UMass (8-5-3, 5-4-1 Hockey East) tied Ferris State (4-11-3, 2-9-2 CCHA) 1-1 on
Friday afternoon in the opening game of the Dodge Holiday Classic, but missed
the chance to play in the championship game after losing the mandatory
shootout 3-1. The Minutemen will face either Alabama-Huntsville or host
Minnesota in Saturday's game. Due to television rights, the Golden Gophers
will play at 7 p.m. regardless.
The Minutemen had to shake off some winter break cobwebs in the first half of
the game, trailing Ferris State in shots 12-9 in the first, but neither team
capitalized in the opening stanza and skated into the intermission scoreless.
FSU poured on additional pressure in the opening minutes of the second, with
the Bulldogs striking first with a shorthanded goal at 14:07, scored by Matt
Verdone. Despite Alex Spezia being in the box for holding, Ferris State was
able to capitalize on a 2-on-1 opportunity late in the infraction as Verdone's
shot from the top of the near faceoff circle beat Jon Quick just under the
crossbar. The goal, assisted by Chris Zarb and Jim Jorgensen, was the first
shorthander allowed by the Minutemen this season.
UMass responded just one minute and 26 seconds later with Mark Matheson's
eighth of the season to tie it up at one apiece. Kevin Jarman kept the puck
down low and fed it to his teammate between the faceoff circles, whose shot
beat Mitch O'Keefe just over his left shoulder.
By the end of the second, the Minutemen took the 21-18 lead in shots after
doubling up on the Bulldogs 12-6 on attempts in the period.
The third turned out to be another scoreless affair, with regulation shots
standing at 26-24 in favor of UMass. Per tournament rules, the teams would
skate in a five-minute sudden-victory overtime and if necessary, the game
would be decided by a shootout. The shootout was necessary, and Head Coach Don
Cahoon went with Cory Quirk, P.J. Fenton, Matt Burto and Alex Berry. Only
Berry made good on the shot, while FSU had three go in to advance to the
championship game on Saturday. For NCAA purposes, the game counts as a tie.
Overall, Ferris edged UMass in shots 29-28, while both teams were unsuccessful
with the man-advantage. The Minutemen were 0-for-4; the Bulldogs went 0-for-3.
Quick had a remarkable game, making 28 saves in the tie.