Eagles Down No. 9 Minutemen, 4-1
Nov. 14, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 9 University of Massachusetts hockey team's three-game winning streak came to an end to No. 3-ranked Boston College, 4-1, on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen dropped to 7-2-0 overall and 4-2-0 in Hockey East, heading into tomorrow's game at Providence.
Boston College had the game's first scoring opportunity on a power-play chance just one minute into the game, but Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) made two saves and the Minuteman defense didn't allow the Eagles to set up in the UMass zone as the penalty expired. The Eagles controlled the tempo, but couldn't push one across, and the Minutemen had the next opportunity going on their first power play of the game. However, the nation's best penalty-kill unit stopped UMass before it could set up in the zone, before the Eagles took another penalty, giving the Minutemen a 30-second five-on-three advantage 10 minutes into the game. After the Eagles killed off the first power play, the second one ended when the Minutemen took a penalty with 52 seconds left on the second power play. The Eagles cleared the zone and John Adams scored on a beautiful cross from Ryan Murphy for a 1-0 lead at the 10:21 mark. Boston College went on a power play with under two minutes to play in the second period, but the Minutemen killed off their third power play of the night and went on their own, which carried over after a late BC penalty.
UMass opened the second stanza on a 1:30 power play, and had two great opportunities. Chris Capraro (Medford, Mass.) had a close shot from the left doorstop that went just wide and Marvin Degon's (Millbury, Mass.) shot from in front hit the left post to keep the Minutemen scoreless. The power play became prolonged when BC's Brett Peterson was sent to the box for a hooking penalty to give the Minutemen another power-play chance. The Minutemen tied the game when Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) unleashed a rocket from just outside the blue line that beat BC goalie Matti Kaltiainen to the right post to send the school-record crowd of 7,113 into a frenzy. James Solon (Acton, Mass.) assisted on the netter. The Minutemen were buzzing and nearly took a 2-1 lead when Pöck was robbed from in close by Kaltiainen. However, the Eagles silenced the crowd when Adams put on a deke getting Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) to slide, and he wristed a shot into top-shelf for a 2-1 lead at the 6:28 mark. Brian Boyle slapped home a loose puck in the crease at the 14:06 mark for a power-play netter after Ben Eaves fired a shot into Winer's body from the left slot. Winer scrambled to corral the puck, but Boyle slapped it home for his third goal of the season.
The Minutemen had two golden opportunities to cut into the BC lead early in the third period, but Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ontario) couldn't get a stick on a good crossing attempt and John Toffey (Barnstable, Mass.) had a point-blank shot from in front that was robbed by Kaltiainen. The play was ragged in the third period, and neither team could settle into an offensive rhythm. With about five minutes left, and UMass still trailing 3-1, the Minutemen went on a five-minute power play after Tony Voce received a game misconduct, which would last the rest of the game. The Minutemen pulled the goalie with just over two minutes to play for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Stephen Gionat wristed in a shorthanded goal at the 18:36 mark to stop any UMass rally.
The Minutemen will conclude its regular-season series with Providence on Saturday, Nov. 15. Face-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I.