Overtime not enough for Minutemen to take game

By Stephen Sellner

Junior Danny Hobbs’ two-goal performance was not enough for the Massachusetts hockey team, as Jeff Lee’s overtime goal capped a 4-3 comeback win for New Brunswick in an exhibition game at the Mullins Practice Rink on Saturday.

The Minutemen had their third period two-goal advantage wiped away by New Brunswick’s offensive surge, which scored two goals in a 25-second frame. The Reds caught a break when Hunter Tremblay’s shot ricocheted off of UMass defensemen Colin Shea’s skate into the back of the net for the tying score.

UMass took a 3-1 lead with eight minutes, 24 seconds to play in regulation on Hobbs’ electric slap shot, set up by a perfect pass from junior defensemen Michael Marcou on a power play.

“Danny Hobbs can probably shoot the puck as well as anyone, certainly as well as anyone on our team,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said.  “If we give him good opportunities to deliver the puck to the net, some of those are going to go in.”

UMass goalie Paul Dainton made 18 saves, allowing only one goal. His biggest save of the game came at the 9:20 mark in the first period, when New Brunswick’s Luke Gallant fired a wrist shot which Dainton snared with the glove while on his backside.  Freshman Jeff Teglia replaced the senior captain after two periods.

Cahoon seemed happy with the effort of backup goalie Teglia, despite the three goals he allowed.

“Those first two we didn’t have any chance and he made some good saves,” he said.  “It’s not an easy situation…to throw him into the start of the third period in a tie game. I wanted to see how he responded.”

Hobbs kicked off the high-scoring affair just 5:52 into the game, beating Reds’ goalie Travis Fullerton after a centering pass from freshman forward Troy Power. 

New Brunswick forward Ryan Seymour tied the game at one at the 9:40 mark in the second period, catching the UMass defense in transition.

Freshman Michael Pereira gave the Minutemen a 2-1 advantage in a chaotic rush at net, as the puck lay in front of the crease, ultimately finding the back of the net. The goal came with 10 seconds remaining on a UMass power play.

Early in the contest, UMass appeared to have difficulty finding scoring opportunities on the power play. However the Minutemen capitalized twice on man advantages in the third period. Crisp passing and working along the boards helped free opportunities in front of the net.

Cahoon attributed the late success on the power play to the players feeling more comfortable and “finding seams.”

Defensive execution and positioning were a problem late in the game, especially by the inexperienced players.

“The four goals that are up on the board were mostly young peoples’ mistakes in given situations,” Cahoon said.

The Minutemen are a young team with little game experience, with 13 freshmen, including an additional redshirt freshman. Cahoon went on to explain the importance of his young players obtaining game experience from the exhibition game.

“Given the number of first-year players…there were many more positive things than negative things,” he said.

The Minutemen open the regular season at Minnesota on Friday night.

Stephen Sellner can be reached at [email protected]