No. 9 UMass Stops Providence, 3-2
Nov. 15, 2003
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The No. 9-ranked University of Massachusetts hockey team pieced together a solid defensive effort and produced enough offense for a 3-2 victory over Providence to win the season series, two games to one. The win moves UMass' record to 8-2-0 and 5-2-0 in Hockey East.
The Minutemen had the first good chance when Torry Gajda hooked Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) just four minutes into the game giving UMass the first power-play chance of the game. The power play became a 5-on-3 when Eric Lundberg followed Gajda into the box just 41 seconds after the initial penalty. Pöck had a good look from outside the right face-off circle, and followed with several good looks, but couldn't solve PC goalie Bobby Goepfert as the Friars killed off the first two UMass power plays. The Minutemen again were on the attack, going on a 4-on-3 power play when Jonathan Goodwin hooked Mike Warner (Waltham, Mass.) on a breakaway and the Minutemen capitalized. Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) one-timed a Pöck feed from in front at the 9:18 mark for a 1-0 lead. Chris Capraro (Medford, Mass.) also assisted on the goal. Providence went on its first and second power plays of the game 13 and 17 minutes into the game, but Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) and the UMass defense held tight.
Providence opened the second period on a power play just two minutes into the frame, and went on a 5-on-3 advantage for 30 seconds after another Minuteman penalty. The Friars finally capitalized when Jonathan Goodwin banged home a power-play rebound after Winer made two great saves from in close to tie the game at one at the 4:36 mark. However, UMass regained the lead when James Solon (Acton, Mass.) beat his defenseman on the outside and wristed a shot past Goepfert just 44 seconds after the Friars had tied the contest. Craig MacDonald (Canton, Mass.) and John Luszcz (Ludlow, Mass.) were credited with assists on the play at the 5:20 mark. Again, Providence tied the game minutes later when Jeff Mason slid a shot through Winer's five-hole at the 6:58 mark to knot the score at 2-2. The Minutemen answered when John Toffey (Barnstable, Mass.) flipped a shot top-shelf on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Degon started the play with a perfect board pass to Josh Hanson (Medford, Mass.), who slid the puck in stride to a streaking Toffey on the left side for the goal at the 14:13 mark.
Providence opened the third period on a power play, but Winer made two good saves and the Minutemen killed off the Friar chance. Neither team mounted much of a chance in the first part of the stanza. The Minutemen had a golden chance midway through the third, but Kevin Jarman (Aurora, Ontario) sailed a Degon pass just high from just in front of the net. The Minutemen also had two power-play chances, but couldn't push the lead to two goals. Providence tried to pull Goepfert, but took a penalty with 1:09 to play, making it tough to accomplish, and the Minutemen held on for a 3-2 Hockey East victory, their seventh road victory in a row.
The Minutemen return home next Friday, Nov. 21, for a key Hockey East battle with No. 4 Maine. Face-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. For ticket information, contact the UMass ticket office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.