Third-Period Magic Runs Out For Minutemen
Jan. 11, 2003
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - UMass rallied to tie the game on two different occasions, but couldn't hold off a spirited Merrimack effort, as the Warriors topped the Minutemen, 4-3, on Saturday night at the Volpe Complex. The loss snapped UMass' three-game winning streak and drops its record to 13-8-1 overall.
The Minutemen came out with more energy than the previous night, but it was Merrimack that struck first. Bryan Schmidt scored his second goal of the weekend on a power-play netter at the 7:52 mark. Schmidt took advantage of two UMass defenders that were on the ice to clear himself and rifled a shot past UMass goalie Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) gloveside for a 1-0 Warrior lead. The Minutemen had a golden opportunity to tie the game late on their first power-play chance of the evening. Merrimack goalie Joe Exter was caught well out of position after a save made on a Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) blast. But Sean Regan's (South Boston, Mass.) shot was blocked by Schmidt in front of the net to preserve the lead.Schmidt then scored his second power-play netter of the evening as he walked in on Winer and sniped a shot top-shelf past Winer to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead at the 17:29 mark.
UMass cut the lead to 2-1 at the 2:56 mark of the second period when Matt Anderson (West Islip, N.Y.) flipped in a shot past Exter for his seventh goal of the year. Anderson took a feed from Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) in the left slot and knocked home a shot that deflected off Exter's pads. Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) also assisted on the goal as he tipped a pass to Mauldin. The trio was at it again on UMass' next power-play opportunity. Anderson fed Mauldin in the center of the ice, who then one-timed a shot at Exter. Exter made the initial save, but the puck trickled in the crease behind him. Werner found his way to the crease and easily put the puck into the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2 at the 9:52 mark.
However, Merrimack retook the lead early in the third period. Ryan Cordeiro picked up a loose puck in the center of the ice after UMass had failed to control. Cordeiro then rocketed a shot that beat Winer stick-side at the 1:27 mark. Alex Sikatchev and Tony Johnson assisted on the score. Once again, the UMass line of Werner, Anderson and Mauldin stepped up again. Anderson scored his second goal of the game as he took a feed from Mauldin along the left boards and swooped in unhindered to the left slot. Anderson clanged a shot off the crossbar and the right post past Exter's glove at the 7:02 mark to knot the score at 3-3. Werner also assisted on the goal. But Merrimack answered again after UMass had tied the game with a Tony Johnson unassisted goal at the 12:33 mark. Johnson came down the right boards and banged home a rocket off the right post that beat Winer short-side for a 4-3 lead. The Minutemen had several chances late in the game, including a brilliant 2-on-1 shorthanded rush that Exter turned away to preserve the victory.
The Minutemen will battle fifth-ranked New Hampshire next weekend in a key two-game series. UMass heads to Durham, N.H., on Friday, Jan. 17, for a 7:00 p.m. game, and will host the Wildcats on Sunday at the Mullins Center at 5:00 p.m.