Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

Steve Mastalerz, Kevin Boyle competing again for starting goalie spot

Michael Wood/Collegian File Photo

The competition between the pipes is heating up once again for the Massachusetts hockey team, but this time it’s a two-way competition between Kevin Boyle and Steve Mastalerz.

It looked like Boyle may have wrapped up that title midway through the first half of the season with 10 straight starts, which kicked off with a 3-1 win over Vermont on Nov. 20, 2012. But 10 games later, he struggled in a 5-4 loss against Providence College on Jan. 11.

The following day, UMass coach John Micheletto switched things up and started Mastalerz, who had not played since Nov. 18, 2012, due to a knee injury.

Although the Minutemen (8-11-2, 5-8-1 Hockey East Association) lost the game, 2-0, against the Friars, Mastalerz came up with 22 saves. He followed that performance with 21 saves in a 5-2 upset win Friday over Boston College, which was ranked No. 2 at the time.

“Steve’s performance definitely warranted him getting another look,” Micheletto said. “Especially in the early going against BC with all the penalties that we were giving, put all of us in a bad spot. Steve came up with two or three really good saves in the 5-on-3 situations that really bolstered us and allowed us to keep our legs up from underneath us.”

Micheletto said Mastalerz’s teammates helped him out too.

“So he really did a yeoman’s job in the first period,” Micheletto said, “and then we allowed him to kind of put it on cruise control from there a little bit.”

After Mastalerz’ performance on Friday, he has 1-3 overall record with a 3.78 goals-against average and a .859 save percentage. He is second on the team in all three categories behind Boyle, who has a 7-7-2 record, a 2.60 GAA and a .900 save percentage.

In Hockey East action, Boyle ranks third in GAA (2.09), fifth in save percentage (.922) and sixth in winning percentage with a record of 4-4-1. Mastalerz has not met the minimum requirement of playing in 40 percent of his team’s minutes to be included in the Hockey East’s Conference goaltending statistics.

Despite Mastalerz’ performance the past two weekends and Boyle’s statistical advantage, Micheletto has stressed all season that each position’s starter isn’t etched in stone.

Mastalerz said this approach is not hard on the goalies, because Micheletto told them from the beginning that this was his plan.

“So you have that mindset going into it so you just go out and try to compete as hard as you can and that’s all you can do,” Mastalerz said. “So if you do that, there’s a good chance of being in net on Friday night.”

Micheletto said having multiple goalies at the moment is a good thing, but he said the ideal situation will be for one of the goalies to step up and take the No. 1 spot before the end of the season.

But for the moment, Micheletto’s glad to see Mastalerz back on the ice and playing well.

“I’m happy for Steve.”

Cameron McDonough can be reached at cameronm@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_McDonough.

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