AMHERST, Mass.-- UMass defeated the University of New Brunswick by the score of 4-2 in an exhibition game on Friday night at the Mullins Center practice rink. The Minutemen were especially strong on special teams during the course of the game, scoring two power play goals and killing off 12 penalties.
Junior David Leaderer got the Minutemen on the board early with a power play goal, and while unofficial for NCAA purposes, it was his first tally since the 2004-05 season. At just 1:13 into the game, Leaderer blasted a slap shot from the point past Reg Bourcier in net for the Varsity Reds. Justin Braun assisted on the play.
The UMass penalty killing units were the story throughout the remainder of the period. Scott Crowder got sent to the box for interference 5:16 into the first, and after a successful penalty kill, John Wessbecker was sent to the box for cross-checking.
The Minutemen defense held tough and minimized the number of shots rookie netminder Dan Meyers had to face. Will Ortiz got sent to the box at 13:19, and was joined soon by Patrick Dineen to give UNB a two-man advantage. Meyers came up big though, and Massachusetts held on to their one goal lead.
UMass’ power play again came through at 17:34 for the 2-0 score. Chris Davis ripped a shot from the point that was deflected straight up, and linemate Cory Quirk was in the right place at the right time when it fell back to the ice. He batted the puck into the back of the net to give UMass the two-goal advantage. Matt Anderson also assisted on the play.
The penalty killing unit went back to work in the second period after a Martin Nolet obstruction interference penalty. They successfully killed the infraction, but Rob Henniger sent a shot past Jon Quick, who took over in the stanza, before Nolet could get back to help on the play.
UMass responded just 12 seconds later, winning the faceoff and crashing the net. Kevin Maresco got the puck in front of Bourcier and wristed it in to put the Minutemen up 3-1.
After a series of penalties, UNB was able to pull within one at 12:04. Overall in the second, Quick was strong in net, making 12 saves on a flurry of shots. After the Friesan goal, UMass had to kill off two more penalties to hang on to the lead heading into the final period.
Freshman center Brett Watson regained the two-goal cushion in the third, taking a Leaderer pass across the blue line and fighting off a defender to reach the net. Watson’s shot stick side beat Michael Ouzas, who played the final 30 minutes of the contest, to ensure the 4-2 victory.
Overall, shots were 41-23 in favor of Massachusetts. New Brunswick was 0-12 on the power play, while UMass’ PP was a respectable 2-6 on the night. The Minutemen doubled up on UNB’s penalties, going 14-28 overall. Meyers made eight saves in the first period, and Quick cleaned up with 31 in the final 40 minutes.
The Mass Attack officially opens up the season next weekend with the 2006-07 opener vs. Sacred Heart on Saturday. UMass then faces Clarkson at home on Saturday. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-866 UMASS TIX.