UMass Rally Falls Short To Harvard, 5-3
Dec. 13, 2003
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The No. 8-ranked University of Massachusetts hockey team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the contest at 3-3, but Harvard scored twice in the final eight minutes to defeat the Minutemen, 5-3. UMass will head into the Holiday break with a 9-4-3 record, including 5-2-2 in Hockey East, good for third in the league.
In an odd beginning to the game, UMass started the contest on the power play when Harvard was called for a bench protocal violation before the game even started. However, UMass couldn't get set up on the Harvard offensive end, and the Crimson killed the penalty easily. Harvard pressured the UMass net, but couldn't get the puck past Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) . The Harvard flurry also brought about a pair of roughing penalties, causing the two teams to play four-on-four for two minutes. Harvard got on the board first when Winer turned the puck over in the UMass zone and Charlie Johnson rattled a shot off the pipes and crossbar for a 1-0 lead at 7:53. Harvard struck just two minutes later when Tyler Kolarik slapped a shot through a UMass defensemen from just inside the blue-line to beat Winer stick-side just inside the left post for a 2-0 advantage at the 9:50 mark. The UMass offense continued to struggle, accumulating only two shots on goal in the first 13 minutes. However, UMass received a break when Harvard was sent to the penalty box for too-many-men-on-the-ice, but UMass couldn't get a good look and Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) one-timed a shot wide for UMass' only legitimate chance. The Minutemen started to pressure and Mark Matheson (Calgary, Alberta) had two good shots that Dov Grumet-Morris gobbled up. The two teams settled into a rhythm the last of the period, but the Minutemen used a Harvard power play to nearly cut into the lead as Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) came in on Grumet-Morris and flipped a shot despite being taken down from behind that Grumet-Morris saved from his side. Harvard led 2-0 after one period, and outshot the Minutemen, 18-6 in the first 20 minutes.
Immediately after killing off the Harvard power play, the Crimson struck again as Johnson scored his second goal of the evening on a tip just in front inside the left post just 1:43 into the second period. However, UMass showed signs of life on its next power-play chance. Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) ripped a slap shot through traffic that clanged off the left post into the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) and Chris Capraro (Medford, Mass.) assisted on the goal. After killing off a short-lived Harvard power play, the Minutemen struck again when Nick Kuiper (Beaconsfield, Quebec) came up the right side, stopped, and slid a shot to the right post that beat Grumet-Morris low to cut the margin to 3-2, 9:37 into the second period. Matheson and Werner assisted on the goal. However, after the score, Harvard went on a one-minute 5-on-3 power play, then another 30-second 5-on-4 power play, but the Minutemen successfully killed both to stay within striking distance. The Minutemen nearly tied the game up 14 minutes into the frame on a flurry in front of the net, but Grumet-Morris made four great saves to keep the Crimson in the lead. UMass tilted the ice and started putting pressure on Grumet-Morris late in the period, but Harvard would hold on to the 3-2 advantage after two periods.
Harvard started the third period the same way it started the second period, with its sixth power-play chance of the night, but again, the Minutemen killed it off to keep the Crimson scoreless on the extra-man attack. The Minutemen then tied the game when Warner redirected a Mauldin shot from just inside the blue-line into the top left corner to knot the score at 3-3 at the 5:39 mark. Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) also assisted on Werner's fourth goal of the year. UMass kept on the pressure and went on its fifth power play of the game 12 minutes into the third stanza, but it was Harvard that went up 4-3 when Steve Mandes wristed a high shot on a 2-on-2 break that trickled into the net at the 12:01 mark. Harvard would successfully kill off the Minuteman attack. The Minutemen would pull Tim Warner (Waltham, Mass.) with over 1:30 left in the game and Tom Cavanagh would add an empty-netter with two seconds left to end the contest, 5-3.
The Minutemen will take the next two weeks off for final exams and the Holiday break, before concluding the 2003 portion of the schedule at the Vermont Christmas Tournament. On Saturday, Dec. 27, the Minutemen will battle 12th-ranked Dartmouth at 4:00 p.m., before playing the host school, Vermont, on Dec. 28, at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call the UMass ticket office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX.