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Plymouth State and Assumption tie in men’s ice hockey season opener


- Plymouth State University's ice hockey team advanced to the championship game of the 2004 Paine Webber Classic Friday night, winning a shootout over host Assumption College after battling the IceDogs to a dramatic 7-7 overtime tie.

            Assumption overcame a three-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes of the third period to force overtime and forge the 7-7 deadlock.  Plymouth State, making its season debut, led by as much as four goals (6-2) late in the second period before hanging on for the tie.

            PSU moves on to play Fitchburg State at 7:30 p.m. in Saturday's title game.  The Falcons knocked off Worcester State, 4-2, in Friday's first game.  Assumption and WSC will play in the third-place game at 4:30 p.m.

            Panther junior defenseman Matt Withers (Laconia, N.H.) led all scorers with two goals and three assists. His first goal put PSU up 3-1 late in the first period, and his second extended the margin to 4-2 early in the second.   Junior Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) added two goals and one assist, including the first goal of the season just 38 seconds into the game, and PSU's final goal which put the Panthers up 7-4 with 9:44 remaining in the third period.

            Assumption battled back on goals by Phil Demers, Jeff Ilvonen and Geno De Angelis, the tying scoring coming with just 48 seconds remaining.  The IceDogs outshot the Panthers, 50-30, including a 15-3 margin in the third period, but PSU sophomore goalie Trevor Cherry (Greenland, N.H.) made 43 saves, including 19 in the saves in the second period and 11 in the third.

            Also scoring goals for PSU were junior Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) and sophomores Jay Londer (Philadelphia, Pa./Fr. Judge) and Andy Herlihy (Bow, N.H./Tilton).

            Mike Sweeney made 23 saves for Assumption, which is now 1-0-1.

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