Massachusetts Rallies to Knock Off Rensselaer
Oct. 20, 2002
AMHERST, Mass. - Tim Vitek's (Dresden, Ontario) goal early in the third period rallied Massachusetts to a 4-3 non-conference victory over Rensselaer on Sunday night at the Mullins Center. The win evens UMass' record to 1-1-0, while Rensselaer lost its third straight game to drop to 1-3-0.
The Engineers got on the board early, despite being on the defensive end for most of the first period. Nolan Graham took advantage of a UMass turnover around center ice to give RPI a 1-0 lead, when his shot beat Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) top shelf at the 11:51 mark. The goal which appeared to hit the crossbar was credited to Graham after a lenghthy discussion.
RPI led 2-0 when UMass struck back. Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) rocketed a shot from the blue line to the top right corner to narrow the gap to 2-1. The goal was assisted by freshman Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.).
The Engineers still led 3-1, when Nick Kuiper (Beaconsfield, Quebec) cut into the lead again. Kuiper drove a shot into the top part of the net past Kevin Kurk, just over a minute after RPI had taken another two-goal lead. The goal was assisted by freshman Matthew Anderson (West Islip, N.Y.) and narrowed the margin to 3-2 after 40 minutes.
The Minutemen then got two goals in a span of 55 minutes to take control of the game. The first came from sophomore Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) with an assist to Anderson, and the game-winner came from Vitek from Lang. RPI was caught in a line change and Vitek took advantage of a breakaway to beat Kurk for a 4-3 lead. The Minutemen then held on after RPI pulled its goalie with just over a minute to play.
UMass will host Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 1:00 p.m. at the Mullins Center.