LIVE HOCKEY BLOG: UMass at UMass Lowell
Jan. 17, 2009
Good evening UMass hockey fans and welcome to tonight's game blog live from Tsongas Arena where UMass will face UMass Lowell. This is an important game for the league as UMass is in eighth place and UMass Lowell is two points ahead in sixth-place. Tonight's game will be aired live on 91.1 FM WMUA in a special presentation. Brock Hines and Donnie Moorhouse will begin the pregame show at 6:40 PM.
The team left Amherst today around 3 p.m. and arrived in Lowell a little after 4:30 p.m. The guys have been pretty focused today and know that the River Hawks are a tough team which has just gone through a tough stretch. UML just snapped six-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win last night at Boston College.
If you have never been to Tsongas Arena, it is really quite a nice venue. UMass Lowell shares the facility with the Lowell Devils - the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. If you were at the game at the Mullins Center against Cornell, you may have gotten the trivia question right that night about Red Gendron winning three Stanley Cup Championships with the New Jersey Devils as an assistant coach. The arena is a smaller venue, probably 5,000 or so, with good sight-lines of the ice. The UML band is currently warming up as fans start to trickle in for tonight's game.
Speaking of Red, if you are looking for some good reading, pick up a copy of his book "Coaching Hockey Successfully" which was published in 2001. It seems to get pretty good reviews.
9:21 PM: UMass holds on for a wild 4-3 win in Lowell. The Minutemen get their first win in 2009. A huge win right now for the standings. Our three stars tonight is Paul Dainton, Cory Edwards (UML) and Justin Braun.
9:20 PM: With 6.4 seconds to go, the puck is cleared out and UML is called for a hand-pass giving the Minutemen an offensive zone face-off. UML replace Hamilton.
9:18 PM: 35.4 seconds to go and UMass Lowell calls timeout. It is still 6x5 hockey with River Hawk goalie Hamilton out. The Minutemen have done a good job of collapsing defensively and clearing the puck, but UML hasn't let it get past it's blueline.
9:16 PM: With 1:22 left, UML pulls Hamilton, wins the face-off and has a few good cracks at the puck right in front of Dainton. He flashes the pad and gets a few blocks from the team.
9:13 PM: UMass calls timeout with 1:36 to go. Toot wants to go over the defensive strategy here, especially if UML pulls Hamilton. He has been preaching better defense and we need it for the final moments.
9:10 PM: Congrats to the men's basketball team which just defeated Temple 79-75 on ESPN2 over at the Mullins Center. That makes UMass 2-0 this year on an ESPN-Family network - although we are contractually obligated to mention that the CBS Family is better.
9:06 PM: Just over 5 minutes to go and UMass still leads UMass Lowell 4-3. The River Hawks pulled their goalie last night to force OT at Boston College. If things stay the same here, they may go for the extra man in another few minutes. The way penalties have been called tonight, that could be a big swing in momentum if any power plays happen in the next five minutes as well.
8:56 PM: Instead of penalties, now its a goal every other time up and down the ice. Will Ortiz tips a pass from John Wessbecker to make it 4-2 for the Minutemen, then the River Hawks come back less than a minute later to make it 4-3.
8:52 PM: UMASS GOAL!!!! The Minutemen get a shorty from Justin Braun. Doug Kublin started the breakout with a pass up to Brett Watson who carried it up the left boards. Braun came down the right slot and Watson hit his stick right on the tape. It's Braun's second short-handed goal this season and the fourth for the season for the team.
8:49 PM: Topher Bevis is called for interference at 4:15 giving us 4x4 for 21 seconds before the River Hawks get their seventh power play of the game (1-for-6).
8:46 PM: UML penalty on Nick Monroe for hooking at 2:38 of the third period. UMass is on its fourth power play of the night (0-for-3).
8:26 PM: UMass Lowell makes it 2-2 with 25 seconds to play as Kory Falite evens things up. End of the second period.
8:19 PM: Well, it seems one good thing happens, then something bad happens. At the 15:41 mark of the seond period, UML is whistled for high sticking giving UMass a power play. At the same time, however, Nolet is given a 10-minute misconduct. UMass is able to sub for him, so thee is not a man-down situation, but it does affect the line-up especially on special team situations.
