Scrolling Headlines:

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

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UMass football fall camp day four: Veteran offensive line boasts chemistry, looks to improve run blocking -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A colorful UMass homecoming -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potential nighttime and weekend parking fee at UMass tabled -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day three: Ex-quarterbacks A.J. Doyle, Andrew Verboys continue transitions to new positions -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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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