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Panther Hockey edges Neumann for fifth win in a row

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Senior Matt Toutain (Lewiston, Maine) scored his second goal of the game with 3:19 remaining Saturday night, lifting Plymouth State University's hockey team to a 5-4 non-conference victory over Neumann College (Pa.) and its fifth consecutive triumph, the longest streak in seven years.

The Panthers improve to 6-5 overall on the season and 4-0 in the last nine days. Neumann falls to 3-13-1, including 0-11-1 in its last 12. Plymouth State has won five in a row for the first time since a five-game streak from Dec. 14, 1996 to Jan. 23, 1997.

PSU led 2-1 after one period, as sophomore Dennis Kane (Westford, MA) and junior Max Wernert (Greenwich, Conn.) scored power play goals for the Panthers and Neumann countered with a goal by Frank Pew. PSU extended its lead to 4-1 in the second period on goals by Toutain and junior Michal Bodnar (Olomouc, Czech Rep.). Tim Tabb got one back right away for the visitors, but the Panthers took a 4-2 advantage into the third period.

Neumann managed to tie the game on goals by John Nicoletti at 5:33 and Joe Viscuse on the power play at 12:30, but Toutain netted his second of the night and third in the last two games to give the hosts the win.

PSU finished with a 39-31 advantage in shots on goal. Sophomore Kyle VanDingstee (Skaneateles, N.Y.) made 15 saves on 18 shots in the first 46 minutes for PSU, and senior Michael Mansson (Wilson, Wyo.) came on to stop 12 of 13 shots to preserve the victory. Joshua Vega recorded 34 saves for the Knights.

PSU returns to action Wednesday (1/21) when it visits Southern New Hampshire University for an ECAC Northeast Conference game (7:30 p.m.). Neumann returns home to host Buffalo State next Friday and Saturday (7:00 p.m.).

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