Minutemen and Black Bears Skate To 1-1 Tie
Nov. 21, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 9 University of Massachusetts hockey team battled No. 3-ranked Maine to a 1-1 tie in Hockey East action Friday night at the Mullins Center. With the draw, the Minutemen improved to 8-2-1 overall and 5-2-1 in Hockey East. Maine is now 9-2-1 and 4-2-1 in Hockey East.
Maine put on the offensive pressure for most of the first period, and went on the game's first power play just two-and-a-half minutes into the game. However, Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) and the UMass defense held tight killing off the Black Bears' first big chance. UMass then took advantage of strong forechecking to create a Maine turnover in its own end and took a 1-0 lead when James Solon (Acton, Mass.) slid a shot from in front that trickled through Jimmy Howard's five hole for a 1-0 lead at the 14:58 mark. The goal was assisted by Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.), who fed Solon with a beautiful pass in front, and Craig MacDonald (Canton, Mass.). UMass had another golden opportunity when going on its first power play of the evening in the final two minutes of the stanza. John Toffey (Barnstable, Mass.) and Mark Matheson (Calgary, Alberta) had good looks at the net, but Doyle slammed the door shut on both opportunitues.
The Minutemen dodged a big bullet early in the second period, when the Black Bears were given a penalty shot after a UMass crease infraction. But Winer stopped a Colin Shields low shot, which brought the crowd of 6,044 onto its feet. The play seemed to spark the Minutemen offense, as they started to pressure Howard. But the junior standout stopped everything the Minutemen threw at him to keep the Black Bears within striking distance. Maine knotted the contest at 1-1 late in the stanza, when Michael Leveille found Greg Moore streaking down the center of the ice behind the UMass defense. Moore flipped a shot into the top left corner to tie the game at 1-1 with just 42 seconds left in the second period.
UMass continued the pressure in the third period, outshooting the Black Bears, 8-6, but again Howard and Winer matched each other save-for-save and the game went into overtime. UMass had the best chance to win the contest, early in the extra session, as Kevin Jarman (Aurora, Ontario) was left open on the right doorstop, but Howard made a sprawling save to keep the game tied at 1-1, which was the final tally. Winer made 24 saves for the Minutemen, while Howard stopped 20 shots for Maine.
The Minutemen stay at home with a Nov. 25 contest against Vermont. The athletic department is offering a "Toys For Tots" promotion. Anyone bringing a toy will get free admission, and the ticket office is also offering a buy one ticket, get one free promotion. Face-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. For ticket information, contact the UMass ticket office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.