Salem, Mass.- Salem State's Michael Casale (Stoney Creek, Ontario) broke a 1-1 tie in the third period to propel the Vikings to a 3-1 victory over Framingham State on "Senior Night" in the final regular season game for both teams on Tuesday night. Casale wristed home the game-winner from just inside the left faceoff circle at the 13:27 mark for his 13th goal of the season. Salem State finishes the year 9-11-5 and 6-9-3 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Vikings earned the sixth and final playoff seed for the upcoming MASCAC Tournament. The Rams end the year 3-20-2 and 2-16 in conference.
Salem State honored seniors Derek Makimaa (Swartz Creek, Mich.), Daniel Campbell (Waterloo, Ontario), Ryan Wilkinson (Burlington, Ontario), Dan Holland (Woburn, Mass.), Casey Miller (Billerica, Mass.), Michael Casale (Stoney Creek, Ontario), Mackenzie Cook Reading, Mass.) and Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ontario) in a pregame ceremony for their dedication and commitment to the Vikings' hockey program.
Branson Wolfe, (Granger, Ind.) scored the first goal of the game as he pushed a loose puck in the crease into the back of the net for a 1-0 Salem State lead just 2:14 into the opening period.
In a scoreless second, Pucciarelli kept Salem State in the lead making a breakaway save early in the period. Rams' goalie Greg Harney (East Haven, Conn.) later robbed Makimaa from point-blank range before denying Wilkinson, who temporarily had an open net on a Vikings' power play in the final minutes of the second period.
Matt Siegel (Syracuse, N.Y.) netted a goal just over a minute into the third as he went top shelf, tying the game at 1-1 for Framingham State. Both goalies made huge stops in the third, but Cook iced the game with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Pucciarelli made 24 saves to pick up his ninth win of the season. Harney played well in the loss, stopping 46 shots for the Rams.
*Release courtesy of SSU sports information