Scrolling Headlines:

Adam Liccardi found guilty in UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jackson Porter adapting well following switch to wide receiver -

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Minutemen look for Robert Kitching to anchor defensive line -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing arguments delivered in Adam Liccardi rape trial -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Early goals sink UMass men’s soccer in loss to Saint Peter’s -

Monday, August 31, 2015

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

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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