Mass Attack splits weekend

P.J. Stanley/Collegian

When a goaltender gives up four goals in a game it’s rare to hear that they had one of the best performances of the night, but for Paul Dainton that was just the case.

Before Friday night’s game against No. 3 Northeastern, Massachusetts hockey coach Don Cahoon explained that if his team’s goaltenders play well, it will determine how well the rest of the team plays.

Dainton did just that as the Minutemen defeated Northeastern, 6-4, on Friday night at the Mullins Center. On Sunday, the Minutemen lost to Maine, 2-1, in Orono; Maine‘s Jeff Dimmen scored the game-winning goal with 26.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

Dainton [35 saves) shutout the Huskies in the first period, but as the game progressed, the Minutemen began to let up defensively. Dainton, at little fault of his own, allowed a goal in the second and three goals in the third.

‘Paul gave us a really solid effort,’ Cahoon said. ‘The goals that [Northeastern] got in the third period were a reflection of poor net-front defense ‘hellip; [Dainton is] the person I feel the worst for, he gives up four goals in a night and gives us a stellar performance.’

‘If you were to say before the game started Northeastern would score four goals and lose a game you’d all be shocked, right?’ Northeastern coach Greg Cronin said after the game.

Shocking it was, as UMass was called for 13 penalties and allowed three goals while being a man down, but the Minutemen’s penalty kill held off the Huskies’ 1 minute, 35 second 5-on-3 advantage late in the second period to change the morale for both teams ‘- boosting UMass and crushing Northeastern’s.

‘Right when that time is clicking off, morale on the bench is just so high,’ UMass forward Alex Berry said. ‘There is a boost there and we want to go out there and make sure the next shift is that and building off that.’

The Minutemen came out strong and played smart, and thanks to Berry‘s goal 1:16 into the matchup, UMass dictated the tempo and outcome of the game.

Casey Wellman put UMass up 2-0 going into the second period after NU’s Alex Tuckerman was called for high sticking. With the man advantage, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin set up the power play, making passes at the points. Braun took a shot from the left point and Wellman was positioned to slap in the rebound from the left side of the goal.

Berry tallied a second goal (9:13 in the third), UMass’s fourth of the game, to put the Minutemen up 4-1 and completely changing the tempo of the game.

At 13:26 in the third, Will Ortiz received a pass from T.J. Syner near the blueline to go 3-on-0 into the zone, Ortiz made a move to the right on NU net minder Brad Thiessen for the score, in what proved to be the game-winner,

‘To tell you the truth I didn’t even know it was a 3-on-0,’ Ortiz said. ‘I came out and saw no one there so I took a straight line to the net and [Syner] gave me the puck and just had so much speed and beat the goalie to the right side.’

Chris Davis scored UMass’ sixth and final goal of the game. He picked up the puck at the blueline, skated into the right slot and floated the puck past Thiessen, making the score 6-2.

The Huskies came back and scored less than a minute later, and added another goal at 19:08, making the final score 6-4.

Game notes

James Marcou notched a career-high four assists and is second in the league in scoring with 31 points, behind Boston University’s Colin Wilson, who has 32 ‘hellip;Braun had two assists ‘hellip;UMass went 2-for-2 on the power play. The last time UMass went perfect on the man advantage (2-for-2) was Nov. 25 in the 3-2 overtime loss to Vermont ‘hellip;The attendance at Friday night’s game was 7,128, with a record-setting 3,897 students.

Melissa Turtinen can be reached at [email protected]