No. 15 UMass Overcomes Holy Cross, 2-1
Oct. 24, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 15-ranked University of Massachusetts hockey team struggled at times, but scored a 2-1 victory over state rival Holy Cross on Friday night at the Mullins Center. Massachusetts improved to 4-0-0 with the victory, while Holy Cross dropped to 2-2-1 overall. The 4-0-0 start is the first for the Minutemen since the 1971-72 season.
Holy Cross pieced toghether the first strong shift early in the first period, firing three good looks on UMass goalie Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.), but the sophomore netminder stopped all three shots to keep the game scoreless early. UMass had a great scoring opportunity seven minutes into the game, but Holy Cross keeper Tony Quesada stoned Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) and John Luszcz (Ludlow, Mass.) from in close to keep the game tied at 0-0. The Minutemen then took a 1-0 lead when Luszcz found Mauldin alone in front of the net, which the junior one-timed into the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage. John Toffey (Barnstable, Mass.) also assisted on the goal. UMass dodged a huge bullet just after UMass' goal when the Crusaders had four shots on an open goal on a power play after Winer was caught out of position, but the UMass defense scrambled to block every Holy Cross shot to keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard. UMass was outshot by Holy Cross, 11-8, but led 1-0 after the initial 20 minutes.
Holy Cross tied the game just moments into the second period when James Sixsmith batted an Amdrew McKay cross out of midair into the back of the net just 1:24 into the second stanza. UMass almost took a 2-1 lead just after Holy Cross' goal when Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) sniped a shot off the crossbar which kept the game knotted at one. The Minutemen started to tilt the ice and Toffey had an excellent chance to give UMass the lead 12 minutes into the second period. Toffey gathered a loose puck in front of the net, putting a move on causing Quesada to fall. But the Crusaders' defense recovered and closed any gap Toffey had to shoot. The Minutemen peppered Quesqada with 13 shots in the middle 20 minutes, but couldn't push the puck across keeping the game tied at 1-1 heading into the final stanza.
UMass' Garrett Summerfield (Endicott, N.Y.) had a good look at the goal six minutes into the third period, but Quesada came out of the net, cutting off Summerfield's angle and in turn made a good glove save to keep the game tied at one. The Minutemen finally solved Quesada almost nine minutes into the third period when Mike Warner (Waltham, Mass.) found Chris Capraro (Medford, Mass.) alone in front. Capraro was stoned once, but stayed persistent and poked the rubber into the back of the net for a 2-1 cushion at the 8:42 mark. Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) also assisted on the goal. UMass continued the offensive pressure, outshooting Holy Cross, 9-4, in the third period, but Quesada turned aside every UMass threat. The Minuteman defense stood tall, however, and stopped the Crusaders, including the final 1:16 in which Holy Cross played without its goalie. Winer made 20 saves for the Minutemen, as he improved to 4-0-0 on the season.
The Minutemen enter the bulk of Hockey East play next Friday with a conference battle against nationally-ranked Providence. Face-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the Mullins Center on Halloween night. For ticket information, call the UMass ticket office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.