Feb. 15, 2009

Courtesy of UMass

BOSTON - The UMass Hockey team broke a four-game losing streak on Saturday evening with a 4-1 win over No. 2 Northeastern at Matthews Arena. The Minutemen received goals from four different scorers, including Casey Wellman's eventual game-winning goal with 4.4 seconds remaining in the first period. Dan Meyers saw his first action in goal since January 16 for the Minutemen, making 21 saves while Brad Thiessen made 24 saves in goal for the Huskies. The Minutemen will host Maine in a two crucial Hockey East games next weekend at the Mullins Center. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 PM for both contests.

The Minutemen outshot Northeastern 28-22 for the game, and went 2-for-6 on the power play. The Huskies were 0-for-5 on the man-advantage, but held a slight edge in faceoffs, winning 30-of-52 draws.

Similar to Friday night, the Minutemen got off to a hot start by scoring twice and outshooting Northeastern 13-10. When the Huskies took a penalty 13 minutes into the period, UMass wasted no time taking advantage of the odd-man situation. As a Northeastern defender attempted to clear the puck out of the Huskie zone, Justin Braun gathered the puck at the point and threw a pass across the blueline to Topher Bevis. Bevis then returned the puck to Braun, who let a shot go through a screen and past Thiessen for his seventh goal of the season.

With less than one minute to play in the opening period, the Minutemen took a two-goal on Wellman's ninth goal of the year. Braun fed the puck down low to Marcou, who sent a quick pass to Wellman in the slot. Wellman then one-timed the puck past Thiessen's pad for the score.

Although the Huskies controlled the play during the first ten minutes of the second period, a UMass goal tilted the ice and created chances for the Minutemen as the period wore on. Northeastern went on the power play six minutes into the period, and had their best chance to score when Ryan Ginand wristed a shot that rang off the post. The Huskies continued to maintain puck possession following the man-advantage, but Meyers and the UMass defense prevented the Huskies from cashing in.

With 9:33 remaining in the second period, Michael Lecomte scored his fifth goal of the season off a rebound. After the Minutemen forced a turnover in the Northeastern zone, Chase Langeraap wristed a shot from the faceoff circle that was blocked by a Huskie defenseman. Lecomte gathered the loose puck and took a hard slap shot that beat Thiessen high glove side.

The Minutemen continued to pressure during the third period, outshooting Northeastern 8-6 and adding another goal. The Huskies had some chances to get themselves back into the game, but penalties kept Northeastern from gaining any momentum.

Matt Irwin notched his third goal of the season with just under eight minutes to play in regulation to give the Minutemen a commanding 4-0 lead. Right off the bench, Irwin picked up a loose puck at the point and fired a slap shot that beat Thiessen for the score. Chris Donovon broke the shutout hopes for Meyer's with six minutes to play on his eighth goal of the season, but the Minutemen were able to regain control and prevent any other scoring.