East Regional | First
For One at UMass
UMass eventually upended Clarkson, while
special teams lifted Maine past St. Cloud
Clarkson 0 OT
Virtue, W. Ortiz
Jon Quick, 67:40, 33 saves, 0 GA
David Leggio, 67:40, 37 saves, 1 GA
MA 6/12; CLK 6/12
Plays: MA 0-4; CLK 0-4
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The letters EO are
printed on the Massachusetts hockey workout t-shirts and
the abbreviation represents the phrase "each other."
That's what motivates this Minutemen team,
one that is concerned about playing well for the guys seated
next to them on the bench, in the dressing room, and on
In just its first ever NCAA Tournament, the
Minutemen aren't thinking about the team's latest strides,
or it's second-ever appearance in the Hockey East championship
weekend. It's not about history, it's about the present.
And that mindset served Massachusetts well on Friday in
a 1-0 overtime win over top-seeded Clarkson at Blue Cross
Arena in Rochester, N.Y.
"It's something we talk about in the
locker room, we're doing it for each other and it's about
each other," Massachusetts coach Don Cahoon said.
Kevin Jarman started the play that led to
the game-winning goal behind the Clarkson net, leaving a
pass for Will Ortiz. His wraparound attempt was stopped,
but squirted to the weak side where center Jordan Virtue
had a backhand attempt, and Jarman roofed the rebound at
7:40 of overtime.
"The constant theme for our team all
year has just been to stay in the present, stay in the moment,
and let the chips fall where they may," Jarman said.
Massachusetts' overall discipline to stay
within a system, relying on a teammate on the ice instead
of trying to do too much in a scoreless game, helped UMass
advance to Saturday's East Regional final.
"Our team understands how simple the
game can be and it becomes even more simple when the game
gets to be in the late stages and you know that the first
goal scored will either be in overtime or if it's going
to be in regulation it's going to be a hard goal to overcome,"
"By keeping it simple and not overhandling
the puck, you try to create an extra player on the ice by
letting your voices be your teammates' eyes and try to simple
things like that to make the game a little easier for you.
Put the puck in safe places and work, grind, and get the
puck to the cage."
The Minutemen were content to generate their
offensive chances via Clarkson turnovers. Once UMass lost
possession in the offensive zone, the forwards retreated
toward the neutral zone and defensemen backed off toward
their own blueline. That forced Clarkson to make long breakout
passes and the Golden Knights were rarely able to come into
the offensive zone with speed.
In turn, Clarkson regularly dumped the puck
deep into the UMass zone and pressured the Minutemen defensemen
while they retrieved the puck. UMass handled that pressure
and didn't turn the puck over.
"They are a pretty good counter team,
very patient, and they look for you to make mistakes. They
got the one that counted," Clarkson coach George Roll
Clarkson goalie David Leggio made 37 saves,
and UMass goalie Jon Quick made 33 saves to earn the shutout.
4, St. Cloud State 1
Léveillé, T. Purcell
Hamilton, T. Purcell
Lundin, T. Purcell
Shepheard, D. de Kastrozza
Ben Bishop, 60:00, 33 saves, 1 GA
Bobby Goepfert, 58:29, 17 saves, 4 GA
ME 11/22; SC 7/14
Plays: ME 2-5; SC 0-9
SPECIALISTS LEAD MAINE
By getting two power-play goals and killing
off nine short-handed situations, the Maine Black Bears
got back in the win column on Friday night in Rochester.
Maine's first goal, which erased a suspect goal allowed
by Ben Bishop early in the first period, came on a power
play rush when Brent Shepheard centered the puck from behind
the net and it deflected in off of St. Cloud State goalie
Bobby Goepfert's skate.
A goal by Billy Ryan put Maine in front, and
then the biggest point in the game helped the Black Bears.
Back-to-back minor penalties against Rob Bellamy and Josh
Soares gave St. Cloud State a two-man advantage for 1:19.
Equal parts preparation and execution were
the recipe for short-handed success. The Black Bears and
Ben Bishop were prepared for St. Cloud State's power play,
but did the job on the ice making initial saves, and clearing
the front of the net.
"I think our defense did a much better
job in this game than they had in the previous few of protecting
Bish and limiting second shots," Maine coach Tim Whitehead
The Huskies were able to set up in the Maine
zone, but fired some shots wide of the net and Maine cleared
the puck efficiently. Throughout the game, defensemen Mike
Lundin and Travis Ramsey were forces in front of the crease.
"Those two guys are elite defenders.
