Minutemen cruise to 3rd-straight victory

By Scott Cournoyer

Maria Uminski/Collegian
Maria Uminski/Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team has won three straight games. Not only does that include its victory last weekend over Boston College, but two victories this past weekend.

The night after thrashing Holy Cross, 7-2, the Minutemen pushed its winning streak to three games as they defeated Hockey East-rival Northeastern, 4-2.

“I’m really happy for the [players],” said UMass coach Don Cahoon following his team’s victory. “They’ve been through some [battles] here and have not gotten the results, so I’m happy that they were able to get the two points and move forward. It’s a real positive.”

Rocco Carzo put UMass on top early Saturday, scoring off a deflected shot from Conor Allen four minutes into the opening period. The netter by Carzo marked his first of the year.

Six minutes later, the Huskies responded back.

On a one-man advantage, Anthony Bitetto’s one-timer from the high slot beat Kevin Boyle on the stick side to even the score at 1-1.

Late in the second period, the Huskies earned a 2-1 advantage when Ludwig Karlsson’s deep shot from the right circle trickled through Boyle’s legs.

The Minutemen would answer the bell with the middle period winding down.

Deep from outside, Adam Phillips’ shot deflected and went directly to Michael Pereira, who quickly netted his seventh goal of the season from the bottom of the right circle, tying the game at 2-2.

In the third frame, UMass regained the lead. On a power play with just under six minutes left in the contest, Branden Gracel netted his third goal of the year to give the Minutemen a 3-2 lead.

T.J. Syner sealed the deal for UMass with an empty-net goal, giving the Minutemen a 4-2 victory.

Kevin Boyle stopped 33-of-35 shots in net, picking up his third win this season. Rawlings countered Boyle with 39 saves for Northeastern.

“I thought we got pretty steady goaltending,” said Cahoon. “[Kevin’s performance] was probably most consistent piece of our game … he made some really good saves in crucial situations.”

Syner, Phillips, Allen, Pereira, Colin Shea, Steven Guzzo and Conor Sheary all recorded assists.

UMass cruises past the Crusaders

Conor Allen’s hat trick propelled the Minutemen over Holy Cross, 7-2, on Friday, giving the team its second victory against an out-of-conference opponent this season.

The seven goals scored marked the most for UMass since the 2008-2009 campaign when it defeated Providence, 9-4, on Oct. 31, 2008.

Pereira gave the Minutemen an early 1-0 lead in the opening period, scoring in front of the net after receiving a blue line-to-blue line pass from Oleg Yevenko. Allen and Guzzo scored two more unanswered goals before Erik Vos netted a top-shelf shot to cut UMass’ lead to 3-1 after one period.

In the second frame, the flood gates opened up. Allen, Michael Marcou and Peter DeAngelo all scored for UMass before Gianni Baldassari scored for the Crusaders at the closing of the second period, making the score 6-2 in favor of the Minutemen.

Allen wristed home his third goal of the night five minutes into the final period, securing the victory for UMass.

Steve Mastalerz received his second start of the year, saving 22 shots in net for his first career win.

Sheary recorded three assists in the effort and Syner two, while Marcou, Guzzo, Gracel, Pereira, Eric Filiou, Eddie Olczyk and Zack LaRue all tallied one.

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at [email protected] and  followed on Twitter @MDC_Cournoyer.