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Plymouth State Men’s Ice Hockey skates past Franklin Pierce

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Seniors Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) and Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) recorded a goal and three assists apiece Wednesday evening, leading Plymouth State University to a 9-1 victory over Franklin Pierce College in an ECAC Northeast Conference men's ice hockey game at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.

      Nine different players scored for the winners as the Panthers won their third straight game to improve to 13-8-1 overall and 11-2-0 in the Northeast, good for third place.  The 13 wins matches last year's total for the season and is the most since the 1993-94 team finished 17-8.  PSU also clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the upcoming ECAC Northeast Conference Tournament.  Franklin Pierce dropped to 1-17-4 overall and 0-11-3 in conference play.

      Plymouth State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, and put the game away with a five-goal second period.  Senior Mark Gibbons (Quincy, Mass.) scored the only Raven goal of the game on the power play at 4:30 of the middle frame.

      Nickerson's totals in the game give him 68 assists and 93 points in his career, which is tied for eighth on PSU's career scoring list.  Kane was honored before the game for scoring his 100th career point last week.

      Joining Kane and Nickerson in the PSU scoring parade were junior Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) and sophomores Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.), Ryan Moreau (Worcester, Mass.) and Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.) with a goal and an assist apiece.  Seniors Paul Feeney (Lowell, Mass.) and Joey Lee (Manchester, N.H./Central) and junior Derek Avakian (Edgartown, Mass.) also collected goals for the Panthers.

      The Panthers finished with a 53-38 advantage in shots on goal.  Sophomore goalie Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) made 26 saves in the first two periods to earn the win for PSU, and junior Brendan Fahy (Plymouth, Mass.) stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third.  Senior Rob Arduini (Fulton, N.Y.) and sophomore Steve Moore (Londonderry, N.H.) combined to make 44 saves for the Ravens.

      PSU is back in action Saturday with a conference game at Worcester State (8:00 p.m.), followed by the regular season final at Waterville Valley next Tuesday, Feb. 21, against Western New England (6:00 p.m.)  Franklin Pierce wraps up the regular season Saturday at Southern New Hampshire (4:30 p.m.)

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