Hockey Defeats Niagara 4-0 in Opening Round of the RPI/HSBC Holiday Tournament
Dec. 28, 2001
TROY, N.Y. - Four different Minutemen scored as the University of Massachusetts defeated Niagara, 4-0, in the opening round of the 51st RPI/HSBC Holiday Tournament tonight at the Houston Field House.
Senior Toni Söderholm (Helsinki, Finland) opened the scoring for the Minutemen 3:25 into the game when he scored off a feed from senior Martin Miljko (Etobicoke, Ontario) at the tail end of a two-on-one. Sophomore Mike Warner (Waltham, Mass.) also assisted on the goal. It was Söderholm's first goal of the season and first since Oct. 6, 2000, in last season's opener at Wisconsin.
Massachusetts extended its lead to 2-0 in the second period when sophomore defenseman Nick Kuiper (Beaconsfield, Quebec) scored on a slapshot from the point through traffic. It was the first goal of Kuiper's collegiate career. Senior Darcy King (Barrie, Ontario) won the faceoff to get the puck back to Kuiper at the point. The Minutemen added another goal when freshman Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) scored in the slot off a feed from freshman Craig MacDonald (Canton, Mass.) at 15:25 of the second period. Junior Tim Turner (Saginaw, Mich.) began the play with a cross-ice breakout pass to MacDonald.
The Minutemen opened a four-goal lead when freshman Matt Walsh (Arlington, Mass.) scored off a rebound in the slot 1:13 into the third period. Senior Randy Drohan (Mississauga, Ontario) and freshman Peter Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.) assisted on the goal.
Massachusetts senior goaltender Mike Johnson (Excelsior, Minn.) made 26 saves before being replaced by freshman Tim Warner (Waltham, Mass.) with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Warner made nine saves to complete the shutout, while Niagara goaltender Ryan MacNeil made 24 saves.
The victory improves Massachusetts to 7-10-0 overall, while the loss drops Niagara to 12-8-0 overall.
Massachusetts returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 29, in a 7:30 p.m. game against the winner of the Rensselaer/Quinnipiac game for the championship of the RPI/HSBC Holiday Tournament.