LIVE GAME BLOG: UMass Hockey At No. 4 Northeastern
March 13, 2009
Good evening and welcome to the UMass Hockey in-game blog live from Matthews Arena in Boston. John Sinnett and Matt Houde are here to bring you all the action. Tonight the UMass Minutemen begin a Hockey East Quarterfinal match-up with No. 4 Northeastern. UMass won the season series with the Huskies in 2008-09, going 2-1 including a 4-1 win at Northeastern on February 14. The Minutemen will be looking to return to the TD Banknorth Garden for the Hockey East Championship Tournament, but they must first take care of business here at Northeastern.
Tomorrow night's game will be broadcast live on NESN with Greg Madden (play-by-play) and Craig Janney (color commentary) will be calling the action. Bob Beers and Brendan Walsh will host the Hockey East Face-Off Live pre-game show at 7 PM before the puck drops at 7:30 PM.
9:12 PM: UMass wins! Time to go do some interviews!
9:07 PM: 1:20 left in the third period, still UMass 2, Northeastern 1.
8:56 PM: UMASS GOALLLLLLLL! Chris Davis unassisted as he stuffs home a loose puck along the left post before Thiessen could cover it up. UMass 2, NU 1 with 7 minutes left in the third period.
8:50 PM: UMASS GOALLLLLLLLL! Matt Irwin with the strike from the top of the slot beats Thiessen over the left shoulder. UMass 1, NU 1 - 9:03 left in the third period.
8:43 PM: Northeastern's Wade MacLeod forces a turnover and backhands a roofer over Paul Dainton for the shorthanded goal giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead with 15 minutes left in the third perid.
8:42 pm:Just under 16 minutes left, still scoreless, UMass on the power play.
8:21 PM: End of the second period and we are still scoreless! The last time UMass went scoreless with its opponent into the third period was at #7 Vermont on Jan. 24. That game ended in a 1-1 tie. After two periods tonight, Northeastern is outshooting UMass now 17-15, while UMass holds a slight edge in face-offs 24-of-46. UMass is still 0-for-1 on the power play, while Northeastern is 0-for-2 in what has been a pretty clean game with two of the penalties for each team being matching minors.
8:05 PM: Lots of back and forth action, but no score yet. Cory Quirk was just called for hitting from behind giving Northeastern a power with 8:21 left in the second period.
7:49 PM: Second period is now underway...
7:48 PM: Congrats to UMass softball hurler Brandice Balschmiter who won her 100th career game today in a 6-0 decision over Central Michigan earlier today. The Minutewomen are now taking on USF down in Florida.
7:34 PM: At the end of the first period, we are scoreless here at Matthews Arena. UMass outshot Northeastern 7-5. Both teams were 13-for-26 on face-offs and 0-for-1 on the power play. Big shout out to the huge group of UMass fans who came out tonight. The student who waves the red UMass flag at home games is here and it is an awesome sight!
7:14 PM: Back to 5x5 hockey as UMass kills off the NU power play. 11:45 remaining in the first - still scoreless.
7:10 PM: UMass takes a too-many men on the ice call which will be served by James Marcou - NU power play with 14:10 left.
7:07 PM: We have our first penalties of the game as Scott Crowder and Northeastern's Mike Hewkin both get roughing and hitting after the whistle penalties giving us 4x4 hockey.
7:06 PM: 16:36 minutes left in the first period and no score - a lot of back and forth skating with a few quality scoring chances for each team going just wide.
7:00 PM: It's an electric atmosphere here in Matthews as the puck is ready to be dropped. March Madness has just hit the hockey world like a ton of bricks. And we're underway, UMass wins the opening face-off.
6:46 PM: Just received word that Thomas Pock was named to the Hockey East All-25th Anniversary Top 25 Defensive Team. Pock was also named to the UMass Hockey East All-25th Anniversary Team and was kind enough to send along a congratulations/good luck message on Senior Night last weekend. Congrats Tommie!
6:36 PM: With less than 25 minutes remaining until the opening faceoff, warm-ups have ended and co-captain Cory Quirk is meeting with referees Tim Benedetto and Kevin Keenan. There seems to be a lot of energy coming from the Minutemen, hopefully it carries over to the game.
6:31 PM: For the playoffs, the Minutemen have decided to grow mustaches for the occasion, and the team got some funny looks from people at Maggiano's last night. Luckily, I thought that this mustache thing would happen, so I've been growing mine out since the Icebreaker Tournament. Unfortunately mine pales in comparison to Kevin Kessler's and Coach Gendron's 'stache.
6:22 PM: The teams have taken the ice for warmups. There are still a lot of empty seats here at Matthews; even The Dog House is looking a little sparse. Looking around the rink, I see Maroon Platoon President Mark Anderson here to support the Minutemen. Hopefully UMass fans can start off their Spring Break with a weekend trip to Boston.
6:13 PM: Karen Winger has arrived ... enough said.
6:09 PM: Here are tonight starting lineups for the Minutemen:
5:51 PM: Taking a look at the UMass line chart, there aren't any real surprises for the Minutemen. Doug Kublin is back into the lineup, replacing Michael Marcou while Brett Watson returns to the lineup after sitting out last weekend. Noticeably absent from tonight's lineup for the Huskies is Tyler McNeely. McNeely has been out of the Northeastern lineup since February 21 against Boston University (four games). He is currently fifth on the team in scoring with eight goals and 11 assists. We'll be back in a few minutes with tonight's starting lineups.
5:47 PM: John Sinnett, Todd McDonald and Coach Cahoon just got back from a meeting with Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. Each year before the playoffs begin, Bertagna meets with the coaches and members of the school's administration to let them know what is expected during the postseason. Bertagna also discusses rule changes during the playoffs, the biggest of which being overtime situations. If a game goes to overtime during the playoffs, a new sheet of ice will be made and then a 20 minute sudden death overtime will begin until somebody scores. The process repeats if nobody scores following the first overtime session.
5:30 PM: The team pulled into Matthews Arena about 30 minutes ago and are stretching out before a pre-game meeting with Coach Cahoon at 6 PM. The team got into Boston yesterday afternoon and had a great dinner at Maggiano's on Columbus Ave.
The Minutemen had their pre-game skate this morning at 11 AM, followed by video at 1:30 PM. The coaching staff has stressed one word to the Minutemen: finish. They are looking for their squad to capitalize on their opportunities and to stay disciplined.
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