SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

December 2, 2013

Defelice gives SSU Icemen OT win

SALEM — The Salem State men’s hockey team had one of its most complete efforts this season against Connecticut College yesterday.

The Vikings had some trouble beating opposing netminder Mike Petchonka but Salem State goalie Ryan Sutliffe was even more impressive before Eric Defelice netted the game-winner in overtime as SSU defeated the Camels 1-0 to move to 4-3 on the season.

“I thought both teams played with a lot of emotion. It was a tight game but both teams played extremely hard,” said Vikings skipper Bill O’Neill. “It was probably our best game from start to finish. Our shifts were short and we played with discipline in a lot of ways. And it was good to see Sutty (Sutliffe) get the big W.”

Sutliffe made 23 stops on the night and none was bigger than his third period robbery of Connecticut’s Keith Veronesi. The Vikings were on the penalty kill in the waning minutes of the third period when the Camels (0-6) got the puck to the front of the net. Sutliffe sprawled out to make the initial save before the puck made its way to Veronesi on the doorstep with plenty of open net to shoot at, but the Vikings goalie flashed the glove and kept the game at 0-0.

“That’s the backbone of a good team — you have to have good goaltending,” said O’Neill. “Our team defense was strong. We blocked a lot of shots and got a lot of pucks out of our end.”

Defelice ended the game a little over two minutes into the extra period when he executed a give-and-go with Peabody native Andrew Bucci. On a 3-on-2, Defelice crossed the puck to Bucci at the top of the left circle and the sophomore looked as if he was going to tee-up a one-timer.

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