Salem State Holds Off Southern Maine 5-3

Senior Brett Norman scored his first goal of the season in USM's loss to Salem State at the USM Ice Arena Tuesday night (file photo by Jason Johns).
Senior Brett Norman scored his first goal of the season in USM's loss to Salem State at the USM Ice Arena Tuesday night (file photo by Jason Johns).

            GORHAM, Maine -- Senior Mackenzie Cook (Reading, Mass.) scored a pair of goals and senior goalie Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ont.) stopped 43 shots as the visiting Salem State University Vikings defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 5-3, in a non-conference men's ice hockey game Tuesday evening at the USM Ice Arena.

            The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Vikings, and improved their overall record to 3-4-0.  The Huskies dropped their second straight game to slip to 1-5-1 overall.

            Cook converted a USM turnover into an unassisted goal at 9:03 of the first period to put the visitors in the scoreboard.  Junior Dom Nitti (Cottage Grove, Minn.) scored from the top of the right-wing faceoff circle at 13:52 to make it 2-0.  Pucciarelli made the two goals stand up through the period stopping all 13 USM shots on goal.

            Sophomore Brandon Wolfe (Granger, Ind.) upped the lead to 3-0 at 7:40 of the second period potting the rebound of a shot from senior Daniel Campbell (Waterloo, Ont.) for a power-play marker.

            USM finally got on the board at 11:56 when senior Brett Norman (Dawson Creek, B.C.) split two Salem defenders with a nifty move and beat Pucciarelli for his first goal of the season.  That would be the only shot to elude Pucciarelli in the period as he came up with another 17 saves.

            Campbell restored the Vikings' three-goal advantage less than two minutes into the third period.  Rookie Michael Taormina (Plymouth, Mass.) got that goal back for the Huskies at 5:27 knocking in the rebound of sophomore Cody Braga's (Middleboro, Mass.) shot for a power-play goal.

            Cook's second goal of the game at 16:05 came when he redirected a pass from senior Casey Miller (Billerica, Mass.) past USM sophomore goaltender Paul Léger (Blainville, Quebec).

            Junior Parker Sanderson (Bangor, Maine) scored his first goal of the season in the final minute after Taormina won a faceoff in the Salem State end to account for the final tally.

            Pucciarelli added 13 saves to his total in the third period.  USM outshot Salem State 46-22 in the game.  Léger recorded 17 saves before being lifted with 3:45 remaining for the extra attacker.

            Southern Maine is back in action on Saturday (4:00 p.m.) playing at the University of New England.  Salem State will host Endicott College on Sunday (2:00 p.m.).

 

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