November 23, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball outlasts Florida State 75-69 -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Minutemen ride strong bench play to 75-69 win over Florida state -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Micheletto apologizes to fans, aims to regroup following 11-1 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vermont throttles UMass hockey 11-1 -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass guard Trey Davis: ‘There’s a lot coming at me right now’ -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass ‘big four’ neutralized by Notre Dame in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass basketball can’t corral Grant, Irish in 81-68 loss -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Frustration haunts Minutemen in 5-3 loss to Boston College -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey drops 5-3 decision to No. 12 Boston College Friday night -

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMass hockey prepares for nationally ranked Hockey East foes BC, Vermont -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Food scientist proposes way to improve health via breast milk -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons shine in ‘Whiplash’ -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Masculinity: A feminist’s perspective -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball uses size and speed en route to its first win against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Melissa McBride is the best actor on television -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

‘Gienie’ in a bottle: Patriots, Browns, and Seahawks highlight week 12 picks -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball secures first victory of the season against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Revisiting ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy as the final installment looms -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Establishing the rules of classroom attendance -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass hockey’s Troy Power reflects as his 100th career game approaches -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lack of energy, focus late costs UMass in OT loss to Northeastern

For the first half of Tuesday’s game against Northeastern, the Massachusetts hockey team looked like the playoff-hungry team that was fighting to hold on to its playoff spot.

But midway through the second period the Minutemen (10-16-2, 7-13-1 Hockey East Association) lost their focus, took their foot off the gas and let the Huskies (9-16-3, 5-13-3 HEA) back into the game. The loss cost the team two valuable points within the conference.

The turning point came when, up 3-1, goalie Steve Mastalerz mishandled a dump in behind the net, having the puck carom out in front for an easy tap-in for Northeastern forward Robbie Vrolyk. Afterwards, the wind went out of the sales for the Minutemen.

“You got a two goal lead, we need to maintain the puck and maintain the momentum, or reel the momentum back in at those opportunities when you lose it,” UMass coach John Micheletto said. “Just like in basketball, everyone gets their runs. You got to rein it back in. Giving up those next two is not the way we play.”

The only spark the Minutemen showed the rest of the game came when junior Michael Pereira put UMass back on top, 4-3, with his second goal of the game heading into the third period. But coming out of the break, the slow-footed Minutemen were back and it was Pereira who found himself on the wrong end of a lazy penalty, getting called for hooking early in the final period.

“It’s difficult to get the momentum going when you get called for a hooking penalty 15 seconds into the third period,” Micheletto said.

Despite killing off the penalty, UMass was never able to find its energy and never tested backup goaltender Bryan Mountain, who replaced starting goalie Chris Rawlings at the beginning of the third period.

With the game still tied, the Minutemen found themselves with a chance to salvage a point, or possibly two, but once again, the Huskies were the team with all the energy and momentum, outshooting UMass 6-0 in the extra frame, before notching the game-winner.

Because the game was the third in five nights for the Minutemen, it is a possibility that fatigue caught up with the home team. But, ultimately, the Minutemen were in the same position as Northeastern, which seemed to never stop pushing forward, even when down 3-1.

“When we got down 3-1 in the second period there was a believability on our bench, there was a poise, a composure on our bench that our guys knew they were coming back,” Huskies coach Jim Madigan said. “From a coaching perspective, it’s great when you have that feeling, you see it. So there was some conviction from our guys.”

Blowing leads has been a frequent occurrence for this UMass team, but the meltdown in Tuesday’s game saw the team’s energy and focus completely disappear once it surrendered the second goal. The Minutemen were never able to find their stride after that and played the remaining 33 minutes back on their heels, allowing Northeastern to bring the pressure to them.

“No matter where it is anymore, it doesn’t matter,” Micheletto said. “Home or away, we obviously want to perform well in front of our home fans and make them proud of what we do because we represent them. But, again, we’ve got to learn to do it right every time, at home or on the road.”

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

 

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