No. 16 UMass (17-11-5, 14-9-3 Hockey East) kept its home ice hopes alive by
virtue of Friday's 3-1 win over No. 9 Maine (21-11-2, 14-11-1 HEA). David
Leaderer brought the Minutemen back from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game before
Cory Quirk notched the gamewinner in the second period. Scott Crowder iced the
game with his tally in the third. With Vermont's loss to Lowell, only the Black
Bears or Minutemen can take the final home ice spot. UMass needs a win or tie
Saturday to bring the playoffs back to Amherst.
Maine opened the game up at 3:24 with Josh Soares' 19th goal of the season,
picking up his own rebound and putting the second shot high past Jon Quick.
Teddy Purcell picked up an assist on the play that gave the Black Bears the 1-0
Leaderer evened it all up at with a backhander at 7:39, his fourth of the
season. Chris Davis made the play possible, pushing off a Maine player to give
Leaderer the puck between the circles. Matt Anderson also picked up a helper on
the goal, marking his third-consecutive game with a point. Davis' point was his
first since Jan. 27 vs. BU, while Leaderer put up his fourth point in two
Mike Kostka hit a pipe midway through the second, but UMass made it count
minutes later on the power play with Quirk's 12th of the season. Chris Capraro
held the puck along the far boards before making a diagonal pass to Kostka near
the faceoff circle. The defenseman slid the puck up to Quirk at the crease, the
shot slowly crossing the line at 10:09.
Maine hit a pipe and had a chance to tie it up with the rebound coming out to
the side of the UMass crease-following that up moments later with another hit
post-but couldn't come up with the equalizer and UMass skated into the locker
room with the 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Crowder picked an excellent time to score his first goal of the season, making
good at 4:08 of the third to make it 3-1 Minutemen. His shot from inside the
circle beat Wilson over the shoulder, while Kostka picked up his second assist
of the night. Kostka now has three points in three games after his back-to-back
empty netters vs. Northeastern.
Maine Head Coach Tim Whitehead pulled goalie Wilson with 1:35 remaining, but
UMass held on for the win, its 11th at the Mullins Center this season. That ties
the all-time mark for home wins since the Minutemen joined Hockey East in
Final shots were 37-28 in favor of the Minutemen. Jon Quick ended the night with
27 saves; his counterpart made 34. UMass was 1-for-3 on the power play, while
Maine went 0-for-3.
The regular season series with Maine concludes Saturday night at the Mullins
Center with opening faceoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Seniors Matt Anderson, Chris
Capraro, Kevin Jarman and Mark Matheson will all be honored pregame. For
tickets, call 1-866 UMASS TIX.