Hockey Drops 1-0 Heartbreaker To No. 3 Minnesota
Oct. 16, 2004
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Ryan Potulny scored with just 31.9 seconds remaining in regulation to give the third-ranked University of Minnesota hockey team a 1-0 win over the University of Massachusetts tonight at the Sullivan Arena in the first round of the Nye Frontier Classic.
In a very defensive first period, the two teams combined for seven total shots. UMass tallied five of them. 47 seconds into a four-on-four, Minnesota's Mike Vannelli was called for a high-sticking minor setting up the game's first power-play. Mid-way through the advantage, junior Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) rifled off a shot from the left point which was saved by Minnesota goalkeeper Kellen Briggs. Then just as the power-play expired, the Minutemen had a flurry in front of the net where it got three shots on goal off. Junior James Solon (Acton, Mass.) got off two of the shots while freshman P.J. Fenton (Longmeadow, Mass.) took the other one. Briggs saved them all. A few minutes later, Minnesota got its first chance on the power-play, but did not record a shot on goal. At 8:11, the Minutemen got their second chance with the man advantage, but before they could get a shot off, sophomore Kevin Jarman (Aurora, Ontario) was called for a holding penalty negating the extra skater opportunity. When Minnesota's power play started, Ryan Potulny had its best chance to score. He streaked in on the right side and fired off a quick one-timer from just outside of the crease. UMass junior Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) was there to record the save however. UMass out-shot Minnesota, 5-2, in the first period while both teams had three penalties for six minutes.
After the second period, the game remained scoreless. UMass had the first opportunity to score at the 16:58 mark. Senior Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) took a slap-shot from just inside the blue line which hit the post. Less than a minute later, the Golden Gophers got their third power-play of the game. They got three shots off but Winer was able to stop them all. Potulny had a chance to stuff it on a flurry in front of the jet near the end of the power-play, but after the puck slid along the goal line, Winer was able to cover it up. At 13:09, Jarman received a drop pass from junior captain Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) between the face-off dots, but Briggs was able to make the save. Minnesota out-shot Massachusetts, 10-4, in the second period. The Minutemen had two penalties for four minutes while the Gophers were called for one minor.
The Minutemen got the first power-play of the third period just 1:52 in, but were unable to record a shot on goal. Five minutes later, Massachusetts got another chance with the extra skater. At 13:52, Alex Goligoski was called for hooking to set it up. With 13 seconds left on the power-play, Lang recorded the first shot of the period from the right point, but Briggs made the save.
With 10:46 left, Potulny got off two shots for the Gophers from the slot, but Winer stopped them both to preserve the tie. The Minutemen were then awarded another power-play just under the 10-minute mark. Nate Hagemo was called for cross-checking setting up UMass' sixth power-play. Half-way through Fenton had a wrist shot from the left point which was saved by Briggs. That ended up being the only shot on goal during the Minutemen's third power-play of the period.
With 6:04 left, the Gophers went on their first power-play of the period. Senior Dusty Demianiuk (Franklin, Mass.) picked up an elbowing to the head minor. The Gophers came out firing quickly on Winer, but he held his ground and made five saves. The final one was a diving stop on the Gophers' Jake Fleming on the left side of the crease.
Then with just 31.9 second left, Potulny slid a back-hander through Winer's five-hole for the game's only goal. It was his third tally of the season. Both Kris Chucko and Danny Irmen were credited with assists.
Winer made 20 saves while taking the tough loss. Briggs made 17 in the shutout victory. Minnesota out-shot Massachusetts, 21-17. The Gophers committed seven penalties for 14 minutes, while the Minutemen were whistled for six penalized for 12 minutes.
The Minutemen will now face either host Alaska-Anchorage or Canisius tomorrow at 8:00 EST in the Nye Frontier Classic third-place game. It will be broadcast live on WRNX, 100.9 FM and on the Internet at www.umassathletics.com through SportsJuice.