AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team used a goal and three assists from James Marcou to knock off the Maine Black Bears 5-3 on Friday night at the Mullins Center. Casey Wellman added a goal and an assist, while Michael Marcou netted his first collegiate goal. Paul Dainton made 26 saves for the Minutemen (3-0-0, 2-0-0 HEA) while Scott Darling and Shawn Sirman split time for Maine (1-4-0, 0-1-0 HEA). The Minutemen will hit the road for the first time next weekend against Providence at 7 PM. UMass will then return home for a tilt with the Friars on Halloween Night at the Mullins Center, also at 7 PM.
Shots were even at 29, while Massachusetts was 3-for-6 on the power play. Maine was 1-for-4 on the man advantage.
Although the shots were close at 10-9 UMass, it was the Minutemen who dominated play in the first period. Massachusetts jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second minute of play on Wellman's second of the season. With UMass on the power-play, a Matt Irwin shot from the point was redirected by a Maine defender. Marcou gathered the loose puck in the corner and fed a streaking Wellman in the slot, who snuck the puck past Darling five-hole.
Martin Nolet netted his first goal of the year seven minutes into the frame after the Minutemen who a neutral zone draw. Kevin Czepiel, who played in his first collegiate game Friday, won the puck over to David Boehm, who then fed Nolet as he entered the Black Bear zone. Nolet then sniped a shot over Darling's right shoulder for the score. Boehm, playing in his first game since October of 2008 after receiving a medical redshirt, picked up his first career point.
Maine made it a one-goal game 13 minutes into the stanza on Adam Shemansky's third goal of the season. After a breakdown in the Massachusetts zone, Spencer Abbott picked up the puck and went in two-on-one. Justin Braun tried to fill the passing lane, but Abbott slid the puck over to Shemansky on the doorstop for the score.
The Minutemen got their third goal late in the period on Marcou's first of the season. Once again, the Minutemen were on the power play and Wellman returned the favor to Marcou when he dished the puck to him on the right side. Marcou's wrist shot was initially stopped by Darling, but he could not corral the puck as it trickled across the goal line.
The teams exchanged goals during the second period, with Shawn Sirman replaced Darling at the start of the period. Will O'Neill notched his first goal of the season midway through the period. Brian Flynn took a pass from Gustav Nyquist and fed O'Neill at the point. He then let a slap shot go from the point that deflected off a skater on its way through traffic to make it 3-2 Minutemen.
The Marcou brothers brought the UMass lead back to two with five minutes to play in the frame. After James Marcou picked off an errant Maine pass, he skated into the Black Bear zone. Marcou held the puck in the slot, drawing two Maine defenders towards him. He then fed the puck across the crease to his brother Michael, who buried the puck past Sirman for his first collegiate goal.
The Minutemen added a goal in the third period on T.J. Syner's first of the season off a pass from Marcou. The Black Bears answered late with a goal from Tanner House, his first on the young season. House was alone in the slot and buried a pass from Brian Flynn past Dainton. The third period saw 70 minutes in penalties between the two teams, with four 10-minute misconducts being issued.