UMass Falls To Maine, 5-2 In Florida Hockey Classic Championship
Dec. 31, 2011
ESTERO, Fla. - Despite playing even with Maine for the final two periods, a 2-0 deficit after the first proved too much for UMass to overcome as the squad fell 5-2 in the Florida Hockey Classic championship game on Friday night at Germain Arena. With the setback, the Minutemen are now 6-8-4 on the year, while the Black Bears improve to 8-7-2.
Maine struck quickly, scoring on a one-timer by Joey Diamond 3:04 into the opening period, with assists going to Spencer Abbott and Mike Cornell. Then just 1:54 later, the Black Bears capitalized on a power play opportunity. Abbott and Matt Mangene set up the score with Brian Flynn sending the puck past UMass netminder Kevin Boyle for his eighth of the season.
UMass bounced back in the second after being out-shot by Maine, 14-1 in the first, holding a 11-10 advantage in attempts in the second frame.
The Minutemen took one of the goals back, 7:36 into the second. After receiving the puck from sophomore Branden Gracel, senior Danny Hobbs sent a pass up the boards to classmate T.J. Syner behind the Black Bears' blueliners. Syner carried into the Maine zone alone and ripped a low shot that beat Dan Sullivan to bring the score to 2-1.
However, Maine responded by notching their second power play goal of the evening at the 9:37 mark. Mark Anthoine picked up the tally for Maine in the slot off a feed from Adam Shemansky behind the net with Kyle Beattie earning an assist, as well.
Brice O'Connor was issued a major and a game misconduct for hitting from behind 13:36 into the second, but the Mass Attack could not convert on the five-minute power play or the brief 5-of-3 opportunity after Mangene was whistled for tripping at 17:59 and headed into the third period with a 3-1 deficit.
Midway through the third, sophomore Conor Allen brought the Minutemen back to within striking distance. His shot from the middle of the zone, set up by sophomore Conor Sheary and redshirt-freshman Steven Guzzo, brought the score to 3-2 at the 8:35 mark. Sheary was later named to the All-Tournament team after finishing the tournament with five points (2g, 3a).
Maine, who was 3-for-7 on the power play on the evening compared to UMass' 0-5, countered though to push the lead back to two with another man advantage tally. Mangene picked up his second point of the night, scoring from Abbott and Will O'Neill at 12:16.
Flynn later added the empty netter for his second of the night to seal the victory at 18:33.
The Black Bears ended the contest with a 32-19 shot advantage as netminders Boyle and Sullivan tallied save totals of 27 and 17, respectively.
UMass will be back in action on Thursday, Dec. 5, when the squad will travel to Providence for a 7 p.m. Hockey East matchup.
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