Salem State Claims Back-to-Back Championships

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Plymouth, N.H. – Second seed Salem State claimed its second straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) title and third championship in four seasons with a 4-3 victory over top seed Plymouth State on Saturday evening at Hanaway Arena.  Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ont.) made 26 saves, including a penalty shot,  to earn tournament MVP honors, and John Needham (Medford, Mass.) tallied two scores, including the game-winner in a four-goal second period outburst, as the Vikings won their fourth post-season championship since 2010. Salem State will await its NCAA Tournament seeding when the pairings are announced Monday.

Salem State (15-9-3) defeated a Plymouth State team that was unbeaten in its previous 13 games (12-0-1).

The Panthers' Ian McGilvrey (Omaha, Neb.) opened the scoring on a pass from sophomore Michael Covach (Shillington, Pa.) 6:07 into the first. Covach then doubled the Panther lead at 7:39 of the second period. 

Trailing 2-0, Salem State capitalized on a misplay in front of the Panther goal less than two minutes later to get on the scoreboard. Junior Mackenzie Cook (Reading, Mass.) finished the play for his eighth score of the season at 9:20, with junior Derek Makimaa (Swartz Creek, Mich.) and senior Brandon Platt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) collecting assists. The Vikings tied the game with a power play goal a minute and a half later, making PSU pay for its only penalty of the game. Freshman Callum Hofford (Woodbridge, Ont.) fired a shot from the middle of the ice just inside the blue line, and Needham deflected it home to even the score at the 10:55 mark.

Salem State finished off the period with a pair of goals less than a minute apart. Platt ripped a shot from the left circle over the goalie's shoulder glove side at 17:16, and junior Casey Miller (Billerica, Mass.) skated across the slot to create space on the left side, and then found Needham at the left circle for his second of the game and 10th of the season at 18:10.  

Plymouth State pulled to within one goal four minutes into the third period when senior Michael Economos (Crystal Lake, Ill.) found the back of the net for his 14th goal of the season. A key play in the third period came with 12:52 on the clock when Economos was awarded a penalty shot, but Pucciarelli made the save when Economos tried to slip a backhander through the pads. The Vikings' defense held firm ove the final minutes of the third, preventing the Panthers from tying the game.  

Plymouth State pulled sophomore goaltender Evan Morelli (Reading, Mass.) in the final minute, but could not get the tying goal. Morelli finished with 21 saves as the Panthers end the season 19-6-2.

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.