Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass club hockey loses in semifinals

The Massachusetts club hockey team’s championship hopes came to an end Saturday when they lost 4-2 to Bryant in the NECHA playoff semifinals.

It was the third time UMass had lost to the Bulldogs this season. Sophomores Mike Defazio and Harris Stone were the lone goal scorers for the Minutemen.

After a scoreless first period, UMass (14-9-2) fell behind when Bryant scored three goals in the second period. The Bulldogs’ (20-7) scores came in rapid succession, with the first goal scored with seven minutes, 40 seconds left in the period. The second followed exactly one minute later, and the third goal was scored with 5:26 left in the period. Coach Steve MacKay said the sequence of events set the tone for the rest of the game, and he knew it would be tough for his team to make a comeback.

“They were very effective in containing our breakout and trapping our blue line, which created many bad turnovers,” MacKay said. “We started well, but Bryant’s constant pressing and ability to force turnovers was very difficult for us to overcome.”

UMass attempted a comeback after goals by Defazio and Stone cut the deficit to 3-2, but an empty-netter with 32 seconds left in the game sealed the win for the Bulldogs.

Despite its elimination from the playoffs, MacKay said he considered the season a success after winning the division title following a disappointing 10-15 season last year.


Season not over yet for Minutemen

Even though they were eliminated from the playoffs, the season is not over yet the Minutemen, as UMass is scheduled celebrate senior night against Boston University on Saturday.

The Minutemen will then host their annual alumni game as well as “Hockey Day for Little Kids” on March 2.

The team’s final event of the season, the date for which has yet to be determined, will be the annual sled hockey game, which benefits Shriners Hospital.      


Future bright for next year’s team

Now that the season has come to an end, MacKay has already begun the recruiting process for next year, looking for replacements for graduating seniors, such as captains Mark Joyce and Marc Marin.

“We’ve already been in contact with a significant number of Junior A and B hockey teams,” MacKay said. “We have also been added to the American Collegiate Hockey Association prospects system, and we are receiving hits from as far away as Alaska and Sydney, Australia.”

So far, the team has received nine ACHA prospects, and has already been in contact with players from teams such as the Bay State Breakers and the New Jersey Junior Titans. These recruits will be joining several talented players already on the Minutemen roster, including freshmen Miguel Rojas, Brian Collins and Ryan Daigle.

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected].

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