey team to a 6-2 ECAC Northeast Conference victory over Suffolk University.
Beaulieu scored PSC's first three goals of the game, handing the Panthers a 3-1lead early in the second period and matching Beaulieu's previous season goal scoring total. The team's leading scorer, senior Rich Vega (New Milford, Conn.), notched his eighth goal of the season later in the second period, and senior Kevin Creighton (Falmouth, Mass.) added a pair of insurance goals, giving him four in his last two outings.
The win improves the Panthers to 5-8-2 overall, and into a three-way tie for sixth in the Northeast with 10 points (4-3-2). Suffolk drops to 3-12-0 and 2-7-0 in the Northeast.
Freshmen Dave Lebel (Auburn, MA) and Chad Fitzpatrick (North Quincy, MA) each picked up a pair of assists on Beaulieu's goals. Lebel is the leading rookie scorer on the team with four goals and five assists in 12 games.
The Rams got goals from Evan Crockford and Josh Wilcox, with Crockford connecting on a first-period power play marker. It was just the sixth power play goal scored against PSC this season. In fact, the Panthers lead the nation in Division III in penalty killing percentage (.930).
The Panthers peppered the Rams net with 57 shots on goal, and SU goalie Matt Consentino made 51 saves. PSC sophomore Larry Forgue (Nashua, NH) made 35 saves in the winning effort.
Plymouth State plays a key Northeast Conference game Saturday (Feb. 12) at Fitchburg State (7:30 p.m.), and returns home next Tuesday (Feb. 15) to host Tufts at Waterville Valley (7 p.m.).
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