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LIVE GAME BLOG: UMass Hockey vs. #13 New Hampshire

James Marcou

James Marcou

Jan. 9, 2009

**** END OF OT -- 2-2 FINAL **** 1:00 left in OT -- Not much action, with UMAss controlling most of the play. Not much JvR for the Wildcats in OT, and not much of him throughout most of the game, actually, after that early injury.

START OF OVERTIME

***** :04 -- GGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL UUUUUMMMMMAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ******* -- INCREDIBLE, the Minutemen dumped in the puck with :10 left and won the battle along the boards to Foster's left. Centering pass by Langeraap was deflected in front by Berry, and Captain Clutch Cory Quirk slammed home the leftovers, eating Foster blocker-side from about 7' out. AMAZING work by the Minutemen, and a testament to how hockey should be played in the final seconds of a game.

WE'RE GOING TO OOOOOVEEERRRRTIIIIIMMMMEE!

:44 -- Meyers to the bench after UMass wins the draw and gets the puck into the UNH zone.

:50 -- TIMEOUT UMASS

1:36 -- Another blocked shot for UNH just as the UMass PP expires. Scoreoard only shows four shots on goal this period for the Minutemen.

3:44 -- PENALTY UNH / Kapstad called for interference, and with the Golden Globes this Sunday Justin Braun was trying to prove he should be up for one or more of the acting awards as he completely sold the trailing referee on that call. 4-on-4 for the next 34 seconds followed by a Minuteman PP.

5:18 -- PENALTY UMASS -- POWERPLAY UNH / Martin Nolet called for tripping, and the Minutemen's comeback just got a little bit harder.

7:20 -- Three-on-two break by the Minutemen short-circuits as the centering pass hits a Wildcat skate and kicks back to the blueline...

10:21 -- Back to 5-on-5...

12:21 -- MATCHING MINORS -- 4-on-4 / Dries and Wessbecker each hauled off for hitting after the whistle, opening up the ice a bit more as we'll play 2 mins. at 4-on-4.

 

 

12:21 -- Six shot attempts so far this period by the Minutemen, three of which have been blocked bby the Wildcats.

15:44 -- Foster snags a hard Berry snap shot to freeze play. Pretty bbalanced play to start the third, with UNH looking like they want to focus on collapsing four men deep and trying to counter on a breakout. UMass is finding shooting lanes difficult to come by, bbut are keeping up a good attacking pressure.

Scoring change on the UMass goal, no assist credited to Wellman, so the scoring should now just readSyner from Ortiz at 10:49 of the 2nd.

Start of Third Period

HEEEEEERRRRRREEE COOOMMMME THE MINUTEMEN!!!!!

Shots thru two: UMass 23, UNH 21

Crikey, two straight games that the Minutemen have allowed short-handed goals to the Wildcats. This one is a killer, too, coming on a 5-on-3 PP, and the goal giving UNH the lead heading into the third. The Minutemen are 0-7-0 when trailing after two periods this season, while UNH is 6-0-1 when leading after two. It'll likely be tough to crack Foster a second time, as the UNH defense will probably try to block everything sent his way through the rest of the game.

END OF THE SECOND PERIOD

*** 18:57 -- GOOOOOAAAALLL UNH (SH, 5-on-3) / 2-1 UNH *** Foster made a save thru heavy traffic, kicking the rebound to Nick Krates who fed a bbomb pass to Mike Sislo breaking out of his zone on the left boards. Sislo flew into the UMass zone on Meyers' right, cut across the crease and out-waited the Minuteman goalie firing a wrister glove side to give the Wildcats an improbable short-handed goal and a 2-1 lead.

1:58 -- PENALTY UNH -- 5-on-3 UMASS / Danny Dries called on a delay of game, and the Minutemen will look to pot one before the horn.

3:11 -- PENALTY UNH -- POWERPLAY UMASS / Thomas Fortney called on a high-stick, contact to the head.

4:10 -- JvR just turned Alex Berry inside out and feathered a shot through the crease and just wide. Signs of why he went #2 overall in the '07 draft.

