NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- Junior Steven Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) netted a pair of goals and two assists for four points as UMass Dartmouth scored four times in each of the last two periods to notch an 8-1 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference ice hockey victory over Salem State Saturday afternoon at Hetland Arena.
The two teams were scoreless through the opening 31-plus minutes of play before the host Corsairs (12-8-1, 9-4-1 MASCAC) tallied four times in less than six minutes to take control of the contest and extend their winning streak to five straight. Freshman Blake Harlow (Pelham, Ala.) and senior Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) scored 1:44 apart to give UMass Dartmouth the only two goals it would need on the day, and Leonard doubled that margin with a pair of tallies in a 2:21 span that included a shorthanded marker.
Freshman Griffin Wiencek (Sherwood, Ore.) started the Corsairs’ third period scoring with his second goal of the season 5:06 into the final frame, and after junior Joe Smith (Holbrook, Mass.) got the visiting Vikings (6-14-1, 5-9 MASCAC) on the board with a power play goal that came with 7:44 remaining, the Corsairs iced their triumph with three power play tallies in a 1:11 span off the sticks of Ruiz and sophomores Eric Bolden (Oswego, Ill.) and Nicholas Short (Los Angeles, Calif.) to account for the final margin.
Ruiz, the reigning MASCAC Player of the Year, finished with two goals in the win for the hosts, while Harlow and Bolden each added a helper to their tallies to finish with two points on the day. Junior Sean Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) collected three assists for UMass Dartmouth, which received a pair of helpers from senior Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.) along with single assists off the sticks of seniors Connor Court (Swansea, Ill.) and Mason Nichols (Oviedo, Fla.), juniors David Skarbek (Hyannis, Mass.) and Cameron Mack (Long Beach, Calif.) as well as freshman Jimmy Pelton (Syracuse, N.Y.).
Senior Tommy Bay (Duluth, Ga.) earned his fifth victory of the season by making 10 saves in goal for the Corsairs, who are 7-1-1 in the New Year and 10-2-1 since November 29th. Senior Aleksi Mustaniemi (Vihti, Finland) and freshman Matt Yiancopolus (Wakefield, Mass.) provided assists on Smith’s goal for Salem State, which received 20 saves in 45-plus minutes between the pipes from junior Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.). Sophomore Trevor Hawkes (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) made five stops in the final 14 minutes in goal for the visitors, as UMass Dartmouth outshot the Vikings by a 33-11 margin and held a 35-30 edge in the faceoff circle to take two of the three regular season meetings between the two squads.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Plymouth, N.H. on Thursday evening for a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference clash with Plymouth State that faces off at 6:00 pm, as the Corsairs sit one point behind the Panthers for the top spot in the league standings heading into the week. Salem State travels to Worcester, Mass. on Thursday evening to square off with Worcester State in a MASCAC matchup that faces off at 7:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)