DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Sophomore Joe Smith (Holbrook, Mass.) scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 3:27 remaining, to lead sixth-seeded Salem State to a 4-3 victory over third-seeded UMass Dartmouth in quarterfinal round action of the 2019 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Ice Hockey Championships Saturday evening at Hetland Arena.
The visiting Vikings, who improve to 9-16-1 overall, advance to Tuesday night’s semifinal round to take on second-seeded Westfield State at Amelia Park Ice Arena in Westfield, Mass. at 7:35 pm. The host Corsairs conclude their campaign at 13-11-2 overall.
The game was scoreless until the final 3:30 of the opening period, as UMass Dartmouth took a 2-1 advantage into the first intermission after senior Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.) netted a pair of goals that were sandwiched by a marker off the stick of Salem State junior Brandon Wolfe (Granger, Ind.). Smith evened matters just 55 seconds into the middle stanza for the Vikings, who then grabbed a 3-2 edge on freshman Ryan Tierney’s (Methuen, Mass.) tally with 1:54 to play in the second period. Corsair sophomore Kai Kapossy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) knotted the score for the final time at the 6:02 mark of the third stanza to set up Smith’s heroics, as he converted feeds from Tierney and sophomore Billy Hickey (Pembroke, Mass.) on the deciding goal.
Tierney finished with a four-point performance after adding three assists to his marker on the night for Salem State, which received helpers from Wolfe and senior Aleksi Mustaniemi (Vihti, Finland). Freshman Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) picked up the victory between the pipes for the Vikings, as he made 14 of his 25 saves in the final period alone.
Juniors Sean Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.), Tommy DeFelice (Tolland, Conn.) and Steven Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) recorded assists in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which received 32 stops in goal from sophomore Parker Butler (Summit, N.J.). Salem State outshot the Corsairs by a 36-28 margin for the contest, as each team won 38 face-offs on the evening.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)