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AMHERST, Mass. - A two goal second period and three-point nights from James Marcou and Cory Quirk propelled the No. 15 UMass hockey team to a 5-3 win over Maine on Saturday at the Mullins Center in front of 7,722 fans. All five goals were scored by different UMass skaters including Kevin Kessler's first career goal to start the second period. The Minutemen will host No. 9 Boston College next Friday for Operation 8K Part II.
Maine took an early 1-0 lead just 52 seconds into the game, but UMass rattled off four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead 1:14 into the third period.
The Black Bears (8-13-3, 4-10-3 HEA) scored twice in the third period before Quirk scored an empty netter with 44 seconds to play for the final score.
The Minutemen (10-9-6, 5-8-5 HEA) came out firing holding a 22-to-3 shot advantage after the first period. UMass finished the game with a 54-to-23 edge in shots - it's second largest shot total this season. UMass was also well disciplined committing just three penalties for the game and killing off two power play chances. Maine committed nine penalties allowing UMass to convert one of six power play chances.
Travis Ramsey started the scoring with Maine's first goal of the game 52 seconds into the game. James Marcou answered with an unassisted goal following a failed Maine clear in the UMass offensive zone with just 1:18 remaining in the stanza.
Kessler took a cross-ice feed in the corner and drove in from behind the goal to stuff the puck between the pipe and Maine keeper Ben Bishop for the 2-1 lead nearly 11 minutes into the second period.
P.J. Fenton scored the second goal of the period with 45 seconds remaining as a UMass power play was nearing its finish. The goal moves him into 19th all-time at UMass with 33 for his career and gives him 84 points which is tied for 16th all-time.
Both teams tallied twice in the third period. Chase Langeraap gave the Minutemen a 4-1 lead with his third goal of the season just 1:13 into the frame. Maine ended the run with a goal from Nolan Boike just 24 seconds later to pull within two.
Keif Orsini scored an even-strenght goal at the 12:20 mark to pull the Black Bears within a goal, 4-3. Neither team could score until Quirk's empty netter with 44 seconds to play. Maine had pulled Bishop with 56 seconds remaining for the extra man advantage. The UMass defense managed to clear the puck from danger and Justing Braun and Fenton found Quirk who evaded three Maine skaters for the insurance goal.
UMass goalie Paul Dainton made 20 saves in the win, while Bishop made 49 saves.