WINCHENDON, Mass. – Senior Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) and junior Pat Turcotte (Goffstown, N.H.) recorded two goals and two assists apiece Sunday evening and freshman goaltender Erik Shields (Lebanon, Maine) posted his first career shutout as Plymouth State University defeated Franklin Pierce College, 8-0, in ECAC Northeast Conference men’s ice hockey action at Robinson-Broadhurst Arena.
PSU kept alive its chances at home ice in the first round of the upcoming ECAC Northeast Tournament, improving to 9-4-1 in conference play, 10-12-2 overall. Franklin Pierce suffered its fifth consecutive loss, and completes the regular season at 5-16-2 overall, 1-12-2 in the ECAC Northeast, and 1-4-0 in the Northeast-10.
It was a big weekend for LaCroix, who scored three goals on Saturday in PSU’s 6-3 win over Worcester State, while Turcotte registered his first career two-goal and four-point game. Senior Nate Gardner (Manchester, N.H.) and junior Ryan Moreau (Worcester, Mass.) each added a goal and two helpers against the Ravens, while senior Steve Milley (Sudbury, Mass.) chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Shields collected 25 saves to earn the shutout, as Plymouth State out-shot Franklin Pierce 53-25. Junior Steven Moore (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman Jie Blauner (Brattleboro, Vt.) combined for 45 saves for the Ravens.
PSU opened the scoring midway through the first period as LaCroix and Milley connected for back-to-back goals in a 1:01 span. Moreau gave the Panthers a 3-0 advantage heading to the second period with his fifth of the season at the 18:34 mark.
Plymouth State extended the lead to 5-0 in the second period. LaCroix started the rally with his ninth goal of the season, while freshman Chris Chambers (Crofton, Md.) followed with his team-leading 17th of the year. Chambers is the leading freshman scorer in the ECAC Northeast with 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists).
The Panthers added three more unanswered goals in the final period. Turcotte ignited the explosion with two goals, while Gardner iced the game with a late goal in the final minutes.
Plymouth State travels to Western New England College on Tuesday for its regular season finale (8:30 p.m.). The Panthers can clinch fourth place with a victory and earn the final home-ice advantage for the first round of the ECAC Northeast Conference Tournament, which begins on Saturday (Feb. 24).
Franklin Pierce will be in action next Saturday in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament.
(Courtesy of Franklin Pierce Sports Information)
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