SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

March 19, 2014

Salem State women's hockey wins club title, bound for varsity status

This has been a great winter for the Salem State women’s club hockey team that finished the season with an unbeaten record, going 16-0-1 overall and 15-0-1 in the league. The Lady Vikings won the first Independent Women’s Ice Hockey Club League championship.

They shut out Harvard, 6-0 in the semifinal round of the playoffs and then defeated Westfield State, 4-1 to win the title. Since coach John Vlachos came aboard two years ago they have a very impressive 22-1-4 record.

“I took over last year, and I did a lot of recruiting,” said Vlachos, who coached men’s hockey at Nashua South High School and won a state championship as girls’ soccer coach at Milford High in New Hampshire. “I brought in 14 freshmen, who are very talented, and we had a strong core of returning players. It took a lot of hard work by the women to achieve what we have, and I think my previous coaching experience has been a big help for me.”

Vlachos and his younger brother Chris (an All-American for the Vikings) both played for Salem State men’s hockey coach Bill O’Neill, whose team just won the MASCAC title and earned a berth in the NCAA’s.

“My brother and I both played for Bill,” said Vlachos. “Coming back to Salem State allowed me to rekindle my relationship with him. I’m so happy for him because of what his team has accomplished this year, and our women’s program is looking to follow that example. We want to be a top notch program, and we’re already starting to get calls from girls looking into our program for 2015. We have one from Arlington Catholic looking to come here next year and two for the following year.”

Salem State will become an ECAC Division 3 varsity program for the 2015-16 season. That is something everybody is excited about and will be a big plus in recruiting new talent.

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