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February 25, 2003

PSC falls to WNEC in season finale

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Senior Scott Rundlett (Framingham, Mass.) scored two goals and two assists Tuesday night, leading Western New England College's ice hockey team to a 6-4 ECAC Northeast Conference victory over Plymouth State College in the season finale for both schools.

WNEC concludes the season with a 5-16-2 overall record and a 4-11-1 mark in the Northeast, while PSC wraps up the campaign at 5-12-5 overall and 3-9-4 in conference play.

The Panthers held a 2-1 lead midway through the first period, but the hosts responded with five unanswered goals over the next 30 minutes, taking a 6-2 advantage. PSC came back with a pair of third period goals, but it was too little, too late.

In addition to Rundlett, the Bears got one goal apiece from freshman Pat Whalen (Nashua, N.H.), sophomores Mike Szmeiter (Plainville, Conn.) and Kevin Leonard (Tewksbury, Mass.) and junior Alan Larrabee (Bedford, N.H.).

Freshman Matt Gotts (Danvers, Mass.) led the Panthers with two goals, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games. Juniors Matt Toutain (Lewiston, Maine) and Bryan Croft (Penacook, N.H.) also collected goals for PSC, and junior Mike Jackson (Middletown, Mass.) added two assists.

Freshman Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) picked up an assist, and finished the season as the team leader in assists (15) and points (19). Freshman Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) completes the campaign with 18 points, including a team-high 14 goals, and sophomore Kyle Poirier (Concord, N.H.) winds up third on the team in scoring with 17 points. Nine of Poirier's 10 goals came on the power play.

PSC used three goalies in the finale, with junior Mike Mansson (Wilson, Wyo.) and freshmen Chris Hyson (Colchester, Conn.) and Joe McCabe (Saugus, Mass.) combining for 29 saves. WNEC went with two goaltenders, with seniors Chris Belden (Springfield, Mass.) and Shaun Burke (Ellington, Conn.) combining for 27 stops.

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