Frustration haunts Minutemen in 5-3 loss to Boston College

By Ross Gienieczko

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Photo by Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian

Photo by Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian


Most losses in sports are fairly routine. The losing team regroups after the game, moves on and hardly thinks about it going forward.

The Massachusetts hockey team’s 5-3 defeat Friday against Boston College was not one of those losses. Instead, it was a night filled with frustration and the Minutemen will surely not forget about it any time soon.

“It’s pretty frustrating, when some things that are a little bit outside your control, whether it’s bad deflections, bad penalty calls, replay reviews not going your way or whatever it is… it’s a tough way to try to beat a pretty good hockey team,” UMass coach John Micheletto said.

In the first minute of the game, BC spotted the Minutemen a 1-0 lead by letting Ray Pigozzi slip through the defense and beat sophomore goaltender Thatcher Demko. It set the tone for the period and throughout the first period UMass played well.

But two goals in a span of one minute in the latter stages of the period put the Minutemen down 2-1 at the intermission.

Two goals ended up being the final margin between the teams, which also represented the number of Eagles’ goals that deflected in off a UMass player. The first one, credited to Quinn Smith, was a centering pass that hit Oleg Yevenko’s skate and went in past Minutemen goalie Henry Dill.

“(That play) was obviously a big turning point,” Micheletto said.

The second deflection happened when BC forward Chris Calnan rushed up the right wing and threw a backhander towards the net. It hit off freshman Patrick Lee and somehow squeaked by Dill.

“Sometimes that’s just how it goes,” senior captain Troy Power said. “Unfortunately, sometimes those breaks happen.”

Another source of frustration for UMass came via the replay as two plays all night were reviewed, both going in the Eagles’ favor. The first, a goal from Minutemen freshman Anthony Petrella, was waived off immediately by a referee who said Petrella knocked the puck in with his hand.

The play went to review and the no-goal call was upheld.

The second replay came when 17-year-old defenseman and top NHL prospect Noah Hanifin scored on a wrist shot midway through the third period to give BC a 5-3 lead.
Micheletto challenged the play on the grounds that Dill was interfered with, but the goal stood.

With the Minutemen trailing 3-1 in the third period, Power tipped home a Ben Gallacher shot on the power play to bring UMass within one goal and it seemed like the momentum of the game had shifted. Minutes later, however, Calnan scored his second goal of the game to bring the gap back to two goals.

Thirty-two seconds later, Marc Hetnik fired a laser from the point that ricocheted off the far post and in. Once again, it seemed the Minutemen were on the comeback trail. But two minutes later, Hanifin scored to give BC a two-goal lead again. Though UMass responded well the first time, they could not generate much of anything after Hanafin’s goal, and the air was let out of the building.

“We obviously feel the sting a little bit,” Micheletto said.

The perfect storm of misfortune and frustration hit the Minutemen Friday night, but they can’t afford to let it affect their play for too long. UMass faces another tough test in No. 11 Vermont Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RossGien.