No. 7 Minutemen Stumble to UNO, 7-2
Nov. 28, 2003
OMAHA, Neb. - The No. 7-ranked University of Massachusetts hockey team ran into a red-hot Nebraska-Omaha squad Friday night, falling to the Mavericks, 7-2. The loss drops UMass to 9-3-1 overall, heading into Saturday's second game of the series.
Nebraska-Omaha had the game's first chance to get on the scoreboard when Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) took a penalty just 37 seconds into the contest. The Mavericks took advantage on a brilliant give-and-go goal by Dan Hacker with assists to Kaleb Betts and Mike Gabinet for a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game. The Mavericks nearly went up 2-0, but Mike Lefley's shot from the right point hit the left post seven minutes in to keep the Minutemen within striking distance. UMass went on its first power play of the game eight minutes into the contest and knotted the game at one. Degon fed Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) for a one-timer that went off the boards behind the net to a waiting Kevin Jarman (Aurora, Ontario), who stuffed the puck into the back of the net from the left doorstop at the 8:40 mark for his fourth goal of the season. UNO went on its second power-play chance of the game, shortly after UMass' goal, but Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) and the UMass defense successfully killed it off to keep the game tied. UMass had a golden opportunity with five minutes left in the first period as Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) skated in one-on-one, but UNO goalie Chris Holt made a great glove save to keep the game tied. The two teams played an otherwise even final 10 minutes of the first period, and skated to their locker rooms tied at 1-1.
UNO opened the second period the same way it opened the first with a two-minute power play, but the Minuteman penalty-kill unit didn't allow the Mavericks to get setteld in the offensive zone and killed the extra-man advantage easily. UNO again went on its fourth power play of the game with a five-minute advantage five minutes into the second period. This time the Mavericks took advantage on a soft deflection in front by Andrew Wong that trickled into the back of the net at 6:23. However, the Minutemen killed off the rest of the five-minute power play with no further damage. Once again, UNO went on its fifth power-play chance of the game 11 minutes into the second frame. And again, UNO made the Minutemen pay with a one-timer from the point by Betts at the 11:55 mark for a 3-1 advantage. But the Minutemen started to rally, when John Luszcz (Ludlow, Mass.) scored his first UMass goal just 32 seconds later to cut the lead to 3-2. Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ontario) assisted on the goal. However, the Mavericks pushed the lead back to two goals when Wong scored unassisted at the 18:26 mark. The Minutemen went on their fourth power play of the game, late in the second period which carried over to the third stanza, trying to cut into the lead.
UMass started the third period on the power play, but couldn't get settled in the offensive zone, and the Mavericks killed off the UMass attack. The Mavericks added to the lead when Betts tallied his second goal of the night from a pretty pass from Scotty Turner at the 4:25 mark to push the lead to 5-2. Parse added to the lead moments later when he beat Winer top-shelf for a 6-2 lead. With just over a minute remaining, Wong completed his hat trick with the Mavericks' fourth power-play netter to push the margin to 7-2.
The Minutemen will remain in Omaha for a Saturday night contest, beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST. The game can be heard on WRNX 100.9 FM, with the pregame show beginning at 7:30 p.m. UMass will return to the Northeast with a Sunday, Dec. 7, contest at No. 12-ranked Boston University. Face-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Walter Brown Arena in Boston.