AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 14-ranked University of Massachusetts hockey team got goals from four different players, and Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.) turned aside 18 shots to lead UMass to an impressive 4-1 victory over No. 10-ranked New Hampshire. The win moves UMass' record to 16-5-5 overall, and 11-3-2 in Hockey East, just one point behind league leader, Boston College. New Hampshire falls to 15-10-3 overall and 7-6-3 in Hockey East.
Neither team mounted much of a threat in the first four minutes. New Hampshire had the game's first good chance as Brian Yandle scrambled to a loose puck, but rifled an open shot into Winer's body to keep the Wildcats off the board. The Minutemen then took a 1-0 lead just six minutes into the first period, when Nick Kuiper (Beaconsfield, Quebec) unleashed a laser from just inside the blue- line that was deflected into the top of the net by a UNH player. The unassisted goal was Kuiper's fourth of the season. Nine-and-a-half minutes into the first period, the Wildcats went on their first power play, but the Minutemen stood firm and allowed no shots on goal on the UNH attack. Shortly after the UNH power play ended, the Minutemen went on their first chance. UMass had two shots on goal, but Jeff Pietrasiak turned them both aside, and UNH killed off the power play to stray within striking distance. The Minutemen went 2-0 at the 16:31 when James Solon (Acton, Mass.) picked up a loose puck, got Pietrasiak to commit, and slid a shot five-hole for his fourth goal of the season. Kevin Jarman (Aurora, Ontario) squirted the puck to Solon for the lone assist on the goal.
New Hampshire came out strong in the first minute of the period, firing three shots on UMass goalie Gabe Winer (Stoughton, Mass.), but the sophomore netminder turned them all aside to keep the Wildcats off the board. After a shift in which the Minutemen kept the puck in the zone for nearly a minute, Josh Hanson (Medford, Mass.) drew a UNH penalty and the Minutemen went on their second power play of the contest. On the UMass power play, the Minutemen got a big break when Sean Collins fired a low shot on a partial breakaway that hit the right post. The Minutemen couldn't get set up in the zone, and UNH killed the attack. After a John Luszcz (Ludlow, Mass.) was disallowed after a high- stick 11 minutes into the frame, Winer again turned aside three shots in a scramble in front of the net to keep New Hampshire off the board. However, shortly after the flurry the Minutemen went up 3-0 when Garrett Summerfield (Endicott, N.Y.) lifted a feed from behind the net fromDusty Demianiuk (Franklin, Mass.), who slid a perfect pass to Summerfield in front of the net at the 12:12 mark. Craig MacDonald (Canton, Mass.) tapped the pass to Demianiuk on the goal to also record an assist. The goal was Summerfield's second of the season. UNH went on its second power-play chance of the game 14 minutes into the second period, but after setting up for the majority of the attack, the Minutemen killed off their second chance in as many tries. The Minutemen took a 4-0 lead when Jeff Lang (Westwood, Mass.) fired a long shot on Pietrasiak that bounced directly to Hanson, who slid a low shot past the scrambling Wildcat goalie at the 16:17 mark. The goal was Hanson's fourth goal of the season. UMass would go on its third power play of the game, but couldn't push one across and led 4-0 after the game's first 40 minutes.
UMass went on the first power play of the third period after a UNH player was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for playing with a broken stick just two minutes into the frame. The penalty was cut short after two UMass shots on goal when the Minutemen were whistled for a too-man-men-on-the-ice infraction, giving the Wildcats a 1:40 power play. UMass shut down the opportunity, but the Wildcats would go on their fourth power play of the evening seven-and-a-half minutes into the third stanza, but again Winer made two great saves to stop the attack and the Minutemen kept UNH off the board. UNH went on two late power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:15, late in the thrd period and capitalized when Justin Aikins sniped a past Winer's glove with just 1:11 to play to break up the shutout. However, UMass ran out the clock and won for the first time against UNH in the last 10 games.
UMass will travel to New Hampshire for tomorrow's night contest with the Wildccats at the Whittemore Center. The Minutemen will then battle Boston College in a key Hockey East home-and-home series next weekend. UMass will host the Eagles at the Mullins Center on Friday, then travel to Boston on Saturday night.