Corsairs Suffer Setback At Salem State

SALEM, Mass. — University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior Shaun Walters (Plymouth, Mich.) produced a pair of goals, but the Corsairs men's ice hockey team suffered a 5-2 setback at Salem State University this afternoon in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest at Rockett Arena.

The Vikings (12-8-2) sit atop the MASCAC standings with a 9-4-2 mark, while UMass Dartmouth (5-15-2) currently hold the sixth position in the conference circuit with a 5-10 record.

Mark Macdonald (Norwell, Mass.) registered a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal, to power the Salem State attack.  Eric Defelice (Chalfront, Pa.) also recorded three points with a trio of assists, while John Needham (Medford, Mass.) and Alex Minter (Peabody, Mass.) each handed out a pair of helpers for the hosts.  Ian Canty (South Windsor, Conn.) and Jacob Strzalkowski (Royal Oak, Mich.) each found the back of the net to complete the Vikings' scoring.

The Corsairs cracked the scoring column just 8:36 into the contest, when Walters converted on a power-play opportunity.  He tucked a slap shot under the cross bar to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage.  Garrett Allen (Dartmouth, Mass.) and Mike Restuccia (Malden, Mass.) were credited with an assist. 

Salem State responded at the 14:23 mark of the first frame, when Canty scored on a wrist shot to provide the equalizer. The two teams looked descended to head into the first intermission tied at one-all, but Macdonald beat the buzzer with just seven tenths of a second left in the period.

Carrying momentum into the second period, the Vikings increased their advantage with a pair of markers.  Macdonald delivered the decisive score at 12:52, beating the UMD netminder top-shelf from close range.  For the second straight period, Salem State was able to light the lamp just before the final buzzer.  Strzalowski recorded his first goal of the campaign with just a tick left on the clock to hand the hosts a 4-1 lead at the end of the second stanza.

UMass Dartmouth utilized its special teams to climb back into the contest, cashing in on its second power play opportunity of the period.  Walters posted his team-leading 13th goal of the season at the 14:35 mark off a feed from senior Dmitry Antipin (Novosibirsk, Russia) and Restuccia to trim the deficit to 4-2.

The visitors would be unable to capitalize on the momentum as Macdonald completed his hat trick less than a minute later to seal the conference victory for the Vikings.

Salem State's Joe Cerulo (Wakefield, Mass.) made 16 saves to earn the win, while his counterpart, senior Ben Vandervies (Hanna, Alberta), stopped 38 shots. 

UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, when the Corsairs host Plymouth State University in a MASCAC contest.