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Minutemen upset defending national champions, No. 2 Boston University

On Friday night at the Mullins Center, 8,123 fans witnessed a down to the wire thriller which ultimately resulted in the home team coming out on top.

Paul Dainton provided strong play in goal while Will Ortiz put in the deciding score in a 3-2 upset by the Massachusetts hockey team over defending national champions and No. 2 Boston University.

“It was pretty entertaining hockey for a game played in the middle of October,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “Everyone walked away thinking they just saw two teams going to battle.”

Despite being outshot 41-26 and failing to capitalize on any of their four power play opportunities, the Minutemen (2-0-0, 1-0-0 Hockey East) were able to keep the Terriers (0-1-0, 0-1-0 HEA) from leading throughout the game.

UMass came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, taking a quick 1-0 lead five minutes, 21 seconds into the first period. The goal was by freshman Rocco Carzo, his second in as many games, off a dish from Ortiz.

Only three minutes later, sophomore Matt Irwin zipped a shot past BU goalkeeper Kieran Millan to give the Minutemen a two-score advantage.

The fast start by UMass in the first 10 minutes of the game proved to be monumental in the end, with the Terriers outscoring the Minutemen the rest of the way.

“We wanted to play hard from the get go, that’s something we hadn’t done in the two previous games,” Cahoon said. “It was important not to come out and give up those two or three goals and let that team get rolling. You don’t want to be rolling the dice like that every time out.”

BU’s attack came to life towards the end of the first period when freshman Alex Chiasson stuck back a rebound past Dainton on a power play for one of his two goals on the game.

In the second period, Chiasson received a pass from Corey Trivino and poured it in goal to tie the game at two. With less than two minutes left until intermission, UMass had ample opportunities to pick up the go-ahead goal on a power play but had shot after shot deflected by Millan.

The Minutemen tallied a goal by Ortiz off a pass from Danny Hobbs in the first two minutes of the third period to take a 3-2 lead. Unwilling to give up, the Terriers outshot UMass 16-4 for the frame, but were unable to send the game to overtime. Dainton recorded 39 saves in goal, tying a career-high from a win over Boston College in November of last season.

Along with Dainton, Ortiz had one of his better games for his career. Equipped with a great deal of skill, Ortiz hasn’t reached the high expectations that were placed on him as a freshman. However, as a senior, Ortiz has received more playing time in key situations from Cahoon and has shed the assumed role of being a one dimensional player.

“We’ve been coaching him for three years so he knows exactly what to do, when to do it. It’s just a question of executing it and he’s really determined to do that,” Cahoon said. “He’s earned the right to get that type of ice time.”

As far as defeating the defending national champions, Cahoon was adamant in saying that it’s a new season and the team is focused on winning games, not who they’re beating.

“It’s a nice start, but the game was all about the two points. It’s not about the defending national champs and it’s not about where we finished last year,” he said. “It’s October 2009, and we need to start our season and those points are valuable. We’re going to have to cross swords with that team again in Boston in their rink and I’m sure that will change how that game will be played a little bit.”

The Minutemen return to action on Friday when they host Maine in search of their second Hockey East win of the season.

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@studnet.umnass.edu.

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