Henniker, NH - Lyndon State College jumped out to an early two goal lead, but was unable to maintain control as they dropped a 23-5 decision to top seeded New England College in a North Atlantic Conference semifinal contest on Wednesday evening. The Hornets wrap up their season with an overall record of 7-9, while the Pilgrims improve to 14-4 and advance to face Castleton University for the NAC Championship on Saturday.
The Hornets jumped in front when Konnor Bick (North Syracuse, NY) scored unassisted less than three minutes into the game. Then, at the 9:30 mark of the opening quarter, Bick found Connor Brennan (Southington, CT), who found the back of the net to make it 2-0, Lyndon. NEC would rally, going on a five goal run over the next six minutes. Patrick Storie (Williamstown, MA) had two goals during the run, and Matt Richard (Weare, NH) had a goal and an assist.
Zachary Carey (Exeter, NH) scored with a Kendrick Mills (Bellows Falls, VT) assist with 2:15 to go in the quarter to bring the Hornets within 5-3, but the Pilgrims responded with three quick goals, two from Storie and one from Charles Hacking (Canterbury, NH), in the final 2:04 of the quarter to take an 8-3 lead after one.
NEC outscored the Hornets 7-0 in the second quarter to take command of the contest. Seven different Pilgrims scored in the quarter, while the Hornets were only able to manage two shots, as NEC went into halftime with a 15-3 lead.
The Pilgrims' Brendan Gruning (Pembroke, MA) tallied a pair of unassisted goals to open the second half before Carey scored an unassisted goal with 3:30 to go in the quarter. Spencer Aubin (Sharon, MA) then took a pass from Shea Jones (Hull, MA) and found the net for the Hornets' fifth goal, but Storie would notch his sixth goal of the game to make the score 18-5, Pilgrims, after three. NEC tacked on five more goals in the fourth quarter to account for the final score.
NEC outshot Lyndon 65-20. Hornet goalie Marcus Bessette (Pembroke, NH) made 18 saves, while his Pilgrim counterpart, William Platt (San Francisco, CA) made four saves. NEC held a 57-21 advantage in ground balls and won 27 of 32 faceoffs.