Hockey Scores Four Goals In Third Period To Beat Nebraska-Omaha 5-2
Dec. 30, 2004
AMHERST, Mass. - On the strength of a four-goal third period, the Massachusetts hockey team rolled past the University of Nebraska-Omaha 5-2 on Thursday night at the Mullins Center. Captain Stephen Werner (Chevy Chase, Md.) had two goals and an assist for the second night in a row to help UMass to an 18-2 record over the last 20 home non-conference games.
Werner's performance tonight gives him 80 career points moving him into 16th-place all-time on the scoring chart. He now leads the Minutemen in goals with 10 and is second on the team in points with 18 for the season.
The Minutemen (10-10-1) scored three goals over a one minute, 36-second stretch of the third period. That flurry was just 19 seconds shy of the school record for the fastest three goals scored in a game which was set earlier this year (1:07) against Merrimack (11/5).
Outshooting its opponent 8-2 in the opening stanza, UMass failed to connect on some quality chances in front of UNO netminder Eric Aarnio. With only one penalty being called in the first 20 minutes--two minutes for charging by Minuteman Craig MacDonald at 16:56--the teams went into the intermission scoreless.
The Mavericks (8-9-1) broke open the scoring just 2:05 into the second with Scott Parse's 10th goal of the season, assisted by Bill Thomas. The duo leads UNO in scoring with 50 points between them.
With UNO's Bobby Henderson in the box for holding, Minuteman rookie Matt Burto (Orange, Conn.) carried the puck in and scored the equalizer at 14:42. Burto's fifth goal of the season--his first career power play tally--was assisted by linemate P.J. Fenton (Longmeadow, Mass.). Burto and Fenton are 5-3-8 in the last five contests, with Burto collecting four goals and a helper in that span.
The Mavericks nearly made it a 2-1 game less than 15 seconds later with John Thomas skating in on Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.), but UMass'
netminder contained the puck between his skate and the post to keep it knotted at one. Nebraska-Omaha was afforded two power play opportunities in the last 4:04 minutes of play, but the Minutemen successfully killed off one and 22 seconds of the latter before heading into the locker room.
Down a man for the opening 1:38 of the third, Werner took a pass from Tim Vitek (Dresden, Ont.) and made the most of the odd-man break, scoring his second shorthanded goal of the season at 1:26 to put UMass up 2-1. However, the Minutemen were not finished, as they tallied a total of three goals in the span of one minute and 36 seconds to put them up 4-1.
Zech Klann (Pottstown, Pa.), who registered his first career point on Wednesday versus Princeton, added his first career goal at 2:25 to give Massachusetts a two-goal lead. Assistant captian Peter Trovato (North Attleboro, Mass.) collected his third assist in two games on the goal.
UNO was assessed a bench minor after assitant coach Todd Jones was ejected for misconduct, putting UMass on the power play for the second time in the game. Freshman defenseman Mike Kostka (Ajax, Ont.) then scored his first goal as Minuteman at 3:02 for the three-goal cushion, assisted by Marvin Degon (Millbury, Mass.) and Werner.
The Mavericks took advantage of three consecutive Massachusetts penalties and scored once to make it a 4-2 game. Bill Thomas took the feed from Bryan Marshall in the 11th minute of the period to score the power play goal.
Nebraska-Omaha pulled Aarnio from the goal with 55 seconds remaining in the game for the extra skater which allowed Werner to score the fifth UMass goal of the game with two seconds to go. For Werner, this was his second empty-netter in as many games.
Winer finished the night making 21 saves to improve to 8-6-1 on the year, while Aarnio falls 0-1-0 after making 24 saves in his first career start. UMass will next travel to UMass-Lowell on Jan. 7 for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff. The Minutemen will next play in the Mullins Center, where they have a 9-2-0 record this year, when they host Maine for back-to-back games on Jan. 14 and 15.