Fagan's late goal lifts Panthers to conference victory
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Alexis Fagan (Wakefield, R.I.) scored the game-winning goal with 35 seconds left in regulation Friday evening as Plymouth State University edged Saint Michael's College, 3-2, in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) game at Hanaway Rink.
The visitors scored twice in the third period to come from behind and take a 2-1 lead with 11 minutes remaining. PSU tied the game at 2-2 on a goal by senior Haley Branovan (Canandaigua, N.Y.) with 4:48 on the clock, setting up Fagan's game-winner. Branovan and Fagan share the team lead with eight goals on the season.
The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 8-12-2 overall and 4-9-1 in the NEHC, while Saint Michael's is now 3-18-0 overall and 3-11-0 in conference play.
New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) women's ice hockey
at Hanaway Rink, Plymouth, N.H. – Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
Plymouth State 3, Saint Michael's 2
PSU 8-12-2 (4-9-1 NEHC); SMC 3-18-0 (3-11-0 NEHC)
* Branovan finished with a goal and an assist to lead the PSU offense. Fagan and junior Courtney Evans (Fairbanks, Alaska) finished with one goal each, and sophomore Taylor Jackson (St. Albans, Vt.) provided an assist on the game-winning goal.
* Seniors Athena Akiki (Allendale, N.J.) and Tori Dinger (Norwell, Mass.) potted goals for the Purple Knights, with classmate Erin Dwyer (Weymouth, Mass.) collecting one assist.
HOW IT HAPPENED
* Saint Michael's had the upper hand in a scoreless first period, finishing with an 8-3 margin in shots on goal, but came up empty on the period's only power play opportunity.
* The teams played nearly 37 minutes of scoreless hockey before Evans put the Panthers on the board with a power play goal at 16:44 of the second period. Branovan had two shots on goal saved by the goalie, but Evans pounded home a rebound from the left doorstep for her fourth of the season.
* Saint Michael's finally broke through at 4:24 of the third period, tying the score at 1-1 on Akiki's fifth goal of the season. She received a nice pass in the slot from Dwyer and fired a shot high to the stick side to even the score.
* The visitors pulled ahead four minutes later on Dinger's first goal of the season as she picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone and snapped a quick shot just inside the right post at 8:46.
* Branovan took matters into her own hands as the clock wound down. She intercepted a clear at the Panther blue line, made a move around a defender, and fired the tying goal high to the glove side to tie the game at 2-2 with just 4:48 to play.
* With overtime looming, Fagan took a pass from Jackson in the neutral zone, skated down the right side and snuck a shot through the pads with 35 seconds remaining for the game-winner.
* The Purple Knights finished with a 24-22 advantage in shots on goal.
* PSU sophomore Emelie Lindqvist (Gullerason, Sweden) earned the victory (4-8-1) in net for PSU, making 22 saves. Senior Tina Frasca (Norwood, Mass.) stopped 19 shots in the SMC goal.
* PSU is on the road for an NEHC game Saturday, Feb. 11, visiting the University of Massachusetts Boston for a 1:00 p.m. face-off.
* Saint Michael's, which is playing its final four games of the regular season on the road, travels to Saint Anselm College on Saturday, also for a 1:00 p.m. start.
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