Minutemen Upset Buckeyes in Shootout
Dec. 28, 2002
ESTERO, Fla. - The University of Massachusetts hockey team used three goalies and outscored Ohio State, 2-1, in a shootout to advance to the title game of the Florida Everblades College Classic with a 3-2 victory. The Minutemen's record now stands at 10-6-1 with the tie, while the 11th-ranked Buckeyes stand at 12-5-2.
The Minutemen were on the offensive end for most of the first period. Just 45 seconds in, the Minutemen missed a great opportunity when Thomas Pöck (Klagenfurt, Austria) clanged a shot off the right post. Peter Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Tim Turner (Saginaw, Mich.) each had two shots in close that OSU goalie Mike Betz made stellar saves on to keep the game scoreless. However, the Minutemen finally got on the board when Mike Warner (Waltham, Mass.) deflected a shot from the point by Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) past Betz into the top right corner for a 1-0 lead at the 18:25 mark. Turner also assisted on the goal.
Ohio State tied the game just 33 seconds into the second period on a slapshot from the point from Daymon Bencharski with an assist from Nate Guenin. The Minutemen's Michael Waidlich (Millers Falls, Mass.) then kept the game even with a big save on a breakaway by the Buckeyes' Lee Spector with five minutes to play in the second period. UMass managed to take a 2-1 lead at the 15:34 mark with a power-play delayed penalty netter by Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.). Werner deflected a slapshot off Betz's pad to give the Minutemen a 2-1 cushion. Greg Mauldin (Holliston, Mass.) and Matt Fetzer (Chicago, Ill.) assisted on the goal. However, OSU tied the game when R.J. Umberger scored on a power-play goal at the 19:45 mark to send the game into the third period knotted at two.
Both teams had several chances in the third period to score, UMass with perhaps the best chance. The Minutemen had a one-minute, 30-second five-on-three power play, but could not convert. Werner also had two shorthanded breakaways, but Betz stopped both of them. Both teams combined for four power-play chances in the stanza, but couldn't convert on any of them. The Minutemen also dodged a bullet from the stick from OSU's All-American R.J. Umberger, who sent a breakaway shot wide with 25 seconds to play. Both teams clamped down on defense in the overtime session, and the game went into a shootout for advancement purposes only.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the shootout thanks to goals by Pöck and Werner. The Minutemen then went scoreless on their last three shots. OSU's Dave Steckel brought the Buckeyes to within one on the fourth shot. But Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) stepped up and made two big saves during the shootout to advance the Minuteme into Sunday's final.
The Minutemen will play the championship game of the Everblades College Classic Sunday at 7:35 p.m. against either top-ranked Maine or third-ranked Cornell .