Minutemen fall to Army, 5-2

By Dan Gigliotti

Maxwell Sparr/Collegian

Despite the youth and inexperience of the Massachusetts hockey team, the Mass Attack has shown a competitive zeal this season, evident in the players’ ability to overcome early deficits in the first six games.

That all changed on Friday, when the Minutemen fell to Army, 5-2, at the Mullins Center and seemed unable to come back from a 3-0 second period deficit.

The loss was clearly disappointing for UMass coach Don Cahoon, who seemed dismayed by his team’s hapless performance.

“We thought that we had the competitive side of it in place,” Cahoon said. “Fooled were we. We didn’t come here prepared enough to play. The competitive piece that we thought we had in place certainly was missing.”

UMass (0-5-2, 0-2-2 Hockey East) took nine penalties during the game for 29 minutes, resulting in two power-play goals for the Black Knights (2-4-0, 1-3-0 Atlantic Hockey Association).

Army went two-for-eight on the power play, winning for the second time in a row as ten different players contributed to the scoring, led by John Clark and Jack Barnes, who had two assists apiece.

“The thing that perturbed me more than anything else was the types of penalties we took,” Cahoon said. “Since we wanted to play with total selfish demeanor, we ended up getting out-competed, outplayed, out-executed, totally embarrassed, from my perspective, and it was just a pathetic performance by a group of guys that obviously have to find their way.”

With just under nine minutes to play in the second period, freshman Conor Allen was called for hitting from behind while the Minutemen were a man up. Allen was assessed a game misconduct and discharged from the game.

Four minutes later, sophomore right wing Eddie Olczyk was called for hooking, leading to a 5-on-3 Army advantage and an Andy Starczewski goal to take a 3-0 lead at the 4:32 mark.

The Minutemen entered game eighth in Hockey East in penalty minutes (12.2 per game), but last in the penalty kill (18-25 goals allowed, 72.0 percent). After the game, assistant captain T.J. Syner thought his team could have done better to avoid penalties, which he believed to be costly.

“I didn’t see one good penalty that we took,” Syner said. “I definitely thought we deserved all of the [penalties] we were given. I think it’s definitely tough to dig out of a hole when you’re in that deep.”

UMass went down 1-0 less than four minutes into the game when Mark Dube took advantage of a rebound and a missed defensive assignment.

The Black Knights controlled a faceoff in the attacking zone and miscommunication by the Minutemen defenders led to an open lane for the Army attackers. Defenseman John Clark put a shot on net that was turned away, but Dube guided the miss through the legs of goalie Paul Dainton for his first goal of the season.

Army made it 2-0 when right wing Bill Day scored with 10:23 remaining in the first period. Freshman Troy Power attempted to clear the puck out of the UMass zone, but tripped and the puck floated to center ice, leading to the Day score.

After going down 3-0, freshman Michael Pereira scored 28 seconds later with a man advantage. Pereira extended his point streak to four games with a goal in the second period. He now has six points on the season (four goals, two assists).

Marc Concannon also found the net, scoring his second goal of the season.

On Saturday, the Minutemen welcomed the Swedish Under-20 national team to the Mullins Center winning an exhibition contest, 5-1.

Chase Langeraap had three points for the Minutemen (two goals, one assist) and Pereira added a goal in the win.

The Minutemen got out to an early 1-0 advantage with a Langeraap goal, set up by Allen on the rush. The Swedish evened the game early in the second period on a Henric Andersen goal, but UMass reclaimed the lead three minutes later when Adam Phillips beat the Swedish goaltender with 14 minutes, 20 seconds to play.

The Minutemen scored three unanswered goals in the third period.

UMass outshot the Swedish National Team, 43-38, in the game, going 1-4 with a man advantage.

The Minutemen took eight penalties for 16 minutes, but effectively stopped six Sweden power play chances, turning away four shots.

Jeff Teglia started the game in net for UMass, making 30 saves. Paul Dainton played just over six minutes, making five saves, while Kevin Moore saw his first action between the pipes, turning away three shots.

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at [email protected]