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Looking Back At UMass Hockey This Decade

Top Five UMass Hockey Moments From The Decade

Honorable Mention:  11/14/2008 UMass 5 Boston University 1
In convincing fashion UMass picked up just its second win in program history over a top ranked team.  Alex Berry scored two goals against the Terriers who had only lost once previously on the season and would go on to win the national championship.  Paul Dainton had 30 saves in the winning effort.  It was the program’s first win over a #1 team since the miraculous victory over Maine in 1995.

5.  12/30/2007  UMass 5 Colorado College 4 (OT)
After beating #6 Notre Dame the day before in the first round of Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, Florida UMass had to face #4 Colorado College in the championship.  Things did not look good to start as the Tigers went up 2-0 after the first period, but UMass answered with three goals in the second.  The teams would trade goals from there on out and find themselves tied at the end of regulation with the tourney trophy on the line.  But two minutes in Matty Burto, who had a knack for providing game winners in his UMass career, stepped up and put a rebound in the back of the net as UMass captured their first ever tournament title and found themselves ranked #5 when the polls came out the following week.

4.  12/6/2002  UMass 5 Boston University 4 (OT)
After only winning 8 games in both of the previous seasons UMass had already matched that total by December of 2002.  But the Minutemen needed a signature win to prove to themselves and the rest of Hockey East that things were changing in Amherst.  In came BU to the Mullins, a team that had owned UMass since the program had been reinstated.  Things looked dire when BU had a 4-1 lead halfway through the game but the Minutemen setup a thrilling end by scoring the next three unanswered.  In overtime Chris Capraro poke checked the puck away, screamed into the BU zone, and put the puck past Sean Fields, all while being tripped from behind, to show that UMass truly was changing the direction of Hockey East.

3.  3/7/2003 UMass 4 Maine 2
That victory over BU helped propel UMass to their most successful season in Hockey East to date but their reward was a trip to Orono, Maine to face the 4th ranked Black Bears in the quarterfinals.  UMass surprised Maine with a 5-3 win in the opening night and then shocked them by jumping out in the second game 3-0 in the first period, chasing Jimmy Howard from net.  The Minutemen were able to hold on to the lead after that thanks to some solid play from Gabe Winer and with a 4-2 advanced to the FleetCenter and the conference semifinals for the first time in program history.

2.  3/19/2004  UMass 5 New Hampshire 2
UMass found themselves down 2-0 early in this game as well, but after that it was all Minutemen.  UMass got goals from that season’s stars like Tommy Pöck and Greg Mauldin but this show belonged to the Warner brothers.  Tim Warner was filling in for an inured Gabe Winer and ended up with 27 saves, including 15 in the 3rd period alone.  Mike Warner only scored 20 goals in his entire career but scored two in this one as the team advanced to its first ever Hockey East championship game.

1.  3/23/2007  UMass 1 Clarkson 0 (OT)
The team’s prospects for its first ever NCAA bid looked dim after UMass lost to UNH in the conference semis and news came of Quinnipiac jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the ECAC championship which would leave the Minutemen on the outside looking in of the pairwise rankings.  But Clarkson scored the next four goals in Albany and with it secured themselves a #1 seeding in the East Regional and a matchup against the UMass team they helped invite to the party.  The game was dominated by goaltending as Jon Quick and Clarkson’s David Leggio combined for 68 saves in regulation.  But in overtime it was all about retribution.  Kevin Jarman was just a freshman in 2003 when his skate in the crease disallowed a Greg Mauldin goal in the Hockey East championship against Maine.  But as a senior he scored the biggest goal in UMass history when he put back a Jordan Virtue rebound 7:40 into overtime to give UMass its first ever NCAA tournament victory, the pinnacle of the program to date.

UMass All-Decade Team

Greg Mauldin – 48G  46A  94pts
Despite only playing three seasons Mauldin’s 48 goals is the second most in the decade and sixth all time in UMass history.  Mauldin was honorable mention All-Hockey East in 2002-03 and became just the second UMass hockey player to play in the NHL.

James Marcou – 28G 77A 105pts
Just two and a half seasons into his UMass career Marcou’s 105 points is the third most in the decade and already 6th overall in team history.  Marcou was an All-American last year as well as All-Hockey East.

Stephen Werner – 50G 66A 116pts
Werner scored the most points and most goals of any UMass player in the decade.  He’s fourth all-time in both categories.

Justin Braun – 18G 52A 70pts
Braun has emerged not only as one of the better defensive defensemen in the conference, but in all of college hockey.  He was second team All-Hockey East last season.

Thomas Pöck – 44G 58A 102pts
Pöck’s numbers are tops for UMass defensemen.  Pöck was a Hobey Baker Finalist, twice named All-Hockey East, won INCH’s Defenseman of the Year, and played in both the NHL and the Olympics.

