PSU Men’s Ice Hockey edges Westfield State in OT

Walters' goal in final second lifts Panthers to MASCAC win

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior defenseman Dave Walters (Ottawa, Ont.) scored his first goal of the season with one second left on the overtime clock Thursday evening to lift Plymouth State University to a 3-2 victory over Westfield State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Hanaway Rink.

            All five goals in the game came with a skater in the penalty box as Westfield State scored a pair of power play goals and Plymouth State counted one power play goal and two short-handed markers, including Walters' game-winner. Junior Phil Arnone (Litchfield, N.H.) had a goal and an assist for PSU and sophomore TJ Powers (East Greenwich, R.I.) did the same for the visitors.

             It was the second time in as many games this season that the Panthers and Owls have gone to overtime; Westfield took the first meeting in an extra session back on Nov. 13.  Plymouth State maintains first place in the MASCAC with a 6-1-0 conference record (10-4-0 overall) while Westfield State slips to 3-4-0 in league play and 7-6-0 overall.

            Sophomore defenseman Zach Sarig (Reading, Pa.) scored the only goal of the first period at the 13:30 mark on a PSU power play, beating the goalie with a wrister to the stick side.  That 1-0 score lasted through the end of the first period and all 20 minutes of the second as PSU senior Jack Astedt (Angelholm, Sweden) and WSU sophomore Ian Perrier (Whitehorse, YT) held strong in their respective goals.

            Westfield State got on the board at 7:03 of the third period with a power play goal by freshman Mike Puddifant (Salmon Arm, B.C.) after a nice crossing pass from Powers.  The Owls got a power play opportunity with 7:13 remaining in the period, but PSU capitalized on an Owl miscue behind the net; Arnone pounced on the puck and scored his first of the season on a wraparound shorthander to give PSU the lead back, 2-1.   Westfield managed to force overtime when Powers tallied his fifth of the season with just 1:02 remaining in regulation.

            The overtime clock was winding down in the final minute when PSU was whistled for a penalty, but the home team would not be denied.  Freshman Andrew Wigg (Lantz, N.S.) brought the puck up the ice, passed to Arnone, who found Walters for the short-handed game-winner with just one second remaining.

            PSU finished with a 30-23 advantage in shots on goal.  Astedt finished with 21 saves for PSU while Perrior made 27 stops for the Owls.

            Both teams play MASCAC games again on Saturday with PSU hosting Framingham State and Westfield entertaining Worcester State.

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