MANCHESTER, N.H. – Plymouth State University captured the Manchester Police Athletic League (PAL) Stovepipe Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament for the first time, winning the 11th annual event Sunday with a shootout victory over Brockport State in the championship game held at Saint Anselm College’s Sullivan Arena.
PSU and Brockport State battled to a 3-3 deadlock through regulation play and an overtime period. The game goes into the record books as a tie, but a shootout was held to declare the tournament champion, and Plymouth State won the shootout in four rounds, 2-0.
PSU captains (from left) Jay Londer, Rory Nickerson and Nick DeBaggis show off the PAL Stovepipe Trophy (right).
Panther sophomore goalie Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) made 30 saves during 60 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime, but his biggest stops came during the shootout as he stopped all four pucks he saw. After a 47-save effort in PSU’s first-round overtime win over Saint Anselm on Saturday, Helgesson was named All-Tournament Goalie and Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Classmate and fellow Swede Deni Bojadzic (Gothenburg, Sweden) joined Helgesson on the All-Tournament Team for PSU after scoring a goal in each game, including the game-tying, third-period goal on Sunday.
Plymouth State had to come from behind to force the extra session. Chris Koras and Mike Gershon had scored to give the Golden Eagles a 2-0 first-period lead. Sophomore Ryan Moreau (Worcester, Mass.) put the Panthers on the board with a power play goal from senior Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) at the 13:29 mark to cut the margin in half.
The Golden Eagles went ahead by two again at 15:16 of the second on a goal by Aaron Boyer, but PSU answered a minute later with a power play goal by senior Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) The Panthers evened the score at 3-3 on Bojadzic’s goal at 6:23 of the third, PSU’s third power play marker of the evening.
Brockport State finished with a 33-27 advantage in shots on goal, with Helgesson making 30 saves for the Panthers and Derek Spence making 24 for the Golden Eagles.
Helgesson stopped all four shootout attempts by Brockport. Sophomore Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.) scored for PSU in the first round, and Moreau clinched the championship for PSU with a goal in the fourth round.
Plymouth State lost to Saint Anselm in last year’s PAL Stovepipe Championship game. The Panthers had won only two of 10 games in the history of the tournament before winning this year’s title.
PAL Stovepipe Tournament Champs!!!
Karl Helgesson presented the MOP Award by members of the Manchester Police Athletic League.
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