SALEM- If the Salem State men’s hockey team can play the way it did for the first nine minutes of yesterday’s game against Wentworth, the Vikings season should hold a lot of promise.
Unfortunately in last night’s home opener, SSU couldn’t maintain that high level of play and saw a two goal lead evaporate into a 3-2 loss at the hands of a very good Wentworth team.
The Vikings top forward line of Kyle Phelan, Eric Defelice and Chad Goodwin scored both of Salem State’s goals in the opening nine minutes of the first period, but the Leopards were able to score once in all three periods.
“We started well. We were able to get the puck in (to the zone), we made some pretty good plays and scored. We had some other opportunities along the way,” said SSU head coach Bill O’Neil. “Wentworth got stronger as the game got on and it became a battle along the walls. They chipped away and got the next one (goal) and that was a really important goal to get.”
Salem State (1-1-0) sent a barrage of shots on Wentworth (2-0-1) netminder Alex Peck as the Vikings finished the first period with 20 shots on goal. Kyle Phelan scored 30 seconds into the game when he smashed home a rebound after Chad Goodwin broke in with a defender draped all over him and forced Peck into a sprawling save.
Defelice scored the second goal of the game from the slot off an offensive zone faceoff after Goodwin made a nice feed from behind the net.
“They (Phelan, Defelice and Goodwin) are good players, really skilled players who are able to get a puck and make a play,” said O’Neil. “That is a big deal here because its difficult to find space. So to anticipate and execute a play-they did a good job of it.”