AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team had several stellar scoring chances throughout the night, but all 30 shots that were put on net were denied by Maine netminder Martin Ouelette as the Minutemen suffered a 2-0 setback on Friday at the Mullins Center. Following the loss, UMass falls to 10-17-2 overall and 7-14-1 in Hockey East, while the Black Bears move to 9-16-6 on the year and 5-11-6 in conference games.
Outlette stopped several breakway chances by the Minutemen and a rebound put on net by junior Branden Gracel in the third period was reviewed, but was deemed to have been held out by the Maine goaltender. Gracel finished with a team-high five shots on net for UMass.
The Black Bears broke up the scoreless deadlock on the power play 14:14 into the second period. Ben Hutton's shot from the point from Devin Shore and Jake Rutt went in high over UMass netminder Kevin Boyle.
Mark Anthoine then increased Maine's lead to 2-0 at the 18:51 mark of the stanza. After Mike Cornell caused an offensive zone turnover by the Minutemen and tapped the puck over to Stu Higgins, Higgins sent an outlet pass ahead to Anthoine for a shot and score from the right faceoff circle.
That was all the Black Bears needed to secure the win, finishing with a 32-30 shot advantage and winning 38 of 64 faceoffs. Maine was 1-for-4 on the power play in the contest, while UMass went 0-for-3. Boyle made 22 saves in net for the Minutemen, while sophomore Steve Mastalerz played the final 20:37 and stopped eight shots.
The teams will close out the series tomorrow night in the Mullins Center, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.