Harding, Holmqvist pot first career goals in setback
FITCHBURG, Mass. – Freshman Anthony Ceolin (Simsbury, Conn.) scored with just 21 seconds remaining in overtime to lead Fitchburg State University to a 5-4 win over Plymouth State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at the Wallace Civic Center on Thursday night.
In a back-and-forth battle, Fitchburg held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but the Panthers rallied to tie the game each time. Freshman Kyler Harding (Wilmington, N.C.) gave PSU its first lead with his first career goal midway through the second, but the hosts answered with a pair of tallies to take a 4-3 lead into the final period. Freshman Lukas Holmqvist (Floda, Sweden) evened the game with 7:46 remaining to send the game to overtime and Plymouth State controlled the majority of the extra frame, but Ceolin gave the Falcons the win when his shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle found the top right corner with just 21 seconds remaining.
Plymouth State drops consecutive MASCAC contests for the first time since the first week of January 2019 to dip to 9-3-1 in the league and 9-9-2 overall. The Falcons improve to 11-7-2 and 8-3-2 in conference play.
Plymouth State 4, Fitchburg State 5 (OT)
Plymouth State (9-9-2, 9-3-1 MASCAC)
Fitchburg State (11-7-2, 8-3-2 MASCAC)
How it Happened.
- Fitchburg State got on the board 4:23 into the first period, but junior Peter Laviolette (Brentwood, Tenn.) tipped home a shot from sophomore Jarrett Slear (West Chester, Pa.) to even the game 1:26 later.
- The Falcons went back ahead midway through the period when freshman Hunter Fortin (Westerville, Ohio) snapped a wrist shot over the glove of PSU senior goaltender Andreas Pettersson (Trollhattan, Sweden).
- Freshman Leo Stolpe (Stockholm, Sweden) squared the game at 2-2 with 4:50 left in the period when he picked up a loose puck and fired a shot off the far post and in.
- The Panthers took their first lead of the night 8:40 into the second when Harding snuck a wrist shot from the blue line through traffic and inside the near post to make it 3-2.
- Fitchburg pulled even two minutes later and went back in front with just 1:14 left in the period, but PSU rallied again to tie the game with 7:46 left in the third when Holmqvist blasted a slap shot through traffic and under the pads of Fitchburg State junior goaltender Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.).
- Plymouth State kept pressure in the offensive zone for much of the overtime period, but Ceolin took a long feed and beat Pettersson high to the glove side with just 21 seconds on the clock.
Inside the Numbers:
- Harding finished with a goal and an assist for the Panthers, while junior Brett Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) also had a multi-point game with a pair of assists.
- Harding and Holmqvist each potted their first career goals.
- Pettersson made 38 saves in the losing effort to fall to 8-4-2, while McGrath stopped 60 shots to improve to 11-4-2.
- Plymouth State hosts Framingham State on Saturday (Feb. 8) for its annual Salute the Troops game. PSU will also honor its senior class as part of its Senior Day festivities.
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