WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Sophomore goalie Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) recorded his first career shutout and classmate Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) scored two goals Monday evening as Plymouth State University's men's ice hockey team posted a 5-0 victory over Stonehill College in the ECAC Northeast Conference opener for both schools at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
Helgesson, who was an All-Northeast performer as a freshman last season, stopped all 38 shots to lead the Panthers. He was coming off a career-high 49 saves against Nichols two nights ago. PSU scored once in each of the first two periods before pulling away with three goals in the final frame.
Sophomore Ryan Moreau (Worcester, Mass.) put the Panthers on the board at the 8:44 mark of the opening period, with an assist from classmate Deni Bojadzic (Gothenburg, Sweden). Topo LaCroix potted his first of the game with 20 seconds left in the second period to make it 2-0, with brother Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) and junior Jay Londer (Philadelphia, Pa.) picking up assists.
Senior Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) notched his second goal of the season 6:21 into the third period to extend PSU's lead to 3-0, with linemates Bojadzic and senior Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) assisting. Topo added a short-handed goal at the 16:13 mark, with senior Nick DeBaggis (Topsfield, Mass.) sending him in alone, and junior Andy Herlihy (Bow, N.H.) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers at 17:33, with junior Mykul Haun (Alameda, Cal.) and Derek Avakian (Edgartown, Mass.) collecting assists.
Stonehill outshot the Panthers, 38-33, but Helgesson was the difference. The Skyhawks used three goalies, each playing one period, with senior Billy Petrucci (East Bridgewater, Mass.) and junior Josh Green (Mendon, Mass.) each making nine saves in the first and second period, respectively, and junior Matt Gorman (Southboro, Mass.) stopping 10 shots in the third period.
PSU, 1-1 overall, is back in action Saturday with a conference game at UMass Dartmouth (4:30 p.m.), while Stonehill, 1-1, returns home to host UMass Dartmouth in its home opener on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.)
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