BOSTON, Mass. - Junior Alex Olson (Hingham, Mass.) and freshman Paul Weisser (Longmeadow, Mass.) combined for three goals and three assists in the third period alone Wednesday evening as Suffolk University clinched its first ECAC Northeast men's ice hockey tournament berth in four seasons with a 5-3 league victory over Plymouth State in the regular season finale for both teams at Walter Brown Arena.
The host Rams, who finish the regular season at 12-13 overall and school-record best 10-6 in ECAC Northeast play, will be seeded fifth in the 2008 league playoffs and will take on fourth-seeded Wentworth in quarterfinal round action on Sunday evening at Matthews Arena across town beginning at 6:00 p.m. Plymouth State completes its season at 10-12-3 overall and 7-7-2 in the conference, missing the play-offs for the first time in four years.
The game remained scoreless through the first 47 plus minutes of action until senior Tim Dancey's (Anaheim, Calif.) power play goal 7:31 into the middle stanza gave Suffolk a 1-0 advantage after two periods of play. The two teams erupted for a combined seven tallies in the third frame, as Olson's first goal in the night on a Weisser feed 4:13 into the period extended the Ram lead to 2-0.
Freshman Kyle Tobin's (Kanata, Ont.) power play goal just 34 seconds later enabled the visiting Panthers to slice their deficit in half, but Weisser extended the hosts' edge back to a pair at the 6:01 mark on a pass from Olson, who traded power play markers with Plymouth State senior Deni Bojadzic (Gothenburg, Sweden) in a 1:14 span midway through the frame. Freshman David Rose's (Haddon Township, N.J.) goal with 26 seconds remaining enabled the visitors to close back to within one at 4-3, but junior Kyle Cook's (Chino Hills, Calif.) empty-netter with 20 seconds to play iced the Suffolk triumph and clinched just the second ECAC Northeast playoff berth ever for the Rams.
Cook added an assist to finish with two points in the win for Suffolk, which also received single helpers off the sticks of junior Mitch Sabo (Bell Canyon, Calif.) and sophomore Nick Davis (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Tobin finished with a goal and an assist in the setback for Plymouth State, which also received assists from senior Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.), sophomores Dave Dufresne (Dracut, Mass.) and Chris Cantara (Pelham, N.H.) as well as freshman Bryan Horrigan (Brookfield, Wis.).
Freshman Jeff Rose (Collinsville, Conn.) picked up his 12th win of the season in goal for Suffolk with a 34-save effort, as he stopped all 28 shots he saw over the first 44-plus minutes of play before allowing Tobin's power play goal, his first marker allowed in over 100 minutes of action. Senior Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) made 22 stops in net for Plymouth State as the Panthers outshot the Rams by a 37-27 margin for the contest. Suffolk avenged a 3-0 setback suffered to Plymouth State back on November 24th.
(Courtesy of Suffolk Sports Information)
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