Scrolling Headlines:

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Radiohead returns to the top with gorgeous, illuminating ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ -

May 16, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse advances to quarterfinal of NCAA tournament -

May 16, 2016

UMass baseball outlasts Rhode Island in series finale behind strong pitching of Brandon Walsh -

May 15, 2016

Eileen McDonald’s overtime goal advances UMass women’s lacrosse in NCAA tournament -

May 14, 2016

12 UMass students face possible arrests in connection to an alleged bad LSD trip -

May 14, 2016

UMass baseball falls in first-ever Division I matchup with UMass Lowell 7-3 -

May 11, 2016

UMass baseball gets shut out in nonconference matchup with UConn -

May 10, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Richmond, wins eighth straight Atlantic 10 championship -

May 9, 2016

UMass baseball salvages last game of weekend series with Richmond behind strong eighth inning -

May 9, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse beats St. Joe’s, advance to Atlantic 10 championship game -

May 7, 2016

Failed comeback on Saturday earns UMass hockey weekend split with Vermont

The story of the Massachusetts hockey team’s season has been its inability to hold on to leads late in games. So far this year, the Minutemen have allowed teams to rally from early deficits seven times and have come away with wins on only two of those occasions.

But at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Saturday, it was UMass that was forced to play catch-up.

The Minutemen dug themselves into a 3-0 hole midway through the second period that they couldn’t find their way out of, as Vermont staved off the UMass rally and prevailed 3-2 in front of 3,845 people to split the weekend series in Burlington, Vt.

Goaltender Steve Mastalerz got his fourth straight start for the Minutemen (9-12-2, 6-9-1 Hockey East Association) and made 22 saves, but couldn’t match the efforts of his counterpart Brody Hoffman, who made 36 stops in the win.

The Catamounts (7-13-4, 4-9-4 HEA) took a 3-0 advantage with 14 minutes, 39 seconds in the second period on a power play goal by Jacob Fallon, snapping a streak of 16 successful penalty kills for UMass.

“They were good, as is always going to be the case when you’ve dropped a number of games at home. Your pride’s been wounded and they obviously were fired up,” UMass coach John Micheletto said of Vermont.. “We were anticipating that they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us and they did.”

Michael Pereira kept the Minutemen within reach in the closing minutes of the period, scoring a 4-on-4 goal assisted by Joel Hanley and Conor Allen to make it 3-1 Vermont in the second intermission.

UMass was the aggressor in the third period, outshooting the Catamounts 11-4. The Minutemen had three power play opportunities in the third period as well, but had nothing to show for it, coming up empty in all each one.

Down 3-1 in the game’s final minutes, Mastalerz was pulled for an extra-attacker. The move was a success as Branden Gracel hammered home a rebound off a shot by Darren Rowe to make it 3-2 with 1:21 to go.

However, it was too little, too late for UMass as Vermont held on and prevented any chance for a Minutemen sweep.

“We talked about what it takes in order to do that, and how much energy you need to manufacture on night two when you’ve won in someone else’s barn on night one,” Micheletto said. “You’ve got to fend off the crowd, you’ve got to fend off their juice, and they did a good job and got goaltending when they needed it.”

The Catamounts got the early lead on a goal by Kyle Reynolds three minutes, 23 seconds into the game, and stretched the advantage to 2-0 when he scored again at the 9:38 mark.

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

Minutemen overcome UVM

Just one week after allowing a 2-0 lead to become a 2-2 tie against No. 2 Boston College in an eventual 5-2 victory, the Minutemen found themselves in the same situation again Friday at Vermont and once again came away victorious, 3-2.

With the 2-0 advantage long gone heading into second intermission, UMass used the outcome at BC as a reminder that the game could still be won.

“You remind them of those touchstone moments from the season and don’t allow teams to shake you from what you do,” Micheletto said. “We talked a lot about last week. Experience is a great motivator and it’s a great sense of strength.”

Conor Sheary scored the game-winner five minutes, 32 seconds into the final period as his wrister found its way through traffic and into the back of the net.

“To be honest, I was almost going for a rebound,” Sheary said after the game. “I was just trying to get it to the net.”

The Catamounts earned a 6-on-4 advantage with 1:24 remaining in the game after bringing out the extra-skater following a Hanley slashing penalty. However, Mastalerz held his ground, finishing the game with 19 saves.

Eric Filiou got his first start since Dec. 11 with Steven Guzzo out of the lineup with a lower body injury and responded by scoring the game’s first goal 19:44 into the first period. It was Filiou’s first of the season.

The Minutemen doubled their lead on a power play goal by Hanley 6:23 into the second period, but UVM got one right back 58 seconds later when Reynolds ripped a wrister past Mastalerz.

The Catamounts then evened the score when Connor Brickely scored on a one-timer from a cross-ice feed from Fallon with 2:24 remaining in the second.

The third period tally by Sheary gave Micheletto a win in his return to Vermont after spending nine seasons there as an assistant.

“The guys have a lot of belief right now. It’s nice when you’re rewarded for that,” Micheletto said. “It just keeps that belief getting stronger.”

UMass has another big test on Friday when it hosts Boston University at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

Nick Canelas can be reached at ncanelas@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @NickCanelas.

Comments
One Response to “Failed comeback on Saturday earns UMass hockey weekend split with Vermont”
  1. Marc says:

    How did DeAngelo do on defense?

Leave A Comment