July 29, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass Football summer coverage 2014 -

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chiarelli: Sam Koch’s impact evident in those who knew him best -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Longtime UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch dies after two-year battle with sinus cancer -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Southwest evacuated after gas leak -

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMass Rowing finishes NCAA Championships, ends year ranked No. 21 in the nation -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two UMass basketball alums to compete for a lofty prize in The Basketball Tournament -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Commencement Photos 2014 -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two arrested in relation to series of vandalism -

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Students push for relocation of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health -

Monday, May 12, 2014

Video: No. 14 UMass WLAX ends season in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

No. 14 UMass women’s lacrosse season ends in loss to Loyola (MD) -

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sixth inning rally propels UMass past Dayton 7-2 -

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

McMahon, Ferris and McGovern: Not your usual transfer story -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Women’s lacrosse defeats Richmond 10-6 to win sixth straight A-10 Championship -

Sunday, May 4, 2014

No. 13 UMass women’s lacrosse knocks off Duquesne 16-3 to reach Atlantic 10 finals -

Friday, May 2, 2014

UMass one of 55 schools currently facing investigation over handling of sexual assault cases -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Two thefts reported at library -

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Senior Columns 2013-2014 -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UMass Dining proposes major meal plan changes -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

UMass baseball beats UConn for first time since 2007 -

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Big second period gives UMass Lowell season sweep of Minutemen

LOWELL – For 52 minutes, 55 seconds, it looked like a goaltending battle for the ages.

Both Steve Mastalerz and Connor Hellebuyck carried their respective teams for the entire first and third periods, and a majority of the second as both sides struggled to find the back of the net despite some quality chances.

However, it was that other 7:05 in the second that ultimately decided the game.

All five of Saturday night’s goals were scored from 6:23 into the second period to 13:28, but only two belonged to the Massachusetts hockey team as UMass Lowell completed the season sweep of the Minutemen for the second year in a row with a 3-2 win in front of 5,468 at the Tsongas Center.

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

UMass (10-15-2, 7-12-1 Hockey East Association) had its chances to get the equalizer in the third thanks to the efforts of Mastalerz, who made 29 saves in his first start since Jan. 26, but struggled to control the puck in the neutral zone in the final two minutes, forcing Mastalerz to stay in net instead of sending out the extra attacker.

“We had a couple of opportunities there to get through the neutral (zone) and get pucks deep, but we weren’t able to,” UMass coach John Micheletto said.

The Minutemen dug themselves a 2-0 hole for the second straight night on special teams lapses 10 minutes, 6 seconds into the second period, but sliced the deficit 38 seconds later when Michael Pereira tipped in a shot floating in mid-air off the stick of Branden Gracel.

The River Hawks (16-9-2, 10-8-2 HEA) countered that response with one of their own 26 seconds later when Derek Arnold knocked in a rebound off a shot by Joe Houk at the point to make it 3-1. That’s the third time the duo connected in the series this weekend after doing so twice on Friday.

UMass cut the lead again at 13:28 in the second when Conor Sheary fired a shot from the slot past Hellebuyck (23 saves) off a feed from Gracel.

“The second period opened up for us,” Micheletto said. “We tried to push the pace, which is our norm, just in transition we got caught a couple of times and it hurt us.”

The Minutemen were especially hurt by their special teams. UMass went on its first power play 5:23 into the second period, but it was UMass Lowell that capitalized when a mishandled puck resulted in an odd-man rush led by Joseph Pedenza. Pendenza drew the defensemen then found Christian Folin in front of the net, who finished it with a shot that hit off the body of Mastalerz and into the net.

Riley Wetmore made it 2-0 with a power play goal from the left circle.

Both teams had their chances in the first period, but quality shots were at a premium. The Minutemen inserted three different players into Saturday’s starting lineup, but was without defenseman Conor Allen, who has been one of the most effective blue liners on the team.

Micheletto said after the game that Allen was a healthy scratch, but wouldn’t say whether or not it was because of his consecutive games with a game misconduct, calling it an internal matter.

The changes made the early stages of the game an adjustment period, forcing Mastalerz to make some big saves. The sophomore denied Michael Fallon on a breakaway chance in the first period, and also controlled the puck well and secured rebound opportunities.

The Minutemen haven’t beaten UMass Lowell since Jan. 15, 2011, and this is the first of the games that have been relatively close, something Micheletto attributed to better goaltending.

However, UMass still can’t seem to figure out the River Hawks.

“They play hard, we know what to expect when we play them,” Micheletto said. “So obviously it’s about trying to meet their aggressiveness, take advantage of the big ice and use our speed and skill. It obviously hasn’t worked, I understand that, but it’s not a different set of issues you’re trying to deal with. No more or less tough than anyone else.”

Despite the loss, UMass remains one point ahead of Maine for eighth in the Hockey East standings after the Black Bears lost 5-4 to Boston University in overtime. The Minutemen have a pivotal two-game series against Maine at the Mullins Center this weekend that could potentially put one team in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot.

Before UMass can set its sights on that big series, it has a home game against Northeastern Tuesday at 7 p.m. that was rescheduled last weekend due to the snowstorm.

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

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