UMass hockey falls to Vermont, 3-1

By Jason Kates

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Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Well, it wasn’t a blowout.

The Massachusetts hockey team fell to No. 13 Vermont 3-1 Tuesday night, three days after losing to the same Catamounts team in Amherst at the Mullins Center 11-1.

Only 47 seconds into the game, the Minutemen (3-8, 1-7 Hockey East Association) found themselves behind again after Vermont forward Colin Markison beat UMass goaltender Henry Dill, giving the Catamounts (9-3-1, 7-3-1 HEA) a 1-0 lead.

UVM struck two more times, with freshman Jarrid Privitera and senior Mike Paliotta both scoring to give the Catamounts a comfortable 3-0 lead halfway through the second period.

Despite the loss, coach John Micheletto was pleased with the way his team played, especially after a short turnaround.

“I was very, very proud of our effort and execution,” Micheletto said following his first game.

“In light of the way Saturday night went for us, our guys responded very well with their effort, but we faced a very hot goaltender, and that seemed to be the difference.

“If we continue to approach the game and the game plan and the details of the game in the manner we did tonight, I like the future of this team.”

Offensively, UMass was level on shots with Vermont, getting 28 attempts on Catamount goalie Brody Hoffman. The junior net-minder made 27 saves on the night, and heading toward a shutout until Minuteman Dennis Kravchenko scored with 31 seconds left in the third period to end the scoreless effort.

It was Kravchenko’s fifth goal of the season, which leads the team. Sophomore Ray Pigozzi assisted the goal, and has now earned 10 points in 11 games.

Regardless of scoring only two goals in the past two games, Micheletto displayed confidence in his offense, and believes the chances will come.

“I’m not really sure that there’s anything not clicking offensively,” he said. “Our rush opportunities were there, the cycle of puck possession in the offensive zone was certainly slanted in our favor. I think the one missing element that could extend our offense is power play right now, and it’s something that we need to continue to get reps on with new faces as guys are still learning where guys are.

“We can’t get blanked on the power play and expect to be team that can be the first to three consistently.”

Something Micheletto did touch on was the way in which his team responded following the difficult defeat Saturday, and knew his group would bounce back.

“We have a small, but committed veteran leadership group and young guys that really believe we have the elements to be a very good hockey team in this league,” Micheletto said. “I’m proud of the way they handled their business over the last 48 hours and certainly hope we can continue to build off of what we’ve done so far both good and bad.”

Once again, UMass will have a short turnaround as it prepares to take on No. 14 Quinnipiac in a home-and-home series this weekend. Making sure his team is fully healthy and ready to go for Friday night is priority number one for Micheletto.

“It’s about making sure we tend to the recovery part of the body which is a necessity at this point after three games in five days,” he said. “We’ll do that with our athletic medicine and strength and conditioning people tomorrow and enjoy a little practice on Thanksgiving Day and get our game plan in place for the Bobcats on Friday.”

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected] and followed @Jason_Kates

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated it was Micheletto’s first game back at the University of Vermont since he was an assistant coach there. It has since been corrected.