8:16 PM: UMASS GOAL!!! - Chase Langeraap makes it 2-1 good guys with 6:27 left to go in the second period. Mike Lecomte wins the offensive zone face-off to James Marcou. Marcou slots a nice pass to Langeraap who is standing right in front of the crease and just roofs a shot over Hamilton. It's Langeraap's second goal and fourth point in the last three games after he went 10 games with just one assist. For Marcou, that's his fourth assist (third of the weekend) in the last three games.
8:42 PM: Underway here in the third period, tied 2-2. Seems to be show-down Saturday Night as we are in a dog fight here and the hoops team is playing a tight back-and-forth game with Temple back home as well.
8:09 PM: UMass gets its second power play of the game as Jonathan Maniff is called for tripping. However, as UMass is on the rush, we have coincidental penalties: Steve Capraro for UML (tripping) and Bruan for UMass (hitting after the whistle). It remains a 5x4 power play for UMass, but the River Hawks kill it off.
If the name Capraro seems familiar, it should. He is the younger brother of former UMass standout Chris Capraro.
8:05 PM: The penalty proves costly as UML ties the game as Ben Holmstrom puts a centering pass from Paul Worthington between Dainton's legs for the power play goal with 11:43 left to play in the second period.
8:04 PM: Well, it was pretty clean for the first 7:35 of the second period, but Martin Nolet was just whistled for obstruction. I think he gave the ref an earful in French.
7:53 PM: Two minutes into the second period now and we are back to 5x5 hockey as all of the penalties are killed off.
7:34 PM: Ok, enough is enough. Justin Braun is whistled for boarding with 40 seconds to go making it 4x3 for the River Hawks. UML gets a couple of good shots off, but are unable to connect. The period ends with UMass leading 1-0. To start the second period, It will be 4x4 for 17 seconds until the UMass Lowell penalty is released giving the River Hawks a power play for 61 seconds when the Braun penalty is released.
7:31 PM: As soon as I typed that, John Wessbecker gets booked with hooking. Fortunately, 12 seconds later, UML is called for a penalty too making it 4x4 hockey.
7:28 PM: Another penalty as Chris Davis is whistled for interference giving UML its second power play of the night at 15:26 into the period. UMass kills off the penalty though and we are back to even strength with 2:15 left in the period.
7:23 PM: UMASS GOAL!!!! Alex "Big Bear" Berry nets his seventh goal of the season to give the Minutemen a 1-0 lead with 7:34 left to go in the first period. Credit the assist to Topher Bevis, his first since the AIC game, while the goal snaps a two game scoreless streak for Berry. It's his first goal since the UConn game.
7:15 PM: Nothing going for UMass on the power play, but they have an 8-3 edge in shots so far. Chris Davis has been playing with a lot of energy so far and hopefully that can give a boost to some of the other guys as well.
7:09 PM: UMass kills off the penalty and then a few minutes later the River Hawks get a boarding call to give the Minutemen their first power play of the game just over six minutes into the game.
7:04 PM: The River Hawks get the first power play of the night as James Marcou is called for high sticking with just 1:12 played in the game.
7:01 PM: And we are underway. UMass is wearing the maroon road jersey's with white trim. UMass Lowell is in the home white jersey's with red and white trim and blue shorts and blue helmets. So far, UMass is outshooting UML 2-0 in the first 63 seconds of play.
6:46 PM: The UML band just did a lap of the concourse playing "The Final Countdown" as we are 15 minutes out from the opening face-off. Looks like we have a good crowd so far as there are a lot of people milling about the concourse and still coming in the front doors. There's only about 20 kids or so in the pep band, but they each have their own jersey and they sound pretty good. I'm no American Idol-type musical talent judge, but I know when a band is being loud and playing good pregame music. So far they doing a good job of getting me ready for the game.
6:35 PM: Now for the starting line-ups for UMass: Alex Berry (left wing), Cory Quirk (center), Chris Davis (right wing), Topher Bevis (left defense), John Wessbecker (right defense) and Paul Dainton in goal.
For UMass Lowell, the River Hawks will start Mark Roebothan (left wing), Scott Campbell (center), Mike Potacco (right wing), Jeremy Dehner (left defense), Nick Schaus (right defense) and Nevin Hamilton will be in goal.