BOSTON — Whether it was the frigid conditions or the condition of the ice, yesterday’s contest between Salem State and UMass Boston at Fenway Park was far from your typical Division 3 men’s hockey game.
There wasn’t much room for skill plays and fancy puck work. Both teams kept it simple, and games like that usually come down to a bounce or two.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, that bounce didn’t go their way.
With the game tied in the third period, the Beacons’ Peter MacIntyre deflected a bouncing puck into the back of the Salem State net and Connor McStravick added an empty netter as UMass Boston claimed a 4-2 victory over the Vikings as part of ‘Frozen Fenway.’
“The conditions were the coldest I’ve ever been a part of. It was so cold it took your breath away at times,” said Salem State (7-5) head coach Bill O’Neill.
“I’m proud of my team. We played a good game. A bounce here, a bounce there; you never know.”
The players realized quickly that the puck wouldn’t settle on the Fenway ice and any long passes were out of the question. So both squads tried to keep the puck along the boards and dump-and-chase became the objective on both benches.
Salem State, which had freshman forward Alex Minter of Peabody and sophomore defenseman Keaton Cashin of Boxford in its lineup yesterday, actually came out and carried play in the opening 10 minutes, but two UMass Boston (10-1-2) power plays to end the period seemed to give the Beacons some momentum.
“(Our strategy was to) keep it simple. We preached that, especially after the first 10 minutes where they took it to us,” explained UMass Boston coach Peter Belisle. “Keep it simple, keep it on the boards and nothing up the middle. Get pucks to the net and crash the net ... and I think it resulted in the game-winning goal.”