5:55 -- PENALTY UMASS / Davis called for Obs. Interference will wipe out the final few seconds of the UMass PP.

7:37 -- PENALTY UNH / POWERPLAY UMASS / Collins called on a hold, UMass looks to take the lead with the man-advantage.

***9:11 -- GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL UMASS!!!!!! -- 1-1 **** Perfect one-timer from a falling T.J. Syner beats Foster glove side from just inside the left faceoff dot. Beautiful pass by Will Ortiz set Syner up, with Danny Hobbs tallying the secondary assist.

***11:16 -- GOOOOAAALLL UNH -- 1-0 UNH*** / Bobby Butler snaps a firecracker past Meyers on a quick breakaway off a feed from Kevin Kapstad. Great shot after the pass split the UMass defense perfectly.

16:18 -- Irwin with another cannon-shot that Foster's able to blocker aside. The kid can SHOOT!

16:42 -- PENALTY UNH -- POWERPLAY UMASS / Greg Collins called for the trip.

17:15 -- Casey Wellman deflects a beautiful feed right off the post to Foster's left. Best chance for the Minutemen yet.

17:59 -- Matching minors -- 4x4 hockey / Mike Beck and Michael Lecomte each draw 2 mins. for hitting after the whistle.

18:21 -- Meyers with a really good glove save on a streaking Alan Thompson as the UNH PP expires. Had to reach up above the ear to haul that in...

20:00 -- Just a reminder that UNH starts the period with 1:28 of PP time...

HEEEEEERE COOOMMME THE MINUTEMEN!!!!!

Quick story... I went to Ottawa last week for the USA-Canada WJC game. Amazing. The WJC comes to Buffalo in two years, 12/26/10 - 1/5/11. I implore all of you, if you are a true hockey fan, to go check this thing out. The passion of the fans up in Ottawa was insane. Next year they're in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask., so it might be a bit of a hassle for you folks to get out there, but Buffalo should be a nice one or two-night trip. Me and the lady-blogger are already planning on heading to the shores of Lake Eerie. Meantime, all of this year's USA games (and all games broadcast by TSN in Canada were shown live, in their entirety, complete with pre- and post-game shows, by the NHL Network. So at the very least, watch as many games as possible next year while you relax during the holidays.

Shots after one were 12-10 UMass. Toldja, folks... goaltending duel tonight....

A little kerfuffle at the horn will land Martin Nolet, Chris Davis, Jerry Pollastrone and Phil DeSimone in the sin bin for two minutes each to kick off the second, all of the fine young gentlemen called for hitting after the whistle.

END OF THE FIRST PERIOD

00:32 -- PENALTY UMASS -- UNH Powerplay / Chase Langeraap called for a slash. If UNH doesn't score quickly they'll get almost 1:30 of PP on fresh ice to start the 2nd.

1:43 -- UNH penalty expires, back to even-strength. Best chance from my point of view was a blast by Matt Irwin from the left point that took a slight deflection and went wide. Smart move on the powerplay when you can load up the front and hope for a lucky bounce.

3:43 -- PENALTY UNH -- Powerplay UMass / Phil DeSimone called for roughing gives the Minutemen their third powerplay. Let's see how long this one lasts before the refs feel guilty and even it up.

4:38 -- Quick whistle by the ref behind Foster allows UNH to avoid potential trouble. The zebra lost sight of the puck -- which was still loose in front of the prone goalie -- and whistled the play dead. Crowd here at Mullins growing restless with the officials...

6:27 -- Brief stoppage as Dan Meyers lost his lid. No harm, no penalty, and we're back underway...

7:27 -- Both penalties expire, back to 5-on-5.

8:50 -- JvR back on the ice for UNH. There was talk he picked up an injury during the late stages of the World Juniors in Ottawa last week, so this might have to do with lingering effects from that.

9:27 -- PENALTY UMASS / Well, looks like the refs are trying their best to be "fair & balanced", giving James Marcou 2 mins for tripping.

10:00 -- PENALTY UNH -- Powerplay UMass / Kevin Kapstad called on an elbow in front of his own bench.

12:56 -- Both penalties have expired, with Chris Davis getting the best chance from either side, ringing a shot off the post.

