SALEM — The Salem State men’s hockey team doesn’t play any exhibition games during training camp so the first game of the season usually has its ups and downs.
Last night in the team’s first bout, the Vikings found their game sometime during the second period already trailing Wentworth by a goal.
In the third, SSU found the back of the net and carried the momentum into overtime where Chad Goodwin netted the game-winner less than a minute in to give the Vikings the 2-1 victory over a Leopards’ team that was playing its third game of the season.
“Training camp seems so long and we don’t play any exhibition games. We get right into the action and (tonight) was like a mid season game right away,” said SSU (1-0) head coach Bill O’Neill. “I thought we matched them (Wentworth) throughout and we got stronger as the game went on. It was a hard fought, exciting game to watch and be a part of.”
After Salem State misplayed the puck behind its own net, Wentworth’s (1-2) Dan Szerlip zipped a pass to Sean McLaughlin in front of the net for a bang-bang goal in the first period. The Vikings picked up their play in the second period and completely turned the tables on the Leopards in the third.
Out of all the hard work came a bit of fortune when Andrew Bettencourt threw the puck to the front of the net and it hit off a Wentworth skate and slipped past net minder Joel Miller.
“It was wild. There was a lot of energy in the first period we were trying to get the nerves out,” explained SSU defensemen and former Masco stud Keaton Cashin. “Down a goal we fought back and were able to hang in there. You could see the momentum turn.”