I'm just really impressed with their consistency and they've
been like that all year on the penalty kill," Whitehead
Every good penalty-killing effort is spearheaded
by good goaltending, and that was no exception in this game.
Ben Bishop made 18 of his 34 saves while the Black Bears
Minutes after killing off those two first-period
penalties, Michel Leveille fired a point shot through traffic
and into the net to give the Black Bears a 3-1 lead.
Maine's special teams were special indeed.
AND HEARD AT BLUE CROSS ARENA
INCH's Three Stars of the Night
David Leggio, Clarkson
Golden Knights' goalie made 13 saves in the first
period and kept his team tied through 20 minutes when
they were outplayed. He made the initial stop all
game long, and his teammates did a great job of tying
up sticks and clearing loose pucks … until Kevin
Brent Shepheard, Maine
The senior winger scored Maine's first goal
by centering the puck from behind the net. It deflected
in off of Bobby Goepfert's skate. Shepheard also did
the dirty work in front of the net, screening Goepfert
on Maine's third goal.
By sticking to the game plan and handling
Clarkson's forechecking pressure, the Minutemen blueliners
kept the Golden Knights off the scoreboard. Great
job: Mark Matheson, Mike Kostka, David Leaderer, Justin
Braun, Topher Bevis and John Wessbecker.
• Clarkson fans outnumbered the UMass
supporters in the early semifinal and the Clarkson Pep Band
provided some life to a mostly empty building.
• UMass goalie Jon Quick stopped two
low shots from Nick Dodge and Steve Zalewski on a third-period
power play to keep the game scoreless. Clarkson's David
Leggio made his best saves on a similar play in the same
goal crease in the second period.
• St. Cloud's Matt Stephenson left the
ice with an injury in the second period but returned to
play the rest of the game.
• Also on the Huskies' injury front,
centerman Nate Raduns dressed and played in the semifinal.
There was concern that he wouldn't be available after missing
most of the WCHA third-place game last Saturday against
• St. Cloud State was involved with
several penalties in the closing minutes, many of which
occurred after the whistle. It's not a good reflection on
the team's discipline when it closes its season in that
• Maine's Mike Hamilton crashed the
net on both of the Black Bears' first goals. The active
centerman loves to play around the crease, and factored
indirectly on the first Maine goal and assisted on the second.
• UMass junior defenseman David Leaderer
is a native of Rochester, N.Y., and got to play Friday afternoon's
game in his hometown.
• All-American goalie and Hobey Baker
finalist Bobby Goepfert was not at his best in this one.
It was just part of a St. Cloud State performance that left
coach Bob Motzko befuddled. "We've never seen that
before," he said.
• The first semifinal at the Midwest
Regional was won on a power-play goal in overtime, but Steve
Piotrowski wasn't there. He administered the early semifinal
• Announced attendance for the first
day of the East Regional was 3,887.
center Jordan Virtue has been a part-time player for the
Minutemen through his two years on campus in Amherst. He
played in just eight games as a freshman and got his chance
to join the lineup late in the season when Mark Matheson
shifted from forward to defense to fill in for injured defenseman
Martin Nolet. Virtue factored in the game-winning goal.
Bishop responded well after allowing a shaky goal to St.
Cloud State's Justin Fletcher early in the first period.
He was especially strong late in the third period when the
Huskies applied excellent pressure on the power play.
guys. Put the biscuit in the hole!" Welcome to the
NCAA Tournament, UMass fan. I wonder what they yell at lacrosse
college hockey visits new geographic areas, sometimes the
details are missed by the host city. One case in point was
the public address announcer's incorrect pronunciation of
Michel "La-VEE" throughout the game.
Massachusetts won four games in a row against
Maine in early March, all played at the Mullins Center.
Two concluded the Hockey East regular season and gave UMass
the fourth seed in the tournament and bumped Maine to fifth
place. That set up a rematch the following weekend and UMass
won two straight games in that playoff series by scores
of 3-2 and 5-2.
One major difference that the Minutemen will
deal with Saturday is the presence of Maine goaltender Ben
Bishop in the net. Backup Dave Wilson played in the last
four meetings. Bishop's only appearance against UMass this
year came back on Oct. 28. Maine won 4-1 and he stopped
16 of 17 shots he faced.
For Clarkson and St. Cloud State, each
program took strides toward the top of the ECACHL and WCHA
this year. Many talented players could return for both teams,
but NHL teams will certainly be active in attempting to
sign underclassmen like Andrew Gordon, Andreas Nodl, Steve
Zalewski and Shawn Weller.