Framingham, Mass,. – Salem State defeated the Rams of Framingham State 5-4 in their regualr season finale on Tuesday evening at Loring Arena. The victory was the 600th for Vikings' head coach Bill O'Neill, who now stands third among all active NCAA Division III coaches in wins and is just the 13thcoach all-time to reach 600 career victories.
O'Neill, who is in his thirty-eighth season as head coach of the Vikings, has compiled an overall record of 600-388-69 (.557). During his career he has led Salem State to a pair of NCAA Final Four appearances, nine NCAA tournament bids, three ECAC East playoff titles and 23 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference championships.
Callum Hofford's (Woodbridge, ON) power play goal with just under two minutes to play to broke a 4-4 tie, sending the Vikings to their eighth victory of the season.
The Vikings got on the board in the 8th minute of the 1st period when Hofford sent in a long strike through traffic that went over the shoulder of Calabrese.
The Vikings (8-16-1, 7-1) extended their lead with two quick strikes in the second when Joe Smith (Holbrook, Mass.) converted on a breakaway chance then a minute later Matt Yianacopolus (Wakefield, Mass.) added another score to push the Salem lead to 3-0.
The Rams (2-21-1, 0-16-1) answered with two quick scores converting on the 5-on-3 advantages twice. First Brian Kozek (Chicago, IL) scored with help from Walker Hamilton (Anchorage, AK). Just over sixty seconds later still on a 5-on-3 McDonough converted with help from Kozek.
The Rams came back and tied the score early in the third when Soren Colstrup (Owatonna, MN) picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone skated around a Vikings defender and slipped a wrist shot past Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.).
The Rams took the lead on to powr play with just over eight minutes to play when Ryan Paul (Morgan, VT) scored with a helper from Calabrese.
The Rams lead was short lived however when Salem won the faceoff and scored eight seconds later when Parker Wood (Rochester Hills, MI) found the back of the net to tie the game at five.
Cleary made 22 stops in goal for the Vikings in the win.Calabrese made 35 saves in net for the Rams. Salem State outshot the Rams by a 40-25 margin.
Salem State will now await pairings for the upcoming 2019 MASCAC Post Season Tournament.