Minutemen Topple No. 9 Wildcats 4-3 In Overtime Thriller
Jan. 21, 2006
DURHAM, N.H. - The University of Massachusetts (9-13-0, 6-9-0 Hockey East) defeated New Hampshire for the first time since 2001 with a 4-3 overtime thriller in front of a sold-out Whittemore Center on Saturday night. Matt Anderson, who had a season-ending injury in Durham last year, had a breakthrough performance for the Minutemen, scoring twice (including the gamewinner) and adding an assist in the victory.
The Wildcats opened the game with a power play after Topher Bevis was called for hitting after the whistle at 4:30. The Minutemen successfully cleared the zone through the majority of the infraction before senior captain Stephen Werner intercepted a pass at the blueline and skated in alone on goalie Kevin Regan. Werner deked and beat Regan just as the penalty expired for his seventh goal of the season and first of 2006. Time of the goal was 6:31.
UNH fought back with an even-strength tally just under three minutes later to tie the game up at one. Joe Charlebois was credited with his second goal of the season at 9:30, shot from the blueline through traffic and cleanly beating Gabe Winer. Jacob Micflikier and Daniel Winnik both assisted on the tally.
Captain Matt Anderson came up with a breakaway goal of his own with 57 seconds remaining in the first to regain UMass' one goal lead. Mike Kostka intercepted a Wildcat pass and shoveled the puck up to Anderson, who skated up center ice with two Wildcat defensemen trailing him. He beat Regan near the far side post for his sixth of the season to close out the period.
The teams skated through an uneventful second, with UMass being called for two penalties and UNH being called for one. Shots through two were 27-16 in favor of the Wildcats, including a 17-7 advantage in shots in the middle stanza.
The Minutemen got into some penalty trouble in the third, taking consecutive penalties at 4:56 and 8:53, and the Wildcats capitalized on the latter to again tie the game. With John Wessbecker in the box for delay of game, UNH controlled the zone and worked the puck low before a flurry in front of Winer. With numerous players down in front of the net, Winnik got his first goal of the night at 9:33. The goal beat Winer high and was assisted by Brian Yandle and Jacob Micflikier.
UMass' special teams had some extended time to try and regain the lead after Josh Ciocco hit Chris Davis from behind at 10:09, resulting in a five-minute continuous power play for the Minutemen. After calling a timeout, the PP connected to make it a 3-2 game for Massachusetts. Marvin Degon fed the puck to Chris Capraro at the top of the crease, who lifted it over Regan for his fourth of the season. Anderson also assisted on the goal.
But the Wildcats wouldn't go away, tying the game for the third time with 2:45 remaining in regulation. Mike Radja was credited with the goal, assisted by Hemingway and Matt Fornataro. Neither team broke the 3-3 tie, and the game shifted to a five-minute overtime.
With 1:05 left in the game UNH's Craig Switzer was called for tripping, affording UMass its fifth power play of the night. As time wound down on the clock, Mark Matheson caused a turnover and got the puck to Werner who then made the pass to Anderson. Anderson's one-timer from between the circles beat Regan high with 3.4 seconds remaining, giving Massachusetts only its 14th victory all-time over UNH.
Overall, shots were 40-29 in favor of the home team. The Minutemen were 2-for-5 with the man-advantage, while the Wildcats were 1-for-5. Winer was stellar in net, making 37 saves for his sixth win of the season.
UMass returns to action next weekend, facing UMass Lowell on Friday in Amherst before Saturday's match on the road vs. Boston University. Game time is set for 7 p.m. both nights.
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