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PSU Men’s Hockey drops championship game of Paine Webber Classic

 WORCESTER, Mass. - Three players scored two goals apiece Saturday night to lead Fitchburg State College past Plymouth State University, 7-4, for the championship game of the 2004 Paine Webber Classic men's ice hockey tournament, hosted by Assumption College.

            Sophomore Mike Dryer (Rockland, Mass.) and seniors Chad Fletcher (Whitinsville, Mass.) and Ian Palmer (Groton, Mass.) each connected on a pair of goals for the Falcons. Senior Rob Zapf (Woodbridge, Va.) also tallied for Fitchburg State as the Falcons captured the tournament title and improved to 3-0-0 on the season.

            Plymouth State, which advanced to the title game with a dramatic shootout victory in Friday night's semifinals after skating to a 7-7 tie with Assumption, gave Fitchburg State everything it could handle.  The Panthers had a 31-23 advantage in shots on goal and tallied three power play markers, but ended up on the short end.

            Freshman Chris Cadieux (Concord, N.H.) led the Panther offense with two goals and one assist, one coming on the power play and one shorthanded.  Junior captain Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) added a goal and two assists.  Freshman Goose Lacroix (Moretown, Vt.) also collected his first career goal with a first-period power play marker.

            Nickerson's power play goal with 2:38 left to play in the third made it a one-goal game (5-4) but Fitchburg State tacked on two late goals, including an empty netter.

            Sophomore Nick Hankes (Braintree, Mass.) made 27 saves to pick up the win in the Falcon net, while PSU split its goaltending chores.  Junior Kyle VanDingstee (Skaneateles, N.Y.) started and allowed three goals on 13 shots in the first 30 minutes, and freshman Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) surrendered three goals on nine shots over the second half of the game.

            PSU, 0-1-1, is back in action next Saturday, Nov. 20, in the home opener at Waterville Valley and the ECAC Northeast Conference  debut against UMass Dartmouth (6:00 p.m.).

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