Troy Power suffers potentially serious head injury in loss to Northeastern

By Anthony Chiusano

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts hockey team allowed three unanswered goals in the third period Friday against Northeastern, falling to the Huskies 5-3. But UMass’ biggest loss perhaps came in the form of its senior captain in the game’s first period.

Eight minutes into the opening frame Friday night, Troy Power was hit in the head by Northeastern’s Adam Reid, leaving him down on the ice for several minutes. The senior then skated to the locker room with the help of trainers and never returned.

No penalty was called on the play after the officials discussed the situation following the whistle.

Troy Power stands up with help from trainers after getting hit. (Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)
Troy Power stands up with help from trainers after getting hit.
(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

“I’m disappointed that the game gets impacted so much (eight) minutes in when a guy takes an elbow to the head and not even a minor penalty was called,” Minutemen coach John Micheletto said.

After the game, Micheletto said he doesn’t know the exact severity of Power’s head injury or what the timetable for his return looks like at this point. He noted however that it looks “significant.”

“He’s not doing very well right now,” Micheletto said. “What that means looking forward, I don’t know. We’ll evaluate him (Saturday) morning again but it’s obvious to the casual observer that it was pretty significant.”

In his second year as captain, Power has five goals and nine assists through 27 games this season. Aside from point production, Micheletto emphasized the significance of Power’s leadership off the ice.

“It’s important to note what a hole that is,” Micheletto said. “(He’s) not only a guy that plays on the power play and who’s one of the first guys over the boards for a penalty kill, but he’s the voice of the team.”

UMass (8-18-1, 3-13-1 Hockey East) was already plagued by injury before Power’s departure, as sophomore Steven Iacobellis was not medically cleared for Friday’s game due to an undisclosed injury. Iacobellis has 19 points this season, tied for third most on the team.

With the absence of Power and Iacobellis Friday, Micheletto said mid-game adjustments became difficult in regards to line alterations.

“Now we’re down a forward body when we’re already down health-wise,” Micheletto said. “As the game wore on, it’s difficult to fill guys in playing spots on the power play and penalty kill.

Micheletto added: “Things outside our control seem to want to impact us an awful lot right now. And that’s not fair to our guys.”

Despite the loss, Micheletto said that he was happy with the Minutemen’s competitive performance against a Huskies team that has only lost one game dating back to Dec. 6, 2014.

Following Power’s injury, UMass jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period. The Minutemen then led 3-2 after two frames before Northeastern scored three goals in the final 20 minutes of play.

“I thought our guys did a heck of a job to battle through adversity and continue to put ourselves in a position to win against a very good team, one of the hottest teams in the league,” Micheletto said.

Micheletto particularly praised the performance of UMass’ underclassmen. All three of its goals were scored by freshmen—Riley McDougall, Dennis Kravchenko and Patrick Lee. Freshmen Brandon Montour and Jake Horton added to the scoresheet with an assist each.

According to Micheletto, the play of the Minutemen’s younger players was particularly encouraging because of their ability to adapt to new line formations due to injuries and other factors on a game-to-game basis.

“It’s not easy when it’s not just rolling lines,” Micheletto said. “Coaches are piecing lines together, who’s up next, you’re playing with different guys every time out now. So for the resilience of our guys who just jump over the boards and do it the right way, regardless if it’s a senior or a freshman, it was impressive.”

McDougall opened Friday’s scoring with his fourth goal in five games. According to the forward out of Calgary, Alberta, his recent spurt of success has provided him with increased confidence.

“I’m just trying to keep my game simple,” McDougall said. “I’m just trying to go toward the net and cause some havoc… It would have been nice to see a winning effort tonight but we fought hard.”

UMass returns to action Saturday night against the visiting UMass Lowell River Hawks. The game is set for 7 p.m.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.