NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team will try to advance to the championship game in the Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference playoffs for the first time when they host Salem State in the semi-finals Tuesday evening. Face off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Ice Arena.
The Corsairs are seeded second in the tournament, with an overall record of 10-7-7. They went 9-3-6 in the MASCAC for 24 points, good for second place in the league standings. Salem State went 14-11-1 and 10-7-1 for 21 points and tied Westfield State for third place. The Vikings won at Worcester State last Tuesday, 4-3, to propel them into the tie, and earned the third seed by winning the tie-breaker against Westfield State. SSU opened playoff action Saturday by blanking Worcester State at home, 5-0, while Westfield State fell to Fitchburg State at home, 4-3.
UMD and Salem State split their series during the season, with each team winning once and the other game resulting in a tie. The teams tied at SSU, 2-2 November 17th. The Vikings won at Hetland, 5-1, January 15th, and the Corsairs returned the favor at Rockett Arena, 6-3 February 7th.
"This is the fourth year we've been in the MASCAC, and it's our fourth consecutive semi-final game," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "It's time for us to move past the semi-finals and get to the championship game. We're going to be playing the hottest team in the conference in Salem, which comes in with four straight wins. On the other side of the ledger, we're 3-0-3 for our last six games, and we beat them at Salem, 6-3, in our last meeting."
In each of the Corsairs' three previous MASCAC semi-final games, they have been beaten by a single goal, with one loss coming in overtime and another in double OT.
"This is a rematch of last year's semi-final at Salem, where we lost with 40 seconds left in overtime," said Rolli. "This has been an interesting season. We've had difficulty scoring goals, but we've played very well defensively. Our greatest improvement has been on the power play, where we struggled early, and made some changes. It's always good playing a playoff game at home, and hopefully, Hetland will be rocking on Tuesday night."
The winner of Tuesday night's game advances to the MASCAC finals Saturday at the home site of the highest remaining seed.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY