WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Juniors Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) and Paul Feeney (Lowell, Mass.) registered a goal and two assists apiece Saturday night as Plymouth State University's men's ice hockey team stopped an eight-year winless streak against Fitchburg State College with a 5-3 ECAC Northeast Conference victory at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
The Panthers pull into a tie with the Falcons for fourth place in the Northeast. PSU improves to 6-5-1 in conference play (9-9-2 overall) while FSC drops to 6-6-1 in the Northeast (9-11-1 overall). The nine wins this season is the most for Plymouth State since the 1998-99 team finished 13-12-0.
PSU had dropped 10 straight to Fitchburg State since 1997 and had gone 0-10-1 in the last 11. The last Panther victory over the Falcons was a 5-4 overtime decision on Jan. 14. 1997.
FSC senior Chad Fletcher (Whitinsville, Mass.) and PSU freshman Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.) traded first period power play goals. The visitors took a brief lead at 10:43 of the second on a goal by senior Matt Cunha (Hudson, Mass.), but Kane answered for PSU 28 seconds later with his team-leading 10th of the season. Freshman Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) and junior Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) added consecutive goals a minute and 13 seconds apart later in the period to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead after two. PSU had a whopping 28-2 advantage in shots in the second period, leading to a 44-25 margin for the game.
Sophomore Stephen Schofield (Sherman Oaks, Cal.) cut the FSC deficit to one goal with 2:14 to play in the third, but Feeney sealed the win for Plymouth State with an empty net goal.
Panther freshman Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) made 22 saves to earn the victory. Sophomore Devan McConnell (Lake Stevens, Wash.) was solid for the Falcons, making 39 saves.
PSU returns to action Wednesday at Franklin Pierce (7:00 p.m.). Fitchburg State returns home to host Suffolk on Thursday (7:00 p.m.)
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