WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Junior Matt Toutain (Lewiston, Maine) scored his second goal of the game with 2:05 to play in the third period Wednesday night, breaking a 4-4 tie and leading Plymouth State College to a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over Suffolk University in an ECAC Northeast Conference ice hockey game at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
The Panthers trailed 3-1 entering the third period, but put up five goals in the final 20 minutes to pull out the win and stop a six-game losing skid. The game also featured a hat trick by PSC freshman Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.), who sealed the victory with his third goal, an empty netter with 18 seconds remaining.
Suffolk, which had won four of its last five, took a 2-0 lead in the first period on power play goals by freshmen Matt Morrissey (Abington, Mass.) and Marc Lanzilli (East Boston, Mass.). Lanzilli's score came with just one second remaining in the opening frame.
PSC got one back three minutes into the middle period on Nickerson's first of the night, but the Rams answered with another power play goal at 10:34 by junior Scott Goodman (West Orange, N.J.).
The Panthers began their third-period comeback at 3:36 when freshman Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) scored his team-leading 12th of the season, with Nickerson and junior Mike Jackson (Middletown, Mass.) assisting. Toutain evened the game at 3-3 at the 8:25 mark with his first of the night, only to see Suffolk come right back a minute and a half later to regain the lead on a goal by freshman Sean Terry (Boston, Mass.).
Nickerson, who had only one goal and nine assists coming into the game, responded for the Panthers. He potted his second of the evening, unassisted, at 13:36 to deadlock the score at 4-4, setting the stage for Toutain's game-winner.
Freshman goalie Kyle VanDingstee (Skaneateles, N.Y.) made 32 saves for PSC to register his first career victory. Freshman Joe Paladino (Haverhill, Mass.) stopped 23 shots for Suffolk.
PSC, 5-10-3 overall and 3-7-2 in the conference, continues a four-game homestand with conference games Saturday against Fitchburg State (6 p.m.) and Sunday against Salve Regina (7 p.m.). Suffolk, 9-6-2 and 6-5-1, travels to Lebanon Valley for a Saturday conference clash (3 p.m.).