Mass Attack sweeps weekend series

By Melissa Turtinen, Collegian Staff

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James Weliver / Collegian

This weekend the Massachusetts hockey team hosted Maine in a two-game series, winning both games, 4-3, but in completely different ways.

On Saturday night the Minutemen went into the third period leading 4-0. The offense was creating plays and the defense was stopping them with little hesitation. But come the third period, UMass did what it has been known to do ‘- get into some sort of penalty trouble.

The first sign of danger came with a third-period penalty at three minutes, 54 seconds by Chase Langeraap, but the one that kicked off Maine’s scoring spree was Martin Nolet’s tripping and 10-minute misconduct call. In the third period alone UMass had 53 penalty minutes, while Maine had 26.

‘We were goaded into it I believe to some extend,’ UMass coach Don Cahoon said. ‘That was a good way to change the completion of the game, the rhythm of the game. We took the bait and put ourselves in a real bad situation.’

Maine (12-16-4, 7-13-3 Hockey East) scored its first goal at 8:33 while it was on a 5-on-3 advantage when Nolet and Michael Lecomte were sitting in the box.

The next two goals came from 4-on-4 situations. At 12:40 in the third, Jeff Dimmen took a wrist shot that glided through Dainton’s legs from the right faceoff circle. For the second goal UMass’ top defenders were in the penalty box with 10-minute game misconducts ‘- Nolet and Justin Braun. Alex Berry (10-minute misconduct) and Langeraap (five minute contact to the head roughing) were also in the box.

Brian Flynn tallied his second goal of the game (14:53) with a shot from the low slot past Dainton (31 saves) to put the score at 4-3.

Before the third period, though, UMass’ offense was creating plays and crashing to the net. The Minutemen’s first goal came at 2:15 in the first period when Berry crashed the net and Cory Quirk found the puck and stuffed it past Scott Darling (23 saves).

At 8:31 in the first, UMass (14-15-3, 9-11-3 Hockey East) tallied its second goal from Topher Bevis. Bevis, at the left point, received a cross-ice pass from Berry who was positioned in the right corner. Bevis took a hard wrist shot that went high past Darling.

James Marcou made the game 3-0 after receiving a pass from Casey Wellman in the slot and one-timing it past Darling at 3:59 in the second.At 9:00 in the second, T.J. Syner picked up a rebound in the low slot to score UMass’ game-winning goal making the score 4-0.

‘When you are up 4-0 you don’t ever think the fourth goal is going to be a game winner,’ Syner said. ‘The penalties started to come our way and then we eventually had to kill penalties, which gets us out of the rhythm of things.’

On Friday, the Minutemen chased Maine the entire game. Maine scored first at 1:17 in the first, and the teams traded goals for the remainder of the game. At 16:34 in the third, Langeraap tied the game at three apiece with a power-play goal to send the game into overtime.

Only 11 seconds into the overtime period Brian Keane scored the game-winning goal.

‘We got in the neutral zone and [Brett] Watson made a nice [saucer] pass to [Jordan] Virtue and I was just flying, going to the net and redirected it five-hole,’ Keane said. ‘I think everyone should be able to do that once, I can’t even describe it, it was great.’

UMass’ next time out is a home-and-home series with No. 1 Boston University starting Friday Feb. 27 at the Mullins Center (7:30 p.m.).

Game notes

James Marcou has had nine points in the last four games, including two in Saturday’s game and three assists on Friday ‘hellip; Bevis’ goal was his first since UMass’ 3-2 win over North Dakota on Oct. 11 ‘hellip;Before this weekend UMass and Maine were tied for seventh in Hockey East. The Minutemen are now tied for sixth in the Hockey East standings with Boston College at 21 points.

Melissa Turtinen can be reached at [email protected]