AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts hockey team (15-11-5, 12-9-3 Hockey East) defeated Northeastern (12-15-5, 8-12-5 HEA) on Friday night by the score of 2-0 at the Mullins Center. The win, UMass' 12th in conference play, sets an all-time program high in Hockey East. Matt Anderson and Mike Kostka scored in the victory, with the two teams facing off again Sunday in Boston. The puck will be dropped at 3 p.m. with ESPNU airing the game. Dan Parkhurst and Bob Norton will have the call.
The game lacked offense through the opening 37 minutes and four seconds, with the Minutemen holding the decisive 18-6 shots on goal in the first period alone. That shot advantage increased to 31-15 in the second and UMass finally came through with a power play goal by Anderson at 17:04 to put the Mass Attack up by one. Working the puck down low, it was Kevin Jarman who fed the puck to Anderson at the far side of Brad Thiessen in the NU net. Anderson's team-leading fifth power play tally of the season was also assisted by P.J. Fenton. Jarman's assist continued an already productive month of February for the senior, who has seven helpers in seven games. Fourteen of his 20 points in 2006-07 have come in the second half of the season.
The Minutemen kept up the pressure as seconds later Cory Quirk hit the post on a backhand rebound attempt. But at the horn, the score remained 1-0.
The third proved much of the same. It looked like Northeastern had its chance with 3:46 remaining as David Leaderer of UMass went off for holding. The Huskies called timeout and pulled Thiessen with less than a minute remaining but were unable to put one past Jon Quick. Kostka added an empty net goal, his second of the season, with 11 seconds remaining to make it 2-0.
Final shots were 41-22 in favor of the Minutemen. Thiessen finished with 39 saves and Quick finished with 22 for his second shutout of the season. UMass was 1-for-5 on the power play, NU was held scoreless on five opportunities.
The Minutemen close out the regular season next weekend with a pair against Maine. The series should prove to be a crucial one, with the potential for home ice on the line for both teams. Saturday will be senior night at the Mullins Center, with Matt Anderson, Chris Capraro, Kevin Jarman and Mark Matheson being honored pregame.