Hockey ends regular season with five game winning streak

By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
The men’s ice hockey team visited Rocket Arena at Salem State University on Thursday with a solid record, but having lost the last four games against their team. The Salem State Vikings struck first, with a goal near the end of the first period. They felt confident, until UMass Dartmouth came back in the second period with a flurry of goals, taking back momentum and quieting the Salem State crowd. Senior Mike Kelly, who was the star of the night, opened up the second period with a goal between the legs of the Vikings goalkeeper. Later in the period, a UMass Dartmouth player was put into the penalty box, but that didn’t stop the team in the slightest. During the two-minute power play, the Corsairs put two points on the board, which is especially impressive given a shorthanded crew on the ice. The first of the two came again from Mike Kelly, off an assist from Finland native Jerry Laasko, and the second was less than a minute later from Matt Baldino. The third quarter began with a penalty on Salem State, but that didn’t stop them from scoring a shorthanded goal of their own. The score was 3-2, and it looked like it might be a nailbiting finish. However, just a couple minutes later Mike Kelly again scored to cap off a hat trick. Only 30 seconds later, junior Casey Shea put another puck into the opponent’s net to finally guarantee the Corsair’s win. The final score was Corsairs 5, Vikings 2. The next game was against Fitchburg State in an exciting contest, with 99 shots on goal all game. Despite the high shot count, only one goal was made in the first period by Jeff Kirkwood. The second period was when both teams got hot. Kirkwood made his second goal of the night two minutes into the second period, but the Fitchburg State Falcons shot back with a goal taking advantage of a power play. A minute and a half later, Mike Kelly scored on their own power play to bring the score to 3-1. Their lead grew after Tennessee native Hunter Wilhoite scored his first Corsairs goal, but Fitchburg State quickly answered with a long-distance goal to make the score 4-2. UMass Dartmouth refused to back down, and put one more shot into the net to make the score 5-2 going into the final period. The Falcons’ penalties led to two power plays for the Corsairs in the third period, and they took advantage of both. Casey Shea scored right at the beginning of the period, and Tanner Zacharewicz scored right at the last minute. Thanks to a powerful offense and 45 shots stopped by Corsairs goaltender Drew Michals, the game was won 7-2. The Corsairs ended their season on a five game winning streak at Framingham State on February 21. They enter the first round of the 2017 MASCAC tournament on Saturday, February 25.

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