UMass hockey reverses fortunes against BU

By Cameron McDonough

Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian
Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian

When the final horn sounded on Friday night, the scoreboard said that the Massachusetts hockey team and Boston University had skated to a 3-3 tie.

But don’t tell the Terriers that.

“It was a disappointing way to lose,” BU coach David Quinn said before correcting himself to call it a tie.

The Terriers never trailed during the game and they held what seemed like an insurmountable 3-1 advantage after Mike Moran scored four minutes, two seconds into the third period.

Not only was BU the better team in terms of finishing on the offensive end, despite a 49-22 shots advantage for UMass, but it had a goaltender, Matt O’Connor, who was stopping anything that the Minutemen sent his way.

But UMass didn’t quit. It scored twice on goals by Conor Sheary and Ray Pigozzi to send the game into overtime, earning a much-needed point.

The Minutemen are tied with Notre Dame for the all important eighth seed in Hockey East as teams six through eight will host the first round of the conference tournament. The tie also keeps the Terriers from leapfrogging them in the standings.

If there is any team that could sympathize with BU, though, it would be UMass. The Minutemen know plenty about letting a road game slip away that they were leading in the third period.

The trend started on Jan. 4 at Northeastern when UMass let a game that it led 3-2 heading into the third period slip away, mainly due to some untimely stick penalties. The loss wasn’t too costly since it was a nonconference game against a Hockey East foe.

Then, just as recent as last Saturday, the Minutemen lost a game that they were leading 2-1 heading into the third frame.

The positive for the Terriers is that they still came away with a point, unlike UMass last weekend, to stay well within reach of the Minutemen.

For UMass, it was just nice to be on the other side of the equation.

“For probably 58 minutes I was thrilled with everything we did – a couple of decisions that we would like to have back and they cost us,” UMass coach John Micheletto said. “That paints what is an overwhelmingly positive outing for us.”

Despite the positives, the Minutemen would have preferred to come away with even more.

“There’s not a lot of overflowing positive emotion that it was a win,” Micheletto said. “We were glad to get the point, certainly, because points are valuable at this time.”

Officiating upsets Quinn

A controversial no call didn’t help with the disappointment that the Terriers were feeling after the game.

BU looked like it may have scored a goal during the third period, but one of its players went into the UMass net along with the puck, causing it to unhinge.

The goal was immediately waved off on the ice and was upheld after review. Quinn, however, saw it differently.

“That was right before a goal was waved off that everyone in the building thought was gonna get overturned,” he said. “I got about 15 text messages after the game that it should have been a goal. So it’s disappointing and I got no explanation on why the goal was waved off.”

Quinn also said that he felt there should have been a penalty called on UMass before it scored its second goal.

Cameron McDonough can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Cam_McDonough.