SALEM, MA –Matt Genovese scored on an odd man rush with 41 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to give host Salem State a 4-3 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team in their Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference semi-final playoff game at the Rockett Arena Tuesday evening.
Genovese took a pass from Nick Lampson and fired home the shot that ended the game.
The Corsairs had come from behind twice to tie the score, with sophomore forward Greg Girtatos (Tyngsboro, MA/Bishop Guertin HS) firing home the rebound of freshman defenseman Steve Ginand's (Milford, MA/Northern Cyclones-AtJHL) shot at 12:45 of the third period to even the game for the final time at 3-3. Junior forward Dave McDonald (Wakefield, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) also assisted.
Salem State had taken a 3-2 lead when Matt Kenline batted a rebound past UMD junior goaltender Ryan Williams (Milton, ON/ Huntsville Otters-OPJHL) at 9:12 of the third period, with Dan Smolinsky and Sutton Wilson assisting.
After a scoreless first period, the Vikings struck twice within 1:47 early in the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Derek Crocker scored from a scrum in front of the net at 1:47, and then Eric Defelice flipped home the rebound of Lampson's deflection at 3:12. Lampson deflected a shot taken by Brian Hanafin, who drew the other assist.
Senior forward Andrew Pontes (New Bedford, MA/Winchendon School) put UMass Dartmouth on the board when he scored from in front of the net at 14:27 of the second period. Junior forward Nick Marquis (Londonderry, NH/Valley Jr. Warriors-EJHL) and sophomore forward Ryan Ruddock (Amesbury, MA/Eastern Kodiaks-EJHL) drew assists.
The Corsairs tied the score at 2-2 when freshman forward Shaun Walters (Plymouth, MI/Rochester Ice hawks-MNJHL) took a pass from Girtatos and beat Salem State sophomore goaltender Ryan Sutliffe (Grand Forks, ND/Helena Bighorns-NORPAC) 57 seconds into the third period. Junior defenseman Matt Correia (Acushnet, MA/New Bedford HS) also assisted.
"The game winning goal was a tough play, we turned the puck over on a long line change, which helped create the odd man rush, and they finished it off," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "The bottom line was how our team battled back after being down 2-0. It was a courageous effort by our team tonight, it was what we got out of them all year long, and we would have been very deserving of winning, but it just wasn't our time tonight."
The Vikings outshot the Corsairs, 48-44, with each team having 14 shots on goal in the overtime period. Williams made 44 saves for the Corsairs, while Sutliffe stopped 41 shots for Salem State. Neither team scored a power play goal, with UMD blanked in two chances and the Vikings scoreless in three.
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 16-9-2 with the defeat, while Salem State improved to 15-8-3 with the victory. Salem State advanced to Saturday's MASCAC championship game, and will visit top-seeded Plymouth State, which defeated Worcester State in the other semi-final, 7-1. The game was the final action of the season for UMass Dartmouth.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY