The Massachusetts hockey team defeated Maine 5-2 Saturday night at the Mullins Center. With the win, the Minutemen (11-17-2, 8-14-1 Hockey East Association) are back in eighth place and one point ahead of the Black Bears (9-17-6, 5-12-6 for the final spot in the Hockey East Playoffs.
LaRue puts UMass ahead in third: Fourth-line forward Zack LaRue put the Minutemen back on top with a goal in the third period, when he put home a rebound that Maine goalie Martin Ouellette couldn’t cover up. Conor Sheary added on an insurance goal later in the third. Kevin Czepiel added an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game to wrap up the two points.
UMass goes up early: With 14:09 remaining in the first period, Adam Phillips put UMass up 1-0 when he put home a rebound off of a shot by Rocco Carzo. Then Branden Gracel put the Minutemen up 2-0 at the time when he shot a rocket that beat Ouellette over his glove at the 7:47 mark in the frame.
Maine responds in second: The Black Bears dominated the second period with a pair of goals to tie the game up at 2-2. Both goals came on wrist shots that beat UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz. Jake Rutt scored the first one on a power play goal. Then Bill Norman tied the game later in the frame.
Up Next: UMass will be back in action next weekend when it travels to No. 5 New Hampshire for a pair of road games. Friday’s puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.