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Plymouth State Hockey edges Stonehill in opener, 5-4

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Sophomore Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) scored his second goal of the game with four seconds remaining in regulation, lifting the Plymouth State University hockey team to a 5-4 victory over Stonehill College in an ECAC Northeast Conference game at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.

The win gives new Panther head coach Brett Tryder a victory in his coaching debut as PSU begins the season with a dramatic triumph. Stonehill, which battled back from a 3-0 first-period deficit to take a 4-3 lead with six minutes remaining in the third before giving up a pair of late goals, drops its third straight one-goal game to start its season.

The Panthers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. Kane put PSU on the board just 17 seconds into the contest, and freshman Mykul Haun (Alameda, Cal.) made it 2-0 with a shorthanded marker at 5:59. Junior Kyle Poirier (Concord, N.H.) added a power play goal at 9:52, marking the end of the night for Stonehill starting goalie Josh Green (Mendon, Mass.).

The Chieftains began their comeback with a pair of second period scores. Sophomore Brian Dudley (Waltham, Mass.) connected on a power play goal at 5:56, and senior Will O'Connell (Quincy, Mass.) brought Stonehill to within one at 8:36.

Stonehill senior Rob Pascale (South Portland, Maine), who assisted on both second-period goals, got the equalizer with one of his own, on the power play, 32 seconds into the third period, helping the Chieftains go 2-for-12 with the man-advantage. The visitors got a go-ahead goal at 14:08 of the third from sophomore Andrew Joy (Vernon, Conn.).

PSU would not give up, though. Sophomore Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) tied things up at 4-4 at the 16:14 mark, and with overtime looming, Kane sent the crowd home happy with the game-winner at 19:56.

Senior goalie Michael Mansson (Wilson, Wyo.) earned the victory for the Panthers with a 26-save effort. Freshman Matt Gorman (Southboro, Mass.), who came on to replace Green midway through the first period, ended up with 27 stops.

PSU returns to action next Saturday with an ECAC Northeast Conference game at UMass Dartmouth (4:30 p.m.). Stonehill returns home to host UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday (7:15 p.m.).

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