Panthers earn first victory of season
GORHAM, Maine – Senior Abby Van Wormer scored a power-play goal with 13:50 remaining Saturday afternoon to give the Plymouth State University Panthers a 3-2 victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in an ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Women's East hockey game at the USM Ice Arena.
The win was the first of the season for the Panthers and first-year head coach Ashley Kilstein, and gave them a split in the teams' weekend home-and-home series. The Huskies took Friday night's game at Plymouth, 4-3, in overtime. The Panthers improved to 1-8-3 overall and 1-5-2 in the league. The Huskies dipped to 4-8-2 overall and 4-3-1 in league play.
Van Wormer fired a shot from the blue line that somehow found its way past a gaggle of players in front of the net and past USM rookie goaltender Nikki Lauziere for her first goal of the season and a 3-2 Panther lead.
PSU sophomore goaltender Ali Ponte did the rest protecting the one-goal margin over the final 13:50. Ponte, who finished the game with 31 saves, kept the Huskies at bay, including a right-pad save in the final minute on a shot from senior Katie Paradis that changed directions after deflecting off a sliding PSU defender.
The Panthers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period as sophomore Alyssa Audet put a 20-foot shot from the slot past Lauziere for her second goal of the season. Rookie Kelsey Cosby and sophomore Stephanie Newmark earned the assists.
Junior Katie Davis got the equalizer for the Huskies before the end of the period when her shot from the left wing boards found its way past Ponte for her first goal of the campaign.
Southern Maine took its only lead in the game at 3:38 of the second period as sophomore Erin Banfield lifted a shot from the right-wing circle over the shoulder of Ponte for her second marker. Senior Kyle Blasen and sophomore Courtney White earned the assists.
With USM on the power play, PSU tied the game at 2-2 as senior Jaimie Camara lit the lamp for the third time this season with a 15-foot shot from the slot. Sophomore Jamie O'Brien picked up the lone assist.
Southern Maine piled up a 33-12 advantage in shots on goal during the contest, including a 14-3 edge in the final period. Lauziere made seven stops before giving way to classmate Liz Bergstrom in the third period. Bergstrom made two saves before being lifted with 38 seconds remaining in favor of the extra attacker as the Huskies pressed for a tying goal.
Southern Maine returns to action Tuesday night (7:00 p.m.) traveling to Bowdoin College. Plymouth State will host Connecticut College on Tuesday (6:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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