Panthers and Vikings remain deadlocked atop MASCAC
SALEM, Mass. – Salem State University goaltender James LaCour and Plymouth State University netminder Jack Astedt battled to a 1-1 tie Saturday afternoon at Rockett Arena in a highly contested matchup between the top teams in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Both goals came early in the third period. Viking Nick Lampson and Panther Bryan Kriner were the lone goal scorers. Lampson's goal extended his conference point lead over the rest of the field (10-14-24). Kriner scored his team-leading 10th of the season.
LaCour stopped 28 of 29 shots he faced. Salem State is now 10-3-1 overall with a 5-2-1 conference record. Astedt– the conference's top ranked goalie – consistently turned away 40 of the Viking's forty one shots on goal. Plymouth State is now 8-1-5 overall and 4-1-3 in the conference.
After two scoreless periods of hockey, the game was up for grabs between the evenly matched teams. Salem State entered with an offense that has made best friends with the scoreboard to go up against a goaltender that has made the scoreboard his worst enemy. The only break Astedt would get in his long workday would be at intermission. The Salem State offense was relentless in their attempt to find the back of the net. On the opposite end, James LaCour displayed his own redline prowess. The Panthers entered the day with points by 18 different players on the roster. LaCour stopped every threat until the 5:38 mark in the third period. Sean Buckley's shot got lost in the traffic in front of the net. Kriner found the puck and sent it over an outstretched LaCour for the game's first goal.
The Vikings offense continued to push. A hook penalty committed by the Panthers put the top-ranked Vikings special team squad against PSU's top-ranked penalty kill grouping. Giancarlo Capodanno scooped the puck after drive from the blue line by Derek Crocker to feed Lampson for the game-tying goal at 8:38.
The teams fought until the final seconds of regulation when a Plymouth State goal was disallowed as the puck crossed the goal line a fraction of a second after the period closing buzzer.
The teams exchanged three shots each in overtime. Salem State kept the game tied despite giving up a power-play opportunity to the visiting Panthers.
Both teams play again in conference matchups on Thursday, Salem State traveling to Fitchburg State University and Plymouth State hosting UMass Dartmouth.
(Courtesy of Salem State Sports Information)
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