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PSU Ice Hockey drops overtime thriller at Southern N.H.

HOOKSETT, N.H. - Junior Jason Olitch (Calgary, Alberta) tipped in a shot by senior David Yazinka (Wakefield, MA) with 44 seconds left to play in overtime Wednesday night to lift Southern New Hampshire University to a wild 7-6 victory over Plymouth State University in ECAC Northeast hockey action.

SNHU improved to 6-5-0 overall and 5-3-0 in the league. The Panthers saw their five-game winning streak come to an end and dropped to 6-6-0 overall and 2-3-0 in the league.

Olitch totaled a goal and three assists for the Penmen, while sophomores Chris White (Naperville, IL) and Justin Hurley (Peabody, MA) each totaled two goals and two assists. Junior Chris Russo (Levittown, NY) added a goal and two assists for SNHU.

Sophomore Dennis Kane (Westford, MA) led the Panthers with a goal and three assists, while senior Mike Jackson (Middleton, MA) scored two goals. Senior Bryan Croft (Penacook, NH) helped the PSU cause with a goal and two assists.

The Panthers battled back from a pair of two-goal deficits in the seesaw battle that featured three lead changes and four ties. The teams combined for six powerplay goals and one shorthanded tally.

The Penmen dominated the first period, outshooting the Panthers 17-10 en route to a 3-1 lead. PSU scored four goals on just nine shots in the first 14 minutes of the second period and took a 5-4 lead into the third period. SNHU took advantage of a 5-on-3 powerplay and evened the game at 5-5 following Hurley's second goal of the game at 7:16 of the third period, and the Penmen regained the lead when Russo netted a powerplay goal just 36 seconds later. The Panthers forced overtime following Kane's powerplay goal with 3:58 left in regulation.

PSU had three golden chances to win the game late in the five minute overtime period, but SNHU netminder Rory Parnell (Derry, NH) denied freshman Derek Avakian (Edgartown, MA) and Kane on breakaway opportunities just 30 seconds apart. Parnell stoned Kane again during a two-on-one break with 1:22 left in overtime.

The game-winner came when Yazinka kept the puck in the PSU zone at the blueline and sent a shot towards the front of the Panther net. Olitch was alone in front of the net and deflected it past PSU goaltender Trevor Cherry (Greenland, NH) for his fifth goal of the year.

Parnell took over for SNHU starter Tim Fewster (Kitchener, Ontario) in net for the Penmen midway through the second period and recorded 21 saves. Cherry relieved starter Mike Mansson (Wilson, WY) at the start of the second period for the Panthers and finished with 18 saves. Mansson turned away 14 of 17 shots in the first period.

Both teams return to action Saturday (1/24). SNHU travels to UMass Dartmouth, while Plymouth State hosts Assumption.

(Courtesy of SNHU Sports Information)

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