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Owls Sink Vikings With Third Period Cannonball, 6-2

Daniel Backstrom carries the puck (Dave Caspole photo)
Daniel Backstrom carries the puck (Dave Caspole photo)


WESTFIELD, Mass.  – Westfield State provided an offensive explosion in the third period, scoring four goals in the span of ten minutes to defeat Salem State University 6-2 in MASCAC play Saturday night at Amelia Park Ice Arena.

After a scoreless first period, Jake Ratcliffe (Canterbury, New Zealand) potted his seventh of the season from Aaron Clancy (Quincy, Mass.) and Daniel Backstrom (Helsinki, Finland) only a minute in to the second period to give the Owls the 1-0 lead.

But Salem would strike twice in the span of two minutes on one-timer goals from Dan Shea (Hingham, Mass.) and Jimmy Currier (Middleton, Mass.) to put the Vikings at the head of the ship, 3-2.

Westfield State would answer on a one-time blast from Justin Collins (Wilmington, Mass.) set up by Danny Ferri (Chelmsford, Mass.) to tie the game once again.

Both teams held significant scoring chances throughout the beginning half of the third period, but the Owls would break through when F.X. Girard would send a nifty pass right to the stick of Daniel Backstrom, who would finish it off just over the right pad of Viking goaltender Sean Cleary (Barnstable, Mass.) to put the Owls ahead 3-2.

Westfield would tack on three more after the eventual game-winner from Backstrom to provide some insurance and secure the victory.

With the win, the Owls improve to 5-5-2 (3-3-0 in the MASCAC) and Salem State drops to 4-7-1 (3-4-0 in MASCAC play).

Westfield State outshot Salem 56-31 in the contest, while goaltender Thierry Messervier (Montreal, Quebec) had 29 saves for the Owls and Cleary stopped 50 shots for the Vikings.

Westfield State continues play Tuesday at Franklin Pierce, taking on Westfield State alumnus Nick Passero's Ravens. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Salem State keeps up with MASCAC play as they host Umass. Dartmouth this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.