UMass club hockey defeated by Boston College in first round of the ACHA regional tournament
After winning its first New England Club Hockey Association Patriot Conference Championship, the Massachusetts’ club hockey team’s dream of playing in the ACHA national tournament came to an abrupt end for the Minutemen, as they fell to Boston College 8-3 on Saturday in the regional tournament.
UMass dug itself an early 3-0 hole in the first period, something coach Jamie Magarian said was because his team came out flat and was outplayed throughout the contest,
“You need to play a full 60 minutes against a team like B.C. and we clearly didn’t do that,” he said. “We got down in a hole in the first period, 3-0, and that’s a tough hurdle to climb over.”
The Minutemen were held scoreless in the first period, but not for a lack of scoring chances. With seven minutes left in the first period, Peter Kelly attempted to wrap the puck around the net, which would have tied the game at 1-1, but had the puck bounce off his stick.
BC extended its lead to 4-0 just over a minute into the second period. UMass’ energy returned after Bret Mason scored a much-needed goal off a forced turnover in the neutral zone to beat the Eagles’ goalie.
Shortly after, Mason capitalized again on a power play, as he skated by a BC defenseman and connected with a powerful shot on goal.
The Minutemen ended the second period down by two goals, but the Eagles ended any likelihood of a UMass comeback by scoring four more in the third period.
Magarian said that the Minutemen didn’t complete the comeback because they couldn’t take advantage of second chance opportunities, and their lack of defensive pressure did little to faze the Eagles.
UMass has a lot to look forward to next season, as only two of its players will be graduating, which will put the team far ahead of curve, according to Magarian.
Additionally, Magarian hopes that his roster will be supplemented by several high school seniors, who he classifies as “great junior-level hockey players,” that are still waiting on admission from the University.
Although Magarian believes that the Minutemen need to improve on being a more consistent team, especially considering how young they are, he is confident in his team’s chances for next season, particularly due to the fact that “there is unfinished business to take care of.”
Matthew Zackman can be reached at email@example.com.