John Wessbecker gets game-winner; Jon Quick posts 38 saves for UMass
Sophomore John Wessbecker scored the game-winning goal for the Minutemen.
AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts Hockey (19-11-5, 15-9-3 Hockey East) gained a one-game advantage in this weekend's Hockey East quarterfinal series with Maine (21-13-2, 14-12-1 HEA) with a 3-2 win on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen rebounded from a 1-0 deficit to score three-straight, while the Black Bears scored late and threatened with an extra attacker before time expired.
Maine's Billy Ryan opened the scoring at 13:22 with his 11th of the season. With the Black Bears on the power play, Bret Tyler sent a pass down from the blueline to Ryan at the side of the UMass crease. Ryan's stick popped the puck up and over Jon Quick to make it a 1-0 game. Josh Soares also assisted on the play.
Minuteman Chris Davis was hauled down on a breakaway attempt and was afforded a penalty shot with just over three minutes remaining. Davis wasn't able to beat Dave Wilson in the Maine net and UMass went into the locker room down 1-0 at the end of the first period.
Senior Kevin Jarman tied it all up at one apiece with his eighth goal of the season, scored on the power play at 7:00 of the middle stanza. Jarman and P.J. Fenton took turns batting at the puck alongside the Maine net, accounting for five shots before Jarman banked the puck off of Wilson's side and in to make it 1-1. Alex Berry also assisted on the play, dumping the puck into the zone before his shift ended.
Berry gave the Minutemen the lead with his sixth of the season, assisted by Cory Quirk and David Leaderer. Quirk slid the puck over to Berry between the circles, where he held the puck and lifted it past Wilson in net. Wilson shifted and reached to his right, but Berry had an open net to shoot at to make it 2-1 UMass. The goal marks Berry's second in as many games, while Quirk's point extends his scoring streak to four games. Leaderer, meanwhile, is 1-4-5 in the last four contests.
John Wessbecker brought the score to 3-1 Minutemen with his first collegiate tally, scored at 11:12. As Will Ortiz' penalty for slashing expired, Mike Kostka passed the puck up the ice and found Ortiz, skating in 2-on-1 on Wilson. Ortiz passed the puck to Wessbecker at his side for the goal, shot glove side.
UMass got into some penalty trouble following the goal, as Berry was called for roughing after the whistle. The Black Bears came through with their second man- advantage goal of the night at 12:40, the goal being credited to Brent Shepheard. Mike Lundin's initial shot was redirected by Shepheard, bounced up and slowly found its way over the goal line. Michel Levielle was also credited with a helper.
Maine Head Coach Tim Whitehead called timeout late and pulled Wilson in favor of the extra attacker, but the Minutemen held on and earned their first Hockey East postseason win since defeating UNH in the conference semifinals back in 2004.
Overall, shots were 40-24 in favor of the visitors. Quick was strong in net, turning away 38 shots-his highest game total since making 44 saves vs. Boston College on Dec. 9, 2006. That included a game-high 16 saves in the third. Wilson made 21 in the loss. On the power play, Maine went 2-for-6; UMass was 1-for-3.
The best-of-three series continues Saturday night at 7 p.m. For tickets, call 1-866-UMASS TIX or log on to ticketmaster.com.