WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - There were strong goaltending performances at both ends of the ice Saturday evening at Plymouth State University and Fitchburg State College skated to a 1-1 tie in an ECAC Northeast Conference men's hockey game at Waterville Valley Arena.
Junior Devan McConnell (Lake Stevens, Wash.) made 39 saves for Fitchburg State, while freshman Erik Shields (Lebanon, Maine) turned away 38 shots for Plymouth State at the opposite end, including several during a Falcon power play in the final three minutes of regulation.
PSU is now 8-12-2 overall and 7-4-1 in the Northeast, while FSC moves to 12-8-3 overall and 8-3-2 in league play. Fitchburg State had defeated Plymouth State 7-2 earlier this season in the consolation game of the Salem State Tournament.
Senior Ryan Moore (Randolph, Mass.) got the only goal for Fitchburg State at the eight-minute mark of the opening period, scoring a shorthander on a breakaway set up by classmate Steve Carkin (Fitchburg, Mass.) The Falcons maintained that 1-0 lead until senior Nate Gardner (Manchester, N.H.) knocked home his first goal of the season for Plymouth State on a rebound at 15:05 of the second period, with seniors Derek Avakian (Edgartown, Mass.) and Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) picking up assists.
That turned out to be all the scoring as the goaltenders took over. PSU finished with a slim 40-39 advantage in shots on goal, including 3-2 in the overtime period.
Both teams visit ECAC Northeast rival Franklin Pierce in their next game, Fitchburg State facing the Ravens on Monday (7:00 p.m.) and Plymouth State making the trip on Wednesday (7:00 p.m.)
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