SALEM, Mass. - Second-seeded Salem State College scored four unanswered goals in the first period Thursday evening and never looked back en route to a 6-1 victory over third-seeded Plymouth State University in the semifinals of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's ice hockey tournament.
The Vikings, 14-8-4, advance to the championship game Saturday at top-seeded Fitchburg State College. The Falcons earned their bid in the final Thursday with a 3-2 win over fifth-seeded UMass Dartmouth. Plymouth State ends its season at 17-9-1.
Salem State got goals from six different players but the four-goal outburst in the first period proved to be the difference. Freshman Nick Lampson (Groton, Mass.) opened the scoring with his 17th of the year at 4:28, and classmate Dennis Crocker (Wakefield) made it 2-0 less than two minutes later. Freshman Dan Rowland (Waltham, Mass.) extended the lead to 3-0 at the 15:11 mark, and sophomore Ian Flanagan (New Hampton, N.H.) followed with a power play goal at 18:42 to make it a four-goal margin after one.
The second period was scoreless until sophomore Brian Kriner (Newport, R.I.) put the Panthers on the board with his 17th of the season with just 1:43 remaining. That ended up as the extent of the PSU offense, while freshman Casey Terreri (Warwick, R.I.) and senior Chris MacInnis (Waltham, Mass.) added third period goals to seal the win for the Vikings.
Salem State doubled up Plymouth in the shots on goal department, 42-21. Sophomore Sam Avoine (Ste-Perpetue, Que.) made 20 saves to earn the victory in the Viking goal.
Plymouth State's 17 wins this season is the second-highest single-season mark in school history, and the first winning season since going 16-9-1 in 2005-06. Thursday's game also marked the final game for PSU senior Chris Chambers (Crofton, Md.), who finishes his career third on the all-time scoring list with 58 goals, 59 assists for 117 points in 99 games.
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