Merchant And Byron Lead Maine To 5-4 Win At Massachusetts
Senior forward Will Merchant scores two goals and junior forward Blaine Byron posts three points for Black Bears

Senior forward Will Merchant scored two goals for the Black Bears
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 9:00  MNE1-0 EV Will Merchant (9)Andrew Tegeler/7, Eric Schurhamer/5
1st 10:41  MNE2-0 PP Brian Morgan (6)Eric Schurhamer/6, Blaine Byron/12
2nd 3:25  MNE3-0 EV Will Merchant (10)Justin Rai/1, Sam Becker/3
2nd 8:33  UMA1-3 EV Dennis Kravchenko (10)Patrick Lee/6, Shane Walsh/8
2nd 15:15  UMA2-3 EV Dominic Trento (7)Keith Burchett/3, Anthony Petrella/1
3rd 1:07  MNE4-2 SH Blaine Byron (8)Cam Brown/11, Rob Michel/7
3rd 6:31  UMA3-4 EV Brennan Baxandall (1)Patrick Lee/7, Austin Plevy/12
3rd 15:45  MNE5-3 PP GW Nolan Vesey (4)Blaine Byron/13
3rd 19:27  UMA4-5 EV EA Ivan Chukarov (2)Ray Pigozzi/16, Steven Iacobellis/14
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Maine  2125
Massachusetts  0224
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Maine  17101946
Massachusetts  13111135
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Maine (7-15-6)  2/4 5/10 1
Massachusetts (7-16-4)  0/5 4/8 0
Maine Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Matt Morris (W, 6-5-3)60:004 139931
Massachusetts Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Henry Dill (L, 2-3-0)58:355 1591741
Empty Net1:250     

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts hockey closed the gap to one goal three times on the night, but was unable to climb out of the 3-0 deficit, falling to Maine, 5-4 on Saturday evening at the Mullins Center. With the setback the Minutemen are now 7-16-4 on the season, 2-11-4 in league action, while the Black Bears improve to 7-15-6 overall and 4-8-2 in Hockey East.

Sophomore Patrick Lee collected a pair of assists for his second straight multi-point game, while junior Ray Pigozzi and Austin Plevy joined Lee in extending point scoring streaks to three straight. Dennis Kravchenko netted his 10th goal of the season, matching his career high set in 36 games in 2014-15.

Maine opened the scoring 9:00 into the first period. Will Merchant knocked in a rebound from Andrew Tegeler and Eric Schurhamer to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead.

The advantage increased to 2-0 just 1:41 later. Capitalizing on a power play chance, Brian Morgan tapped in Schurhamer's shot from the perimeter at the doorstep. Blaine Byron earned an assist on the play, as well.

Kravchenko scored on the rush off a feed from Lee and Shane Walsh 8:33 into the second period, trimming the deficit to 3-1.

After having a power-play goal disallowed for goaltender interference, the Minutemen closed the gap to 3-2 at 15:15. After Anthony Petrella caused a turnover behind the Maine net, sophomore Keith Burchett found Dominic Trento alone in the slot for his seventh of the season.

The Black Bears responded early in the third to regain their two-goal cushion. After Henry Dill made the initial save on a shorthanded breakaway, Byron scored on a deflection from Cam Brown and Rob Michel at 1:07.

UMass once again closed the gap to one at the 6:31 mark. Plevy pulled the puck off the wall for Lee at the point and junior Brennan Baxandall buried the rebound for his first tally of the season, crashing the net.

Maine extended its lead to 5-3 when Nolan Vesey cleaned up a loose puck form Byron 15:45 into the third period, but UMass fought back in the closing minutes.

The Minutemen pulled Dill in favor of the extra attacked with less than two minutes remaining and converted as Ivan Chukarov powered a shot past Black Bears' goaltender Matt Morris with 33 seconds left to play. Juniors Ray Pigozzi and Steven Iacobellis picked up assists on the freshman's second tally of the weekend.

Maine survived one last UMass push in the final seconds, clearing the puck to seal the Black Bears victory and complete the series sweep.

Morris finished with 31 saves for Maine, while Dill racked up 41 saves in the loss.

UMass took four penalties in the game and allowed a pair of power play goals, while Maine successfully killed off five penalties.

The Minutemen will be back in action on Friday, Feb. 5, when the squad will wrap up its homestand with No. 9/11 Boston University coming to the Mullins Center for a 7 p.m. contest.