Wigg leads Panthers to fifth straight MASCAC title game
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Andrew Wigg (Lantz, N.S.) tallied a goal and two assists Tuesday evening as second-seeded Plymouth State University upended third-seeded Fitchburg State University, 6-2, in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey semifinal at Hanaway Rink.
The Panthers improve to 21-4-1 overall and advance to their fifth straight MASCAC championship game. PSU will look to defend its title and win its third MASCAC championship in five years this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at top-seeded Salem State University, as the Vikings edged fifth-seeded Westfield State University in overtime in the other semifinal, 5-4. Fitchburg State concludes its season at 11-14-2.
PSU got goals from six different players and finished with a 34-25 advantage in shots on goal. Freshman Colby Lanceleve (Stewiacke, N.S.) collected three assists and senior goaltender Gordon Ceasar (Oak Park, Calif.) made 23 saves to post the victory to improve his season record to 18-3.
Plymouth State scored all six of its goals in the second half of the game, with three coming on the power play and one short-handed. The upset-minded Falcons led 1-0 midway through the game but PSU took control with three straight goals to close out the second period, and added three more in the third period to seal the win.
Fitchburg State got on the scoreboard first, five minutes into the second period. Junior Cameron Snyder set up senior Ryan Connolly on the left side and he dumped his 10th of the season into an open net.
PSU finally broke through with seven minutes to play in the middle period on a short-handed goal by Wigg, converting a 2-on-1 with freshman Tim Perron (Northborough, Mass.) for his 10th of the year. Two minutes later the Panthers took the lead on a power play goal by junior Tommy Dowell (Olathe, Kans.), scoring his first of the season on a shot from the left point that went top shelf through a screened goaltender. Junior Dan Dupell (Collegeville, Pa.) pounded home a loose puck just inside the right post two minutes after that to make it 3-1 after two periods.
Junior Ryan Callahan (Londonderry, N.H.) extended the margin to 4-1 four minutes into the third with some nifty stick handling around the goalie and sliding the puck in on a backhander. Fitchburg got one back four minutes later when Ricky Kramer scored from along the right end line, but PSU tacked on goals by senior Josh Woody (Sunderland, Md.) and junior Ian McGilvrey (Omaha, Neb.) to seal the win.
Salem State took two out of three regular season meetings against Plymouth State this winter. PSU won the first one on Nov. 14 at Salem, 5-2, but the Vikings claimed the next two, winning 4-1 in Plymouth on Jan. 16 and 3-1 in Salem on Feb. 11.
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