POMFRET, Conn. - The Plymouth State University men's ice hockey team finished the first semester on a strong note Sunday evening, skating past Nichols College, 6-2, in an ECAC Northeast Conference contest at Jahn Rink at the Pomfret School.
The Panthers, who lost to Nichols by the same score earlier this season in a non-conference game at Waterville Valley, wrap up the semester at 6-3-1 overall, and unbeaten (4-0-0) in the Northeast Conference. PSU is tied with Wentworth for second place among the 12 schools in the conference. Nichols, which won only four games all of last season, fell to 5-4-2 overall and 0-2-2 in the Northeast.
PSU scored three unanswered goals in the second period, including a pair of shorthanded markers, to turn a 2-1 game into a 5-1 contest. The teams traded goals 14 seconds apart midway through the third period to round out the scoring. Plymouth State finished with a 30-28 margin in shots, only the third time in 10 games this season that the Panthers have had the shot advantage.
Nichols took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but PSU responded with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Sophomore Deni Bojadzic (Gothenburg, Sweden) put PSU on the board with a power play goal at the 15:31 mark, and sophomore Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) added an even-strength goal at 17:45.
Junior Andy Herlihy (Bow, N.H./Tilton) extended PSU's lead to 3-1 three minutes into the second period, and sophomore Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.) and junior Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) tallied shorthanded goals at 10:25 and 11:12, respectively, to make it 5-1.
Nichols scored its second goal at 6:48 of the third period, but senior Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) answered for PSU 14 seconds later with his team-leading eighth goal of the season, with an assist from classmate Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.). Kane improved his career totals to 49 goals and 90 points, which rank fourth on PSU's all-time list for goals and tied for ninth in points. Nickerson has a team-high seven assists this season and 57 in his career, tied for sixth on PSU's career assist list.
Sophomore Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) earned the win in the Panther net with 26 saves. He improved his season statistics to 2.62 goals against average and .933 saves percentage, a mark that is second-best in the league.
After a four-week break for final exams and the holidays, PSU returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 7, with an ECAC Northeast Conference home game against Framingham State at Waterville Valley (1:00 p.m.)
-- 30 --