UMass Power Play Comes Alive In 5-1 Win Over Merrimack
Jan. 6, 2006
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts (7-11-0, 4-7-0 Hockey East) came alive with a 5-1 victory over Merrimack (4-12-2, 1-8-2 HEA) on Friday night in front of 2138 fans at the Mullins Center. UMass exploded with three power play goals in the first to ensure the win. The Minutemen are now in sole possession of seventh place in the league, one point behind sixth place Boston University.
UMass' special teams were on fire in the first, netting three goals in less than 10 minutes to set the tone of the game. With the first penalty in a UMass 5x3 having expired by four seconds, Marvin Degon made it a 1-0 game with a shot from near the blueline at 4:49. His fifth goal of the season was assisted by Mark Matheson and P.J. Fenton. With the assist, Matheson extended his scoring streak to three games (1-2-3).
Merrimack's Brian Boulay was called for hitting from behind at 12:29, followed by a tripping call to the Warriors' Matt Byrnes at 12:38, resulting in the second 5x3 of the period for Massachusetts. Matt Anderson came up with his third power play goal of the season at 13:36, assisted by Stephen Werner and Chris Davis. Werner fed the puck to Anderson from behind the net, who then beat Patrick Watson high to make it 2-0.
Chris Caparo tallied the Minutemen's third power play goal of the night with MC still serving the 5x4 for Byrnes' infraction. The goal, which was assisted by Degon for his second point of the night and Matt Burto, was initially shot from between the circles and tipped, hitting the Merrimack netminder and trickling over the line to make it 3-0.
In the first period alone, UMass tied the record for power play goals scored in a game vs. a Hockey East opponent (3, last time vs. Northeastern on 3/5/05).
The Warriors jumped on the special teams bandwagon in the second, scoring a power play tally of their own at 13:14. Captain Bryan Schmidt came through with his third of the season, assisted by leading scorer Rob Ricci and Rob LaLonde, to spoil UMass' hopes for a shutout. It was the lone goal of the period as the teams skated into the locker room with the 3-1 score. Through two, shots were 22-17 in favor of the home team.
Davis regained UMass' three-goal lead with an even-strength tally at 2:54. Taking a pass from Fenton, Davis walked in and beat Watson on the near side through traffic for his sixth goal of the year. Degon also added an assist on the goal, rounding out his three point effort on the night.
Merrimack pulled goalie Watson in favor of an extra attacker with 56 seconds left in the game, but UMass' Jamie Solon capitalized on the empty net at 19:33. Cory Quirk and Kevin Jarman assisted on the play, giving at least one point to eleven UMass skaters in the game.
UMass was 3-for-4 on the power play, while Merrimack was 1-for-6. The Minutemen racked up 29 shots and the Warriors took 24.
UMass concludes their season series with Merrimack tomorrow night in North Andover. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.
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