14:56 -- PENALTY UNH / In an obvious makeup call, Mike Beck is called for a trip on a clean body play in the UNH zone.

15:10 -- PENALTY UMASS -- Powerplay UNH / Michael Lecomte gets called for a cross-check behind the UNH net bby the ref in the neutral zone, and the UMass faithful are not pleased.

16:25 -- Good start so far by the Minutemen. Crisp, smart passes, and good decisiions in the neutral zone.

19:04 -- JvR takes a spill behind Meyers' left and is slow getting up. Couldn't tell what he was favoring, perhaps the ubiquitous "upper-bbody injury."

20:00 remaining, 1st period -- OK, let's get down to it, boppers!

6:40 before faceoff -- HEEEEEERRRRREEEE COOOME THE MINUTEMEN!!!!!

Meyers and Foster were in net for the matchup between these two teams back in their 1-1 tie in Oct. in NH, and having been at that game and seen their play (Meyers stopped 31 of 32 shots and Foster stopped 38 of 39) if they're anywhere near the form they were in then this'll be a real nail-biter.

Starters are all set for the Minutemen this evening, and it's top-line across the board for skaters: James Marcou (18 GP, 8g-13a-21pts.) at LW, Chris Davis (18, 8-6-14) at RW and captain Cory Quirk (18, 6-13-19) at C make up the forward line, with LD Martin Nolet (17, 1-4-5) and RD Justin Braun (18, 4-6-10) on the blueline.

Junior Dan Meyers gets the call in net tonight for the Minutemen, making his ninth start of the season. In his eight previous games (starter for all) this year he sports a 3-3-1 record with a 2.13 GAA and a .926 sv%.

UNH will be coming out for the opening faceoff with their top lines, as well. James van Riemsdyk (17gp, 9g-17a-26pts., and from here out to be referred to as JvR for time's sake) anchors the forwards at center, with Jerry Pollastrone (18, 3-5-8) on his left and Mike Sislo (18, 12-3-15) on his right.

The Wildcats will have playmaker Kevin Kapstad (18, 1-11-12) on LD and NY Islanders draft pick Blake Kessel (17, 2-3-5) on RD.

In goal tonight for UNH will be Brian Foster. In 15 games this season, the Florida Panthers property is 8-4-2 with a 2.52 GAA and a .918 sv%.

Hockey East action resumes for the Minutemen as long-time rival #13 New Hampshire visits the Mullins Center for the first game of this weekend's home-and-home series. Welcome to tonight's game blog brought to you by Jared Sharpe from high atop the Mullins Center Press Box. The Minutemen and Wildcats play for the 98th time in the series between the two teams tonight as the second half of the season gets into gear.

Below are some helpful links to help you keep track of all the hockey action this weekend if you can't make it to the Mullins Center on Friday or the Whittemore Center on Saturday.

  • FRIDAY: Listen Live | Watch Live | GameTracker
  • SATURDAY: Listen Live | Live Stats | Watch Live

    Tonight's game should be a good one as both teams are fairly even in terms of stats among Hockey East teams.

    In conference play, UNH ranks fifth offensively with 3.09 goals per game, while UMass ranks sixth with 3.00 goals per game. Defensively, however, UMass ranks second (2.22 gpg), while the Wildcats are ninth (3.17 gpg). UMass also ranks ahead of UNH on the power play and the Minutemen lead the league on the penalty kill.

    The game will also feature two of the top scorers in the conference as sophomore James van Riemsdyk rejoins New Hampshire after playing for Team USA in the World Junior Championships. van Riemsdyk leads the league with 26 points with 9 goals and 17 assists. UMass' James Marcou, also a sophomore, is tied for third with 21 points on 8 goals and 13 assists. UMass also features Cory Quirk and Alex Berry who rank among the league's top 12 scorers, so hopefully so the Minutemen can get the offense going early and often!

    But, as is usually the case in "the men's league" as Coach Cahoon refers to it, you can put your pens and papers down because anything can happen on any given night.

    4:43 PM: Just over two hours until game time, back soon with the starting lineups!

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