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Stonehill hands PSC 9-4 setback in opener

BRIDGEWATER, Mass.-- Senior Mike Ryan (Chicopee, Mass.) netted a career-high four goals, while junior Will O'Connell (Quincy, Mass.) added five points (including a penalty shot conversion) to lead Stonehill College to a 9-4 ECAC Northeast ice hockey victory over Plymouth State College Wednesday evening at the Bridgewater Ice Arena.

The host Chieftains (2-2, 2-1 ECAC Northeast) took an early 2-0 lead on goals by Ryan and senior Brendan Flemming (Troy, N.Y.), but the visiting Panthers (0-1, 0-1 ECAC Northeast) sliced their deficit in half at the end of one period on a marker by senior Craig Russell (Northfield, Vt.). Ryan and O'Connell each lit the lamp twice in the middle stanza to account for all four of Stonehill's second period tallies that gave the Chieftains a 6-2 advantage, as O'Connell's second goal of the period came on a penalty shot. Stonehill then broke things open with three straight tallies to start the third period off the sticks of Ryan, Flemming and junior Brendan Ready (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) to close out its scoring column.

Flemming added two assists to finish with a four-point night for the winners, who also received three assists off the stick of junior Rob Pascale (South Portland, Maine) and a pair of helpers from senior Erik Patten (Wolfeboro, N.H.).

Freshman Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) netted a pair of goals for Plymouth State in its season opener, while fellow freshman Dan Butler (Gales Ferry, Conn.) added the other marker of the evening for the Panthers and an assist for a pair of points in his collegiate debut. Freshman Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) also collected three assists for the visitors in their setback.

Senior Phil Graves (Pepperell, Mass.) picked up the win in goal for Stonehill with a 14-save effort, while junior Mike Mansson (Wilson, Wyo.) and freshman Chris Hyson (Colchester, Conn.) combined for 25 stops in net for Plymouth State as the Chieftains outshot the Panthers by a 34-18 margin for the contest.

Stonehill hosts Franklin Pierce in a non-league outing on Saturday afternoon at the Bridgewater Ice Arena beginning at 3:45 p.m., while Plymouth State entertains UMass Dartmouth in an ECAC Northeast outing on Saturday evening in Waterville Valley, N.H. (6:00 p.m.).

(Courtesy Stonehill Sports Information)