On Sunday, Feb. 21, the Keene State College men’s club hockey team captured their first ever Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association (NECHA) Patriot Conference title.

The Owls defeated Northeastern University by a score of 7-5, being led by goaltender Dylan Strogen who recorded 38 saves in the victory.

Jeff Rossman got the first goal of the game early on, and the Owls held the 1-0 lead entering the first intermission. Matt Girard added another early in the second period to make it 2-0, but it wasn’t long before Northeastern added one of their own.

Contributed photo / kschockey.com

Contributed photo / kschockey.com

Shortly after, KSC and Northeastern had back to back goals, with the Owls getting one from Brian Mello. Then with 7:18 remaining in the second frame, Northeastern put a goal past Strogen on a breakaway, tying the game at three goals each. Each team would tally another, making it a 4-4 game entering the third period. Sam MacNicoll joined the scoring party for the Owls, giving Keene a 5-4 lead early in the third period.

With just over 13 minutes remaining in the game, a deflection saw the puck beat Strogen to tie the game up once again at five. Less than three minutes later, Andrew Pierce beat the Huskies goaltender with a backhand shot, giving the Owls a 6-5 lead. Pierce would add an empty-net goal, giving Keene State the title.

Crae Messer can be contacted at cmesser@kscequinox.com