Cottle leads PSU Men’s Hockey past Salem State

Panthers take first game with MASCAC rival Vikings

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Alex Cottle (West Chester, Pa.) tallied two goals and one assist Thursday evening to lift Plymouth State University to a 3-2 comeback win over Salem State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest at Hanaway Rink.

            Cottle played a part in all three Panthers goals, including both third-period markers as PSU rallied from a 2-1 deficit after two frames.  He set up freshman Zach Fox (Sandown, N.H.) for the tying goal three minutes in the third period and then scored the eventual winning goal at the 9:48 mark.  PSU pulled out the win in the first meeting between the two schools since the Panthers edged the Vikings in double overtime in the 2012 MASCAC Championship game.

            Plymouth State has won three in a row to improve to 4-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 in conference play, while Salem State slips to 2-3-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the MASCAC.

            Senior Jack Astedt (Angelholm, Sweden) earned the victory in the Panther goal, making 35 saves.  Junior Ryan Sutliffe (Las Vegas, Nev.) made 33 saves as the Vikings finished with a 37-36 advantage in shots on goal.

            The teams traded first period goals, PSU scoring in the first five minutes and Salem State netting the equalizer with three minutes remaining.  Panther defenseman JC Richardson (Fort Collins, Colo.) fired a shot from the point that was deflected in front by Fox; Sutliffe made a nice save on the deflection, but Cottle pounced on the rebound and deposited it in a wide open net.  Freshman Andrew Bucci (Peabody, Mass.) countered for Salem State, getting a pass from the left side from senior Derek Crocker (Wakefield, Mass.) and slipping the puck past Astedt from in tight for his second of the season, evening the score at 1-1 after one.

            The visitors took the lead on the only goal of the second period, a power play marker at the five-minute mark by freshman Cam Moniz (Seekonk, Mass.).  Astedt made one save on Moniz but the Viking rookie  got his own rebound and got it past the Panther goalie to give Salem State a 2-1 lead.  It stayed that way the rest of the second period.

            Fox and Cottle did some work behind the Viking goal early in the third period to set up the tying goal, which was finished off by Fox at the 3:07 mark. The Panthers pulled ahead for good at 9:49, as junior Dave Walters (Ottawa, Ont.) fired a pass from the right point to sophomore Mike Freitag (Westmont, Ill.) in the right corner; Freitag found Cottle in the slot, and Cottle snapped the puck past Sutliffe for what turned out to be the game-winner.

            Both teams are back on the ice with MASCAC home game on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., as PSU hosts Worcester State University and Salem State entertains Westfield State University. 

-- 30 --