UMass Hockey Blanks #11 Northeastern, 3-0
Feb. 7, 2014
BOSTON, Mass. - On the back of a 27-save shutout by junior netminder Steve Mastalerz, the UMass hockey team downed #11 Northeastern, 3-0, in Hockey East action on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Following the win, the Minutemen improve to 8-16-3 overall, 4-8-3 in Hockey East, while the Huskies fall to 8-6-1 in conference play and 16-9-3 overall.
Mastalerz, who earned his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career, also assisted the game-winning tally, his third career helper. Freshman Marc Hetnik scored the game-winner for his first collegiate goal.
Senior co-captain Conor Sheary chipped in his sixth goal of the season and second short handed goal of his career to move within two of the 100-point milestone. Senior Branden Gracel added the third of the night with the empty net for his team-leading 12th goal of the season. Classmate Michael Pereira picked up an assist on the tally for his 50th of his career.
After playing a scoreless first period where UMass out-shot Northeastern, 17-5, the Minutemen broke up the deadlock just 1:33 into the second. Junior Zack LaRue corralled an outlet pass from Mastalerz and sent the puck ahead to Hetnik on the left wing. Hetnik skated the puck deep into the Huskies' zone and tucked a tough-angle shot into the far corner of the net to give UMass a 1-0 advantage.
With the second stanza drawing to a close, Sheary increased the margin to 2-0 while on the penalty kill. Cycling the puck down low, senior Adam Phillips fed Sheary in front for the one-timer at the 17:40 mark.
Gracel sealed the win by scoring with a diving poke at the puck in the neutral zone 19:32 into the third that trickled down into the empty net. Freshman Steven Iacobellis and Pereira earned the assists.
UMass finished with a 48-27 shot advantage and held the Huskies to a 0-for-6 night on the power play. Northeastern goaltender Clay Witt made 45 saves in the setback.
The Minutemen will be back in action tomorrow night, Feb. 8, taking on #7 UMass Lowell at the Mullins Center at 6 p.m. in a game that will be televised on NESN.
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