WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - Sophomore Bryan Kriner (Newport, R.I.) scored two goals and senior goalie Aaron Runner (Alpharetta, Ga.) made 38 saves Saturday evening as Plymouth State University defeated Salem State College, 4-2, in a Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey game at Waterville Valley Arena.
The win was the second MASCAC victory in three days for PSU as the Panthers improve to 8-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play. The Vikings suffered their first conference loss of the season, dropping to 7-5-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the MASCAC.
Kriner scored on the power play midway through the third period to extend PSU's lead to 3-1 and he added an empty netter in the final minute, his team-leading 11th of the season, to seal the win. Runner's 38 saves was a career best, and included 10 stops in the third period when PSU withstood a major penalty and a 5-on-3 situation.
Freshmen Richie Zobak (Evergreen Park, Ill.) and Alex Cottle (West Chester, Pa.) scored power play goals for PSU in the first two periods, sandwiched around a power play marker by Salem State's Brett Noll (Sagamore, Mass.). After Kriner's PPG midway through the third period put PSU up 3-1, senior Damen Nisula (Gardner, Mass.) tallied a short-handed goal to cut the margin to 3-2. But Runner held down the fort and Kriner sealed the win with the empty netter.
Three other Panthers collected two assists apiece -- juniors Sean Buckley (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) and Andrew Stewart (O'Leary, PEI) and freshman JC Richardson (Fort Collins, Colo.)
PSU, which has played five straight home games, hits the road for its next two, beginning Thursday at UMass Dartmouth (7:30 p.m.). Salem State returns home after a pair of road games to host Fitchburg State on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
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