Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass hockey bounces back against Maine, reclaims 8th in Hockey East

Tied 2-2 heading into the third period, the Massachusetts hockey team faced arguably its most important period of hockey this season.

The Minutemen (11-17-2, 8-14-1 Hockey East Association) responded, scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes to down Maine 5-2 Saturday night at the Mullins Center.

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

The win puts the Minutemen back in front of the Black Bears (9-17-6, 5-12-6 HEA) by one point for eighth place in the Hockey East standings.

“I’m happy for the guys,” UMass coach John Micheletto said. “We kind of found our way again. They’re fun to watch, fun to be around and I was obviously just excited for them to see them get back to doing what they like to do, are good at doing and makes us successful.”

Not even three minutes into the period, UMass pulled ahead after Zack LaRue took advantage of a loose puck in the crease, poking it by goaltender Martin Ouellette to put the Minutemen back on top 3-2. Then, with just over six minutes to go, junior defenseman Joel Hanley faked a shot from the point and moved to the top of the circles and fed Conor Sheary a cross-ice pass that Sheary one-timed to give UMass a 4-2 lead.

Kevin Czepiel sealed the deal by adding an empty-net goal to earn the Minutemen the 5-2 victory, moving them back ahead of the Black Bears. Czepiel the team had learned its lesson and knew what it was up against after falling out of playoff position with a 2-0 loss on Friday.

“(It) was definitely a wake up call,”Czepiel said. “We knew the situation, so there was no hiding from that. It was definitely one that we had to get this game. It was a must-win and we had to turn around what we were doing. We weren’t playing the way we were supposed to play, so it was kind of just getting back to that and taking accountability for it.”

The Minutemen were stonewalled by Ouellette’s dominant, 30-save shutout performance Friday night.

It didn’t take UMass long to solve Ouellette on Saturday, however. Adam Phillips got the scoring started for the Minutemen 5:51 into the game after he banged home the rebound off a shot from  Rocco Carzo to put the Minutemen on top 1-0. Not even two minutes later, Branden Gracel ripped a slap shot over Ouellette’s shoulder, putting the Minutemen ahead 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

The quick start for UMass was something that Micheletto preached to his team before the game.

“We talked about the very basic things that make us good,” Micheletto said. “There’s foundation pieces to what we do and who we are. It’s about competition. It’s about intensity and tenacity and pace and those were the only things that they were being held accountable to at this point and that’s all we wanted to do was get back to those foundation pieces.”

But in the second period, UMass came out flat-footed, surrendering two goals   in a span of 1 minute, 40 seconds. Jake Rutt got Maine on the board on the power play when he beat Mastalerz blocker side. Bill Norman then answered Rutt’s goal by beating Mastalerz glove side to tie the game at 2-2 going into the second intermission.

It was then that the Minutemen got it together and figuratively saved its season.

We had to stick together, and I felt like we did a good job in between periods,”Hanley said.“We had to win it, and I thought we did a good job just not getting too high or too low, just staying with our game plan and it ended up working out for us.”

Both teams have only four games remaining in their seasons, but all four of UMass’games come against ranked opponents, starting with a weekend series on the road against No. 5 New Hampshire.

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

 

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