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PSU Men’s Ice Hockey falls to defending league champs

            NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth hockey team exorcised the ghost of their last loss at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Ice Arena Saturday evening.

            The Corsairs were 28-0-1 in their last 29 games at Hetland since losing to Plymouth State and goaltender Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden), 3-2 in overtime on November 19, 2005.They scored four goals against Helgesson in the first two periods Saturday and defeated the Panthers, 5-2, in an ECAC Northeast Conference game.

            No sooner had UMass Dartmouth raised a banner celebrating last year's ECAC Northeast championship and NCAA playoff berth than PSU drew first blood.  Senior Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) beat junior goaltender Jeff Green (Medway, Mass.) 42 seconds into the game to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

            The Corsairs came back, tying the score on the first goal of the night by freshman Joe Hill (Newburyport, Mass.) at 9:26 and taking the lead for good when junior Chris Shore (West Haven, Conn.) scored at 15:08 of the first period. Junior Nick Paquin (Warwick, R.I.) made it 3-1 with a power play goal 1:01 into the second period, and Hill's second goal of the  night, also on the power play, extended the Corsairs' lead to 4-1.  Sophomore Dave Dufresne (Dracut, Mass.) scored a power play goal for the Panthers at 17:20 of the second period to make it 4-2.

            The third period was scoreless until PSU pulled Helgesson for an extra attacker at 18:05 of the third period. Freshman forward Jason Stahl (Londonderry, N.H.) took a pass from Hill and scored into the empty net at 18:40 to seal the verdict.

            UMass Dartmouth out shot Plymouth State, 39-17, and killed eight of nine Panther power play chances while converting two of 10 opportunities with a man advantage. Green made 15 saves, while Helgesson was credited with 34.

            The Corsairs improved to 3-0 both overall and in ECAC Northeast play with the victory, while the Panthers fell to 0-1-1 and 0-1 in conference action with the defeat.

            UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host 11th-ranked Babson Tuesday. PSU will play Suffolk in the first round of the PAL/Stovepipe Tournament at Southern New Hampshire next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)

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