WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Junior forward Deni Bojadzic (Gothenburg, Sweden) scored two goals, including the game-winner with less than five minutes remaining Tuesday night as the Plymouth State University men’s ice hockey team came from behind to defeat Western New England College, 3-2, in the ECAC Northeast Conference regular season finale at the Olympia Ice Center.
The comeback vaulted Plymouth State into fourth place in the ECAC Northeast, earning the Panthers home ice in the first round of the conference tournament, which begins Saturday. Fourth-seeded PSU (11-12-2, 10-4-1) will host fifth-seeded Fitchburg State (13-9-3, 9-4-2) on Saturday at Waterville Valley (6:00 p.m.) WNEC misses the play-offs and finishes its season with an 8-15 record (2-13 in the ECAC Northeast).
The Golden Bears held a 2-0 lead after sophomore Phil Lamy (Manchester, N.H.) tallied a goal at 18:49 of the first period and a power play shot at 4:39 of the second stanza. Sophomore Hank Levin (Lido Beach, N.Y.) assisted on both goals while freshman Matt Haddock (Hillard, Ohio) had an assist on the second score.
The Panthers came back to tie the contest with two goals in the middle stanza. Bojadzic scored his first of the game at the 12:03 mark, and senior Jay Londer (Philadelphia, Pa.) evened the score at 17:49. Junior Topo LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) assisted on both goals. It stayed 2-2 until Bojadzic’s second of the game and 13th of the season at 15:23 of the third period won it for the Panthers.
Freshman goalie Erik Shields (Lebanon, Maine) stopped 20 shots to earn the win for PSU. Junior Glenn McCaffrey (Londonderry, N.H.) made 25 saves in his first start for the Golden Bears.
Plymouth State has met Fitchburg State in the post-season six times since 1986, with a 2-4 record against the Falcons. The Panthers won the first encounter in 1986 (7-6), and the most recent meeting in 2005 (6-1). Fitchburg State won four straight in between, in 1991 (5-3), 1994 (6-0), 1998 (11-2), and 1999 (6-2).
PSU and FSC met twice this season, with Fitchburg State winning 7-2 in the championship game of the Salem State Tournament in December, and the two teams skating to a 1-1 tie in the conference meeting two weeks ago.
(Courtesy of WNEC Sports Information)
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