Minutemen Cruise Past Vermont, 6-2
Nov. 26, 2002
BURLINGTON, Vt. - UMass used a strong third period, and five different players scored goals to pull away from a pesky Vermont squad for a 6-2 non-conference victory at Gutterson Fieldhouse Thursday night. The Minutemen improved to 6-5-0 on the season.
Vermont got on the board first when UMass failed to gain control of the puck deep in its own end. The Catamounts' Oriel McHugh took a centering pass and slid it past UMass goalie Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.). Bryson Busniuk and Tim Plant assisted on the goal at the 5:57 mark.
But UMass tied the game less than two minutes later. Winer caught the Catamounts on a line change and found a wide-open Tim Turner (Saginaw, Mich.) along the Vermont blue-line. Turner brought the puck in and lifted a shot past Vermont goalie Matt Hanson top-shelf to knot the game at one at the 7:39 mark. The goal was Turner's fifth of the season.
UMass turned up the offensive heat in the second period, and took a 2-1 lead late in the frame when the Turner poked in a rebound past Hanson for his second goal of the evening. Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) fired a shot from just inside the blue-line in which Hanson initially saved, but Mike Warner (Waltham, Mass.) shoveled the puck to Turner, who slid it past Hanson at the 15:37 mark, The Minutemen had several chances to increase the lead, but Hanson stopped four UMass breakaways in the second period to keep the Catamounts within striking distance.
Nick Kuiper (Beaconsfield, Quebec) then gave the Minutemen a 3-1 at the 7:06 mark of the third period. The Minutemen won a face-off in Vermont's zone. The puck was drawn back by Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) to Kuiper, who fired a shot towards the goal that bounced in off Hanson's pads. Matt Anderson (West Islip, N.Y.) also assisted on Kuiper's third goal of the season.
UMass added to the lead at the 10:30 mark when freshman Matt Fetzer (Chicago, Ill.) blasted his first career goal from the blue-line that beat Hanson shortside. Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ontario) was credited with an assist after winning the face-off in Vermont's zone.
The Minutemen put the game out of reach at the 16:38 mark when Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) came out of the penalty box and was left all alone along the Vermont blue-line. Werner fed him and Lang skated in and beat Hanson on a breakaway for his third goal of the year to give UMass a 5-1 lead.
After Vermont cut the lead to 5-2, Werner tallied his fifth goal of the season at the 18:28 mark to give UMass a 6-2 lead. Werner flipped in a shot on a breakaway with an assist from Mike Warner to give UMass a late 6-2 cushion.
The Minutemen outshot Vermont, 26 to 11 on the evening, and limited Vermont to one power-play goal in six opportunities.
UMass will be in action next on Saturday with an out-of-conference game against Dartmouth at 3:00 p.m. at the Mullins Center.