WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. – Senior Michal Bodnar (Olomouc, Czech Rep.) scored his first goal of the season 1:51 into overtime Wednesday evening to give the Plymouth State University men’s ice hockey team a 3-2 victory over Suffolk University in an ECAC Northeast Conference game at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
The Panthers (8-8-2 overall, 5-4-1 Northeast) appeared headed for victory late in the third period but Suffolk senior Kevin Coakley (Duxbury, Mass.) forced the extra session with a game-tying goal with 27 seconds remaining in regulation.
After a scoreless first period, the Rams (4-12-1 overall, 3-8-1 Northeast) got on the board at 3:13 of the second when freshman Ryan Coakley (Duxbury, Mass.) scored an unassisted tally. The Panthers answered right back with the equalizer just 19 seconds later as junior Rory Nickerson (West Chatham, Mass.) connected on a goal from classmates Dennis Kane (Westford, Mass.) and Paul Feeney (Lowell, Mass.)
Sophomore Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) gave the Panthers their first lead of the night at 8:37 of the second period, with assists from junior Nick DeBaggis (Topsfield, Mass.) and freshman Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) That lead stood until Kevin Coakley forced overtime for Suffolk at 19:33 of the third period.
Bodnar, who is second among active Panthers with 19 career goals, notched his first this season on a rebound for the game-winner. Junior Matt Withers (Laconia, N.H.) and freshman Chris Cadieux (Nashua, N.H.) collected assists on the goal, which came on a Panther power play.
Plymouth State doubled up Suffolk in shots on goal, 40-20. Junior Joe Palladino (Haverhill, Mass.) played a strong game in the Rams’ net, making 37 saves, while Panther freshman Karl Helgesson (Lerum, Sweden) earned the victory with an 18-save effort.
PSU is scheduled to play a make-up game Thursday (Feb. 10) at Assumption College (7:30 p.m.), weather permitting. The Panthers will also be home again Saturday for a key conference match-up against Fitchburg State (6:00 p.m.) Suffolk plays again Saturday at Framingham State (1:30 p.m.)
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