Panthers move back into first place in MASCAC
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University's men's hockey team scored three unanswered first period goals Thursday evening and went on to defeat Salem State University, 4-3, in a pivotal Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game at Hanaway Rink.
The Panthers take over first place in the MASCAC from the Vikings as PSU improves to 13-3-5 overall and 8-3-3 in conference play (19 points). Salem State is now 13-5-2 overall and in third place in the MASCAC with an 8-4-2 mark (18 points), just a point behind co-leaders PSU and UMass Dartmouth.
Senior Tim Vlcek started the first-period outburst for the Panthers, scoring his first goal of the season at 3:40 off a nice pass from behind the net by sophomore Matt Aponte. Sophomore defenseman JC Richardson made it 2-0 at 14:09 with a power play goal, scoring on a slap shot just inside the left post. Sophomore Kyle Weiland extended the Panther lead to three with his fourth of the season on a nice crossing pass from senior Chris Zaremba at 17:03.
The Vikings began the second period on a power play, and converted just 17 seconds in the period when junior Giancarlo Capodanno potted his team-leading 15th of the season. The visitors cut the margin down to one with another power play goal by junior Ian Flanagan at 11:27 of the second period and it was 3-2 game entering the final frame.
Sophomores Kyle Greco and Alex Cottle worked a nifty give-and-go for PSU midway through the third period to give the Panthers an insurance power play goal with nine minutes remaining, which they needed when Salem State pulled its goalie with a minute and a half to play and sophomore Josh Franklin scored to cut the margin back to one. But time ran out on the Vikings and the Panthers held on for the win.
Plymouth State finished with a 22-19 advantage in shots on goal. Sophomore goaltender Jack Astedt made 16 saves for the win in the Panther net, and senior James LaCour made 18 saves for Salem State at the other end.
Both teams resume conference action on Saturday, Plymouth State visiting MASCAC co-leader UMass Dartmouth and Salem State returning home to host Framingham State.
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