For two periods, Massachusetts hockey goaltender Kevin Boyle looked like he had rebounded well from a Friday night performance in which he conceded six goals.
But then the third period happened.
Colgate (9-7-2) put four goals past the sophomore in the final frame en route to a 5-2 win over UMass (5-8-2) in front of 2,720 fans at the Mullins Center Saturday night.
The first of the four goals came four minutes, 39 seconds into the third period when the Raiders’ Kurtis Bartliff shot one that trickled through Boyle’s legs and into the back of the net, tying the game up at 2-2.
“We let a goal in, in the first four minutes that shouldn’t have gone in,” Minuteman coach John Micheletto said. “And it impacted the way that we continued to play.”
Colgate struck again at the 10:00 mark on a power play goal by Tyson Spink.
Spink’s goal came after UMass’ Joel Hanley was sent to the penalty box for elbowing. Micheletto did not agree with the call.
“I thought that was a very curious call on Joel Hanley,” Micheletto said, “the only power play given in the entire third period, oddly enough for the fourth power play opportunity for them to match the fourth power play opportunity that we had. It looked like a clean hit from a defenseman with his hands and elbows tucked on a Colgate player who was cutting across the middle.
“That was an influential call at that point in the game. We did not react very well. So the call itself is one thing, how we handle it and execute from that point on, (is) completely different. So, that one’s on us.”
The Raiders added two more goals after the debated penalty later in the third period on goals by Billy Rivellini and Bartliff, which was his second of the game.
“I was pleased with our effort tonight,” Raiders coach Don Vaughan said. “I thought we got better as the game went on. Aside from the goals in the third, I still thought it was our best period. A couple of guys that I called last night, I thought responded very well.”
UMass struck first in the game on a power play goal by junior forward Adam Phillips at the 6:06 in the first period. Both Conor Allen and Michael Pereira were credited with assists on the goal.
It was the third straight game that Phillips has scored a goal. He had gone the previous 30 games without one before the Minutemen’s 6-3 win last Saturday at Northeastern.
Colgate came back with a score of its own less than two minutes later when Kyle Baun scored his seventh goal of the season and his third in two games against UMass at the 7:55 mark.
UMass took the lead back at the 12:41 mark in the first, when Branden Gracel slammed home a rebound off of a shot by teammate Kevin Czepiel in front of the goal. Czepiel’s original shot deflected off of Colgate goalie Spencer Finney’s stick and right to Gracel, who finished from there.
Finney finished with 31 saves on the night, while Boyle made 18.
The Minutemen outshot the Raiders 33-22 overall, but Colgate owned a 10-7 advantage in the third period.
UMass will have little time to shake off the disappointment of two losses this weekend, as it will travel to No. 15 Yale on Tuesday.
Cameron McDonough can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @MDC_McDonough.