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ESTERO, Fla. - Conor Sheary scored a pair of power play goals and Steven Guzzo netted the third-period game-winner as the UMass hockey team defeated No. 13 Cornell 5-2 on Thursday night at Germain Arena in the Everblades College Hockey Classic.
The Minutemen improve to 6-7-4 overall and sets up a non-conference meeting between UMass and Maine on Friday night at 7:30 PM in the championship game. The game will be broadcast on 91.1 FM WMUA and can be listened to online here.
Along with Sheary and Guzzo, Michael Pereira scored his team-best ninth goal of the season. Kevin Boyle earned the win improving to 5-2-3 overall with 27 saves overall. Along with his two goals, Sheary added an assist to tie his career-high with three points on the night - his fourth multi-point game of the year. Michael Marcou and Branden Gracel each chipped in with a pair of assists.
The Big Red (7-4-1) took a 1-0 lead with 2:21 left in the first period when Nick D'Agostino scored a power play goal. It was his eighth goal of the season - the sixth on the power play.
Following the first intermission, Sheary netted his first of the game with 12:34 left in the second period. The sophomore shot into an empty net after Danny Hobbs collected a rebound on the left side of Cornell goalie Andy Illes and then slid the puck over to Sheary. The goal ended Illes shutout streak of 152 minutes, 36 seconds which was the 9th best in Cornell history.
UMass took a 2-1 lead just 32 seconds into the third period thanks to Mike Pereira who redirected a shot past Illes. The Big Red tied the game with 11:16 left in the period on their second power play goal of the night thanks to Greg Miller.
Just 15 seconds later, Guzzo scored on the ensuing power play for UMass to put the Minutemen up for good. Sheary added his second goal of the game with 4:37 left in the game before T.J. Syner scored an empty-netter to give the final score.
Illes finished the game with 25 saves.
For the game, UMass outshot Cornell 30-to-29. The Minutemen were 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Big Red were 2-for-5.
Maine defeated Clarkson 6-1 in the opening game of the day. UMass and the Black Bears played to a 2-2 overtime tie on Nov. 18.