Jon Quick – 2.40 GAA .925 save%
Quick averaged nearly 29 saves per game in his career, tops for all UMass goaltenders.  Posted a goals against of 2.16 in 2006-07 and was named an All-American.

Honorable Mention:  Marvin Degon, Paul Dainton, Mike Kostka, Cory Quirk, Nick Kuiper, Matt Anderson, Mark Matheson.

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College Hockey News has a preview of the holiday tournaments.

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11 Comments

  1. Alan

     /  December 28, 2009

    What!? No RJ Gates?

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  2. Ryan

     /  December 28, 2009

    You could argue Winer instead of Quick, as he played all 4 seasons and pretty much held every goaltending stat when he left. Also, Maine finished 3rd in 2003, which set up at 3-6 matchup, which Winer of all people backstopped.

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    • Maine was the 3rd seed in Hockey East but ranked #4 in the country at the time.

      I had a tough time picking the goaltender. Obviously Winer was the goto guy as the program was developing into a contending one. But if you look, Dainton currently posseses better numbers than him. Yet in the end, though he wasn’t here long, I had to go with Quick, just because he had an All-American season and his numbers were so far superior to Winer and Dainton’s. If I chose to exclude players who didn’t play all four years that would’ve left Mauldin out as well and he had the 2nd most goals in the decade.

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  3. Old Cage

     /  December 28, 2009

    To me the most memorable UMass hockey game ever is the triple overtime loss to Maine in the Hockey East Championship Game in March, 2004. I probably rate the game #1 – even in defeat – because I was there and the overtime memories remain vivid.

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    • Don’t worry, when I make my list of “Rip My Heart Out And Feed It To Me Moments”, that’ll be top of the list. This was supposed to be top moments though and I’m still trying to forget that triple overtime game. I had to leave the room when it was shown as part of the Hockey East 25th Anniversary DVD premiere I attended.

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    • Alan

       /  December 28, 2009

      Yeah and game 7 of the 03 ALCS is one of my all time faves too.

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  4. Wardy

     /  December 28, 2009

    Honorable Mention Games:

    2002 – UMass -4 Northeastern -3 (OT), UMass comes back from down 3-0 in the last 10 minutes of the 3rd period and wins on Pock’s OT goal. Those blown points kept a diecent Northeastern team from home ice in the HEA Playoffs meaning a quick exit to UNH.

    2004 – UMass -1 Maine -0, the Bunyon Hockey “Slap Shot” game in Orono resulting in the near bench-clearing brawl resulting in 14 players in the penalty box.

    2004 – UMass -4 UNH -1, the first “Mullet Night” and the first time UMass really played well in front of a big crowd at home and on NESN.

    2004 – UMass -3 Lowell -1 (1st Round HEA), UMass sweeps Lowell whom the free world picked to win the 1st round series behind their back-up goaltender Timmy Warner subbing for an injured Gabe Winer.

    2007 – The 4 straight wins over Maine in 2 weeks.

    2009 – The sweep of Maine forever killing any notion of a “Wardy Curse”. : p

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  5. Ryan

     /  December 28, 2009

    honorable mention for me: January 06 – UMass 4 UNH 3 (OT). UMass took the lead 3 times, only to have UNH tie it up each time, the third on a goal Mike Radja clearly kicked, but was still allowed. UMass gets a PP in OT and Anderson wins the game with 3.4 seconds left in the OT. You can still watch the game on the NHPTV website, and Kevin Regan robbed Degon on a pad save with about 15 seconds left and Bob Norton exclaimed that was the “play of the game right there.” The Minutemen regrouped and two Wildcats followed Werner into the zone but he dropped it for Matt Anderson who sniped it over Kevin Regan. What ensued was complete silence at the Whit, and the sounds of Jeff and I among others cheering.

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    • UMass02

       /  December 28, 2009

      I remember going that game. The UNH student fans just stood there with their mouths agape. One UNH band member was crying. Classy UNH fans were swearing at the cheering UMass fans. That was great!

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  6. Josh

     /  December 28, 2009

    I agree with Old Cage that the triple OT thriller against Maine in the Hockey East Finals needs to be on this list. I probably rate it 2nd all-time behind the Clarkson victory. That Hockey East Finals game ranks in the top 5 of any UMass sporting event I’ve ever been to (note: started at UMass in ’03).

    I also think the back-to-back weekend sweeps of Maine in 2007 deserve some recognition somewhere. Without the first sweep we don’t get home ice. Without home ice we probably don’t beat Maine in the first round. Thus, no tourney and no Clarkson game.

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  7. Was the Hockey East Championship game significant? Yes. As a third party bystander was it one of the most entertaining games in college hockey in recent history? Yes. Was losing in that fashion one of the “Top Moments in UMass Hockey History?” No. At least not in my opinion.

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