MILTON, Mass. - Defending champion and second-seeded Curry College scored four first-period goals Wednesday and never looked back, skating to a 6-0 victory over third-seeded Plymouth State University in the semifinals of the ECAC Northeast Conference men's ice hockey tournament at Curry's Max Ulin Rink.
The Colonels, who knocked PSU out of the tournament in the semifinals for the second straight season, improve to 16-10-1 overall and advance to their third straight Northeast championship game. Curry will travel to regular season champion UMass Dartmouth Saturday for the title clash, as UMD eliminated Nichols College in Wednesday's other semifinal, 6-2.
Curry, which needed a late third-period goal to defeat PSU during the regular season at Waterville Valley (N.H.), came out firing in the first period on Wednesday, outshooting the Panthers 17-8 and putting up the four goals. The Colonels extended the margin to 5-0 early in the second period, and rounded out the scoring with a third-period power play goal.
PSU was never able to recover from the first period onslaught. The Panthers managed 23 shots, but couldn't get one past Curry senior Lenny Mosca (Ludlow, Mass.), who posted his fourth shutout of the season. Sophomore Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) finished with 33 saves for the visitors.
Plymouth State ends its season with a 16-9-1 overall record under coach Brett Tryder. The 16 wins is the third-most in school history, trailing only the 1993-94 team that finished 17-8-0 and the 1985-86 Panthers that own the school record with a 19-6-0 mark.
Seniors Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) and Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) completed their careers as two of PSU's all-time leading scorers. Kane finished with 59 goals, 53 assists and 112 points to rank third on the school's all-time goals list and fourth on the all-time points list, while Nickerson ended up with 26 goals and 74 assists, ranking third on PSU's career assist list and seventh on the points list.
Helgesson finished the season with a 2.88 goals against average, the second-lowest singe-season mark in PSU history, and a .919 saves percentage. His 759 saves were also second-most in the program's history.
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