Panthers fall to Fitchburg State

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Senior Dan Goulet (Blackstone, Mass.) scored two goals and assisted on another Saturday evening, leading Fitchburg State College to a 5-2 victory over Plymouth State College in ECAC Northeast Conference ice hockey action at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.

It was a 1-1 hockey game late in the second period, but the Falcons tallied a pair of power play goals in the last four minutes of the period, including one at 19:33, to take a two-goal lead in the third. Fitchburg State added a pair of third-period scores to go up 5-1, and held off PSC the rest of the way.

The Falcons defeated the Panthers for the eighth straight time, dating back to the 1997-98 season. PSC is 1-13-1 against Fitchburg since 1994.

The victory keeps Fitchburg State within striking distance of the Northeast Conference leaders, improving the Falcons to 13-7-2 overall and 10-3-1 in league play. PSC saw its play-off hopes grow dimmer, falling to 5-11-3 overall and 3-8-2 in the Northeast.

Goulet and PSC freshman Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) exchanged goals in the first period, the 13th of the season for each skater. Senior Chris McNeil (Danvers, Mass.) and sophomore Chad Fletcher (Whitinsville, Mass.) notched the PPGs for FSC late in the second period, and Goulet and sophomore Robert Zapf (Woodbridge, Va.) added third-period goals for the Falcons. Goulet also assisted on FSC's final goal.

Junior Matt Toutain (Lewiston, Maine) rounded out the scoring with five minutes remaining with his third goal in two games for PSC, but it was too little, too late. Freshman Matt Gotts (Danvers, Mass.) assisted on both PSC goals.

Falcon senior captain Jason Holt (Fitchburg, Mass.) stopped 25 shots to pick up the victory in goal. PSC freshman Kyle VanDingstee (Skaneateles, N.Y.) made 24 saves on 29 shots before giving way to classmate Chris Hyson (Colchester, Conn.), who stopped all five shots he faced in the final 10 minutes.

PSC concludes a four-game homestand Sunday with an important conference contest against Salve Regina (7 p.m.), a make-up from the game that was postponed on Nov. 17. Fitchburg State plays again Thursday at Suffolk.