UMass Hockey Picks Up 13th Victory Of The Season
Feb. 26, 2005
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - In a rare out-of-conference matchup late in the season, the University of Massachusetts (12-20-2, 5-15-2 Hockey East) stopped a four-game losing streak and defeated Niagara University 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at Dwyer Arena. Eight different Minutemen had a hand in scoring in the victory, while the four goals scored were the most for UMass since Dec. 30, 2004.
UMass' goal to set the tone early on was successful, as the Minutemen scored just 38 seconds into the contest. Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ont.) took a pass from Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) for his seventh goal of the season. Senior Dusty Demianiuk (Franklin, Mass.) also assisted on the game-opening tally for his first point since Jan. 22 vs. UMass Lowell.
Niagara (13-17-2, 8-8-2 College Hockey America) tied the game at 11:30 with a 5-on-4 goal by Andrew Lackner. With David Leaderer (Rochester, N.Y.) in the box for tripping, the Purple Eagles scored from the blue line just 12 seconds into the penalty. Shayne Baylis and Barret Ehgoetz assisted on the tying goal.
Through the first, Niagara held a 16-5 advantage in shots.
The Purple Eagles' Ryan Gale put Niagara up 2-1 with the second power play goal of the game at 9:07. John Toffey (Barnstable, Mass.) was in the box for hooking and Niagara took its first lead of the game in the waning seconds of the penalty. Brian Hartman assisted on the play.
With just over a minute remaining in the middle period, Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) came through and tied the game with his fourth shorthanded goal of the season. The goal, unassisted, was Werner's 12th this season and was the captain's first since Jan. 7 at UMass Lowell.
Going into the locker room at the end of two, shots were 23-14 in favor of the home team.
The UMass offense exploded in the third, putting up two goals in the first three minutes of the period. Rookie Zech Klann (Pottstown, Pa.) regained the Minuteman lead at 1:16, beating Jeff Van Nynatten with both teams scrambling in front of the net. The goal, assisted by Mark Matheson (Calgary, Alb.), was Klann's third of the season.
Degon made it a two-goal game just over a minute later with his ninth goal of the season. The goal, again scored with traffic in front of the Niagara net, was assisted by Kevin Jarman (Aurora, Ont.) and Stephen Jacobs (Westminster, Mass.). Degon's ninth goal of the season was also his first since the Jan. 7 game vs. the River Hawks.
Niagara's Cliff Ketchen got a goal late in the game to make it 4-3, and despite a 6-on-4 advantage in the final minute of the contest, Massachusetts held on for their 12th win of the season.
Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.), who kept the Minutemen in the game with the shot discrepancy throughout the game, made 29 saves in net for the Minutemen for his ninth win of the season. Jeff Van Nynatten made 23 saves for the Purple Eagles. Final shots were 32-27 Niagara. UMass was 0-for-4 on the power play compared to Niagara's 2-for-7 mark with the extra skater.
The Minutemen return to league action next weekend with a home-and-home with Northeastern. Friday's contest in Amherst will be the final home game of the 2004-05 season. The seven UMass seniors will be honored prior to opening faceoff.