Minutemen Notch 4-2 Win Over Northeastern
Jan. 29, 2004
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts hockey team got multi-point games from four players and notched two goals in a 32-second span in the second period to defeat Northeastern, 4-2, in hockey action at the Mullins Center. The win improves UMass' record to 12-7-5 overall and 8-5-2 in Hockey East. Northeastern drops to 7-12-4 overall and 2-10-3 in Hockey East.
Neither team mounted much of a threat in the first five minutes. Northeastern had the game's first good chance on a shot from in front by Mike Morris, but Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) came out to meet the puck and stopped the initial Huskies' threat. Shortly after, the Minutemen notched the game's first goal as Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.), playing in his first game since suffering a concussion on Jan. 3, against UMass Lowell, came along the left side, firing a shot on NU goalie Keni Gibson. The rebound trickled to the right slot, where James Solon (Acton, Mass.) slid the puck into the back of the net under a diving Gibson at the 6:11 mark for a 1-0 advantage. Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) fed Mauldin on the play for the second assist. Northeastern had the game's next best opportunity 12 minutes into the game as the Minutemen fanned on a clearing pass in their own defensive zone, giving Aaron Moore a breakaway. But Moore's shot was into Winer's body, who quickly smothered the puck.
The Minutemen then pulled away in the first five minutes of the second period. The Minutemen made it 2-0 when Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ontario) picked up a loose puck near center ice, fed the puck to Mauldin, who sniped a shot into the top left corner from just inside the blue line past Gibson's stick for his sixth goal of the season at the 4:18 mark. Solon also assisted on the Mauldin's netter. Just 32 seconds later, Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) made it 3-0 when he flipped in his own rebound along the left doorstop for the fifth goal of his sophomore campaign. Chris Capraro (Medford, Mass.) assisted on the goal, which came at the 4:50 mark. UMass limited Northeastern cut into the lead when Brian Swiniarski took a puck in front of Winer on a feed by Eric Ortlip. Swiniarski's shot was blocked by Winer initially, but trickled past the UMass netminder into the back of the net at the 11:21 mark to trim the Minuteman lead to 3-1. The goal was the first allowed by Winer and the UMass defense in the past 92:37, spanning three games. Shortly after the goal, the Huskies went on the game's first two power plays in a span of five minutes, but the Minutemen killed both of them without allowing a shot on goal. The Minutemen would go on their first power play of the contest, spanning the last minute of the second period and the first minute of the third period.
The Minutemen capitalized on the back-end of the overlapping penalty when Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) stopped a Northeastern breakaway, played the puck to Werner, who dropped it off to Pöck. The senior Hobey Baker candidate faked a shot, put a move on and easily wristed a shot past Gibson's stick for his 13th netter of the season. The goal came just 31 seconds into the third stanza. After UMass' goal, the Minutemen killed off their third successive Husky power play, after Winer made three saves during a scramble in front of the net. The Huskies tried to claw back into the game, and had an opportunity at an open net goal with about 15 minutes left, but Peter Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.) came out of nowhere to stop the puck and keep the Huskies at bay. However, Northeastern cut the UMass lead to 4-2 when Jon Awe was left alone in front of the net. Aaron Moore found him and Awe lifted a shot into the back of the net past Winer's glove at the 11:30 mark. Yale Lewis also assisted on Awe's second goal of the season. Northeastern again threatened to cut deeper into the lead with its fourth power play of the game, but again the UMass penalty-kill unit held the Huskies without a shot and stopped the fourth extra-man chance of the game. The Huskeis pulled Gibson with under 30 seconds to play, but couldn't push the puck across and UMass held on for a 4-2 victory.
UMass will host Merrimack at the Mullins Center on Saturday night (Jan. 31) at 7:00 p.m. With a win, the Minutemen can sweep the season series with the Warriors for the first time since the 1998-99 season. For ticket information, call the UMass Ticket Office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.