BOSTON, Mass. - Juniors Jay Londer (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) and senior Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) scored two goals apiece Wednesday night to lead Plymouth State University to an 8-4 victory over Suffolk University in ECAC Northeast Conference men's ice hockey action.
The eight goals marked a season-high for the Panthers, who stopped a two-game losing skid and improved to 11-8-1 overall and 9-2-0 in conference play. PSU has clinched an ECAC Northeast playoff berth and has the inside track on home ice advantage in the first round. Suffolk, 6-11-4 overall, moved into eighth place in the Northeast (5-6-1) and is hoping for the final play-off slot.
Plymouth State out-shot Suffolk 59-25 for the game. Londer and LaCroix scored first period goals to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead, and after a Suffolk shorthanded goal to open the second frame, Nickerson, LaCroix and senior defenseman Joey Lee (Manchester, N.H.) tallied unanswered goals to make it a 5-1 game. It was Lee's first goal in 58 career games.
Freshman Ryan Collins (Amesbury, Mass.) scored the first of his two goals for the Rams at 14:03 of the second period to slice the margin to 5-2, but PSU answered with a pair of power play goals -- Nickerson with his second goal of the night late in the second and Londer his second of the contest early in the third, to make it a 7-2 game.
Suffolk added a pair of goals a little over a minute apart late in the third period, and PSU senior Charlie McLeman (Winchester, Mass.) rounded out the scoring with his first career goal (in 37 games) in the final minute.
Londer and LaCroix also collected two assists each, as did sophomore Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.). Goose LaCroix has taken over the team scoring lead with 14 goals and 23 points. Senior Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) recorded an assist and now has 99 career points in 90 games (52 goals, 47 assists).
PSU sophomore Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) picked up the victory in net with a 21-save effort. Senior Greg Blais (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) had a busy night for the Rams, making 51 saves.
Plymouth State plays another tough ECAC Northeast road game on Saturday at Fitchburg State (7:00 p.m.) Suffolk visits Nichols for a conference game Sunday night (8:00 p.m.)
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