By Staff Writer Zach Lunghi.
The UMass Dartmouth Men’s ice hockey team extended their impressive run through the end of January with an 8-1 victory over the Salem State Vikings at Hetland Ice arena. After a relatively slow start to the season the Corsairs have found a way to go 10-2-1 in their last 13 games. Saturday night’s win improved them to an overall record of 12-8-1 with eight of those wins coming from within the MASCAC.
A strong performance from goaltender Tommy Bay in which he saved 9 out of 10 shots faced allowed for players like Steven Leonard and, Jonathan Ruiz to come up frequently on the game’s stats sheet. Both players had a pair of goals and, their fair share of shots on net. After a dominating performance, Ruiz improved to 21 points on the season. Leonard finished off the night with 2 goals and 2 assists, putting him just behind Ruiz with 20 points on the year.
After a scoreless first period, freshman Blake Harlow tallied the first goal of the game at 11:23 in the second. Just a few minutes later, Ruiz joined him on the score sheet with a goal at 13:07.
The Corsairs got selfish with the scoring and left the Vikings with 3 more unanswered goals not too long after.
These points came from Leonard with two back-to-back goals, one of which was short-handed and Griffin Wiencek who kicked off the third period with an even strength score.
It wasn’t until the third period that the Vikings were able to answer the Corsair’s dominating offense. However, this didn’t last long because Ruiz and his teammates capitalized on an ensuing power play at 4:23. That goal then kick-started two more power play scores, coming from sophomores Eric Bowlden and Nicholas Short.
On the defensive end, we saw an impressive performance all around that included a total of 6 blocked shots, 2 of those coming from junior Cameron Mack.
He was accompanied by fellow teammates; seniors Mason Nicholas and Hunter Wilhoite.
Sophomore Kai Kapossy was a driving force in both the blocked shots and, hits column Saturday night.
The Corsairs also executed an effective penalty kill, shutting down 4 out of 5 opportunities for the Vikings.
Only allowing one goal to get by in the third period. Outside of the lone score, they kept control in the defensive zone and managed to turn it into offense with the shorthanded goal from Ruiz.
The remaining few games will all be conference bouts for the Corsairs. This Thursday they will be hitting the road to face off against the Plymouth State Panthers at 6 P.M. A win would extend their win streak to 6 games and further improve their record to 13-8-1. They also have the opportunity to move past the Panthers and claim sole possession of first place in the MASCAC standings.