Maine Too Strong For UMass In Home Finale, 4-0
Feb. 22, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts hockey team ran into a focused Maine team on Saturday night, and fell to the Black Bears 4-0 in front of a revved-up crowd of 4,824. The attendance was the ninth-largest in school history, one night after seeing 5,084 file into the Mullins Center for the eighth-largest home crowd. The Minutemen struggled on offense all night in falling to 16-16-1 overall and 9-14-0 in Hockey East.
Maine was on the attack right from the start, putting much pressure on the UMass defense. But the Minutemen held strong, and freshman netminder Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) was up to the challenge, turning away all 13 Maine shots in the first period, including several from close-range. Despite being territorially outplayed in the first 20 minutes, the Minutemen may have had the two best chances to score in the period. Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) came in on Maine goalie Frank Doyle on a breakaway midway through the stanza. Mauldin deked left, and came back right aiming a shot for the top right corner. But Doyle stood firm and tipped the shot away to keep the game scoreless. The Minutemen also had a 2-on-0 break later in the period, but Chris Capraro (Medford, Mass.) fired a shot wide of the mark.
Maine then got the game's first big break midway through the second period. John Ronan sent a clearing pass down the ice from the Maine zone in an attempt to ice the puck. The puck took a weird bounce that Winer misplayed off his skate, and the puck found the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage at the 9:19 mark.
UMass appeared to take momentum of the game after the score and went on their first power play early in the third period. However, it was Maine that turned it into a score, as Chris Heisten forced a UMass turnover and took the length of the ice. Heisten deked right and came back across Winer's body to slide the puck past the UMass goalie's skate for a 2-0 lead at the 1:31 mark of the third stanza.
Greg Moore gave the Black Bears a 3-0 lead when he banged home a power-play goal at the 6:41 mark with assists by Robert Liscak and Lucas Lawson. The Bears went on a five-minute power play at the 5:54 mark and scored just under a minute later. The Minutemen avoided further damage, as Winer stoned four shots in a 4:13 span on the rest of the Maine man advantage.
Lawson concluded the scoring with just 1:25 left when he took the puck the length of the ice and swooped in front of the net and beat Winer to the left post for his 20th goal of the season.
The Black Bears dominated the game, firing 38 shots at Winer. Winer did turn away a career-high 34 shots, but UMass managed only 18 shots on Doyle, who stopped them all. Maine also held UMass scoreless on two power-play chances.
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