WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Freshman Garrett Dionne (Clarence Center, N.Y.) picked a terrific time for his first career goal, scoring a power play marker at 2:14 of overtime Saturday night to lead the Plymouth State College ice hockey team to a 5-4 victory over Nichols College at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
The victory earned Plymouth State a split of its ECAC Northeast Conference weekend doubleheader. The Panthers were upended Friday night in the season opener by Salve Regina, 4-2.
PSC appeared headed to a 4-3 victory over Nichols on Saturday, but the Bison pulled their goalie in the final minute and scored the tying goal with just five seconds remaining in regulation. Nichols actually scored in the final minute of all three periods.
The two teams were tied 1-1 after the first period, as freshman Matt Toutain (Lewiston, Maine) scored his first goal for PSC at 1:07 and Mike Loftus countered for Nichols at 19:18. The Panthers scored three unanswered goals in the second period, as junior John Hornor (Marlton, N.J.) and senior Mike Zegarelli (Clinton, N.Y.) connected just 13 seconds apart in the opening minute and senior Matt McPhee (Plymouth, Mass.) added a goal at the 15:43 mark.
Nichols whittled away at the lead, getting a goal from Jason Finoia at 19:06 of the second period, one from Brett Urban at 14:25 of the third, and the tying goal from Rob Erdmann at the 19:55 mark. Dionne got the game-winner for PSC, though, with senior Erik Nadeau (Waterville, Maine) picking up the assist, as Nichols' Dave Foley was sent off for tripping in the first minute of overtime.
Plymouth State had also scored first in Friday night's game vs. Salve, as freshman Eric Clark (West Hartford, Conn.) put PSC on the board just 4:30 into the contest. The Seahawks tallied the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead into the third period, but Hornor scored a power play goal for PSC at 3:12 of the third to pull the Panthers within one. The hosts could get no closer, and Salve skated away with the 4-2 triumph.
PSC junior goalie Larry Forgue (Nashua, N.H.) stopped 32 of 36 shots in the loss to Salve, and came back to make 29 saves in the win over Nichols.
PSC, 1-1, plays a non-conference game Tuesday (Nov. 21) against New Hampshire College at Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett (7:20 p.m.)