SALEM, Mass. – The Worcester State University men's ice hockey team came up short in a Saturday afternoon Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup, as they fell to the Vikings of Salem State 3-2.
The Vikings advance to 9-7-3 and 8-2-2 in the MASCAC while Worcester State slips to 6-9-3 and 4-6-2 in the conference.
Worcester State jumped on top first when Nick Patullo (Doylestown, Pa.) beat Salem State's Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ont.) high glove side for an early 1-0 lead. Salem State tied the game at 16:26 of the first, taking advantage of a two-man advantage which Callum Hofford (Woodbridge, Ont.) converted into his sixth power play goal of the year. The Lancers broke the tie with less than a minute remaining in the first when Jim LeNoir (Exton, Pa.) fired in a shot from the slot into the top right corner for a 2-1 Worcester State lead heading into the first intermission.
Salem State evened the score 4:07 into the second as Hofford' second goal snuck past a screened Josh Reinstein (Woodland Hills, Calif.) for the equalizer. Casey Miller (Billerica, Mass.) put the Vikings on top for the first time as he put home a perfect feed in the crease from John Needham (Medford, Mass.).
Both goaltenders made extraordinary saves in the third to keep the game a one-goal difference. Still holding a 3-2 lead in the final minutes, Salem State killed off a two-man advantage by Worcester State, which included an outstanding save by Pucciarelli and a deflection by Ryan Wilkinson (Burlington, Ont.) with thirty seconds left that preserved the 3-2 Vikings' victory.
Pucciarelli made 28 saves in the win while his counterpart Reinstein, who played well in net, also stopped 28 shots.
Salem State will host Worcester State on Wednesday, January 28 at 7 p.m. Worcester State travels to UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Release Courtesy of Salem State Sports Information