Fagan pots game-winner in third period, Lindqvist records fourth shutout
GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Alexis Fagan (Wakefield, R.I.) broke a scoreless tie with a shorthanded goal at the 11:57 mark of the third period to lift the Plymouth State University women's ice hockey team to a 2-0 win over the University of Southern Maine in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) game at the USM Ice Arena on Friday night.
With the win the Panthers improve to 6-9-4 (5-2-2 NEHC) and move into a tie for second place with the University of Massachusetts Boston. Southern Maine dips to 6-13-1 and 2-6-1 in league games.
Following nearly 52 minutes of scoreless, back-and-forth action, Fagan finally broke through with her fourth goal of the year. While down a skater, sophomore Kailey Jacobs (Westwood, Mass.) fired a shot from the top of the left circle. USM sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Padgett (Eden Prairie, Minn.) made the save but left a juicy rebound right in front and Fagan planted it in the back of the net to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
USM had multiple scoring opportunities through the final eight minutes, but junior goalie Emelie Lindqvist (Gulleråsen, Sweden) made a number of incredible saves to keep the Huskies off the score board.
The hosts' best chance came in the final two minutes. After pulling Padgett for the extra attacker, a Southern Maine skater, from behind the PSU goal, flipped the puck to an open teammate in front, but Lindqvist denied the shot and the Panthers were able to clear the zone.
Following the clear, junior Brooke Maggy (Los Angeles, Calif.) took the puck along the left side while being ridden by a USM defender. Maggy was able to muscle through and pushed the puck off the far post and into the empty net to give the Panthers some breathing room.
Plymouth was aggressive from the start. The Panthers owned a 13-2 advantage in shots in the opening period, but Padgett made a number of difficult stops to keep the game scoreless until Fagan's heroics.
Lindqvist made 18 saves in her first action in nine days to post her fourth shutout of the season. She is currently second in the league with a .940 save percentage, and third with a 2.04 goals against average and improves to 4-5-4 with the win.
Padgett finished with 28 saves, but suffered the loss to fall to 4-5-0.
PSU wraps up a key NEHC weekend with a league game at the University of New England tomorrow. The two teams have a history of playing close games, including a 1-1 tie at Hanaway Rink on Nov. 4. Puck-drop is set for 4:00 p.m.
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