Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball struggles offensively in 69-53 loss against Richmond -

February 6, 2016

UMass women’s basketball falls short against Fordham Saturday afternoon -

February 6, 2016

UMass hockey loses ninth straight, falls to No. 9 BU 6-3 -

February 5, 2016

UMass hockey can’t heed coach John Micheletto’s warning in 6-3 loss against BU -

February 5, 2016

Jury convicts Patrick Durocher of rape, assault and battery -

February 5, 2016

UMass student dies Friday morning -

February 5, 2016

Puck Talk: UMass prepares for the Terriers -

February 5, 2016

Third and 20: the Super Bowl -

February 5, 2016

UMass women’s basketball set to take on Fordham at Mullins -

February 4, 2016

UMass investigating alleged misuse of campus resources within Physical Plant -

February 4, 2016

Closing arguments delivered as Patrick Durocher trial moves toward resolution -

February 4, 2016

UMass football announces 30 members to its 2016 recruiting class -

February 4, 2016

Dean’s Beans founder speaks at first MassPIRG meeting of semester -

February 4, 2016

UMass revises guest policy for Super Bowl weekend -

February 4, 2016

UMass graduates are ‘attractive to employers’ -

February 4, 2016

IT to host open forum, discuss new acceptable use and confidentiality policies -

February 4, 2016

Herrell’s hosts event to support Whole Children -

February 4, 2016

UMass police chief hiring procedure involves input from across campus -

February 4, 2016

UMass men’s and women’s track and field set to perform this weekend in preparation for the Atlantic 10 championships -

February 4, 2016

Heather MacLean shines in junior season for UMass track and field -

February 4, 2016

UMass gives up three straight goals in loss to No. 20 Merrimack

Nathalie Sczublewski/Collegian

The story of the Massachusetts hockey team’s season is one filled with the inability to protect leads and the constant squandering of games in the third period.

That story proved to be true once again in Sunday’s 4-2 loss at No. 20 Merrimack.

The Minutemen (10-13-2, 7-10-1 Hockey East Association) found themselves tied late in the third period to the Warriors (13-10-5, 11-6-2 HEA), but were ultimately done in by the eventual game-winning goal by Josh Myers with 5:47 left in the period.

Myers received a pass from Shawn Bates in stride, then continued to blow by UMass defenseman Darren Rowe and beat goalie Kevin Boyle top-shelf to put Merrimack on top, 3-2. With time still remaining, the Minutemen had a chance to once again draw even with Merrimack, but surrendered an empty-net goal with 46 seconds left to drop the tight contest.

Even though it was a close game throughout the contest, the Warriors were in control for much of the matchup, ending the game with a decisive 41-18 shot advantage over the Minutemen. Boyle finished the game with 37 saves on 40 shots.

Merrimack opened up the scoring late in the first period when Justin Mansfield beat Boyle to put the home side up 1-0. Shortly after the goal, the Minutemen were dealt a major blow when top line defenseman Conor Allen received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for contact to the head, putting UMass down to only five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

But the Minutemen’s aggressive penalty kill shined once again when junior Branden Gracel notched his team-leading 13th goal with 14 seconds left in the period to tie the game at 1-1. The shorthanded goal was the sixth for UMass this season, tying the team for third nationally in that category and its most in a season since 2003.

The Minutemen found themselves in the lead midway through the second period when Eddie Olczyk scored to put UMass ahead 2-1. But the lead lasted a mere 29 seconds as the Warriors answered back the next shift with a goal from Quinn Gould. Despite the tied score, Merrimack owned a commanding 28-8 shot advantage over the Minutemen through two periods.

Despite the loss, UMass continued its superb penalty killing, going 7-for-7 when down a man.

The loss keeps UMass in seventh place in the Hockey East standings, but now sit only one point clear of Vermont for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Minutemen must now prepare for next weekend’s home-and-home against UMass Lowell. The Riverhawks won the only previous meeting between the two sides back in November, winning 8-2 at the Mullins Center.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter at @MDC_Strohecker.

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