WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. – Senior Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) recorded a hat trick and classmate Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) added a goal and three assists, including his 100th career point, as Plymouth State University’s men’s ice hockey team blanked Western New England College, 8-0, in the ECAC Northeast Conference regular season finale at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
The Panthers complete the regular season with a five-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 43-10 over that span, and improving to 15-8-1 overall. PSU finishes in third place in the Northeast with a 13-2 mark, and will have home-ice advantage in the first round of the conference tournament, which begins this Saturday. WNEC completes its season at 4-16-3 overall and 1-12-2 in conference play.
Nickerson (left) became the seventh player in school history to reach the 100-point milestone, and the first since his Kane, his four-year linemate, did it two weeks ago. Nickerson got his 100th point on a power play goal late in the third period, and now has 26 goals and 74 assists. He ranks third on PSU’s career assist list, one behind Duncan Walsh, who had 75 from 1982-86. Kane has registered six goals and six assists in the last three games.
PSU led 2-0 after the first period, and built a comfortable margin with a four-goal second period. The Panthers outshot the visitors 40-27 for the game. Sophomore goalie Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) made 27 saves to earn the win for PSU.
The Panther offense also got single goals from junior Jay Londer (Philadelphia, Pa.), sophomores Ryan Moreau (Worcester, Mass.) and Bobby Dashner (Hyde Park, Mass.) and freshman Pat Turcotte (Goffstown, N.H.). Sophomore Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.) collected three assists, and seniors Nick DeBaggis (Topsfield, Mass.) and Charlie McLeman (Winchester, Mass.) each picked up two helpers.
PSU will host Johnson & Wales University in Saturday’s playoff opener at Waterville Valley (6:00 p.m.) The Wildcats handed the Panthers one of their two conference losses this season, a 4-3 verdict on Feb. 4 in Providence, R.I.
Plymouth State defeated Fitchburg State, 6-1, in the first round of last year’s ECAC Northeast Tournament before losing to Curry in the semifinals, 8-2.
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