Minutemen Fall Short to Northeastern
March 5, 2004
BOSTON - Northeastern scored twice in a two-minute, 19-second span in the first period, and Keni Gibson made 38 saves to hand the Minutemen a 3-0 defeat, and setting up a key Hockey East game Saturday night at the Mullins Center.
The Minutemen had the game's first good opportunity on the contest's first power play, but Northeastern and Keni Gibson killed off the chance. Immediately following the power play, Northeastern's Mike Morris came out of the box to a free puck near UMass' blue-line, put a move on, but UMass goalie Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) was up to the challenge, making a fantastic glove-save to keep the Huskies off the board. After Gibson stopped a Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ontario) shorthanded bid, the Huskies took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Jason Guerriero that snuck through Winer's five-hole after getting Winer to commit low. The goal, which came at 12:32, was assisted by Morris. Northeastern went up 2-0 at the 14:51 mark after poor UMass defensive coverage when Guerriero batted in a loose puck at the left doorstop with an assist to Morris for the pair's second tally in a 2:19 span. Steve Burnstill also assisted on Guerriero's second goal.
Neither team had many good opportunities in the first half of the second period. The Huskies had a power-play chance thwarted by the UMass penalty-kill team. UMass' Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) had a strong one-timer that Gibson kicked aside at the last minute with about six minutes to play in the frame to keep the Minutemen off the board. Northeastern then took a 3-0 lead late in the second, when Tim Judy faked a shot, causing a defenseman to fall in an attempt to block the shot. Judy took it along the right boards, where he sent a pass in front of the net that Trevor Reschny tipped in at 18:46.
UMass came out strong in the third period, drawing a penalty just 1:34 into the frame for only its second power play of the game. But the Minutemen couldn't get set up in the Northeastern zone and the Huskies killed off the attack easily. UMass had one more power play in the contest, and dominated territorially in the third period, but Gibson turned aside every UMass chance to post his fifth shutout of the season and sixth career shutout, both Northeastern records. Northeastern tacked on a late goal on a breakaway tally by freshman Yale Lewis at 15:42.
UMass will host Northeastern at the Mullins Center on Saturday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. The game is the regular-season finale for the Minutemen and will be "Senior Night". Three seniors, Nick Kuiper, Mike Warner and Thomas Pöck will be honored before the game. UMass will then host the Hockey East Quarterfinals on March 11-13, at the Mullins Center for the first time ever, against either UMass Lowell or Providence. For ticket information, call the UMass Ticket Office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.