Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass falls to Northeastern 5-3, Troy Power leaves early

By Jason Kates

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(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

The script for Massachusetts hockey games this season is becoming all too familiar.

And that isn’t a good thing.

After taking a 3-2 lead into the third period, the Minutemen (8-18-1, 3-13-1 Hockey East) allowed three goals in the final 20 minutes en rout to a 5-3 loss to Northeastern University.

Two goals from the Huskies (12-11-4, 7-7-2 HEA) in the span of two and a half minutes put them ahead 4-3. A late goal with under a minute left in the game gave them a two-goal lead to seal the victory.

UMass has now been outscored 56-36 in the final period this season, as the last 20 minutes continue to cause issues for the Minutemen.

“You get in that situation where you’re defending the lead and they get that goal six minutes in, its about managing emotion and making sure that you’re doing things the right way,” coach John Micheletto said.

“Obviously they get the second one two and a half minutes later, but it wasn’t like I thought our guys were scrambling and collapsing. I thought we put up a good effort.”

Coming out of this one, a major talking point will be the early exit of UMass captain Troy Power, who took a vicious hit from Northeastern captain Adam Reid in the early goings of the opening period. No penalty was called, and the Minutemen were without their senior leader.

“It’s disappointing when the game is impacted so much seven minutes in when a guy takes an elbow to the head and there’s not even a minor penalty called,” Micheletto said. “Now we’re down a forward body and we’re already short health-wise, and obviously as the game wore on it was difficult to fill guys in line spots.

“It was a pretty important non-call that put us at a significant disadvantage.”

Despite losing Power, Micheletto thought his guys did a great job battling through adversity and putting the team in a position to win the game.

“Things outside of our control seem to (want to) impact us an awful lot right now, and that’s not fair to our guys,” he said.

In this contest, it was the freshmen that stepped up, providing all three goals for the team in the defeat.

Riley McDougall opened the scoring at the 11:10 mark of the first period, making it his fourth goal in the last five games. After a penalty to Huskies defenseman Matt Benning gave UMass a two-man advantage, Dennis Kravchenko doubled the lead just 18 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0.

The Huskies made their first of two comebacks in the game in the middle period, scoring two goals 58 seconds apart courtesy of defenseman Colton Saucerman and forward John Stevens to knot the game at 2.

But the Minutemen were able to get the lead back with just 42 seconds before the second intermission thanks to Patrick Lee’s fifth goal of the season on an assist from Ray Pigozzi.

With Steven Iacobellis also out injured, Micheletto was tasked with juggling the lines, and believed the younger guys on the team responded well.

Lee was moved onto a line with Pigozzi and Frank Vatrano, Kravchenko centered a line with Shane Walsh and Power, and freshman Anthony Petrella was inserted into a line with Keith Burchett and Dominic Trento.

“It’s not easy when it’s not just rolling lines,” he said. “Coaches are piecing lines together, who’s up next, you’re playing with different guys every time out there.

“For the resilience of our guys to just jump over our boards and do it the right way, regardless of whether they were a senior or a freshman, I thought it was impressive.”

UMass will have to make a quick recovery as it welcomes rival UMass Lowell to the Mullins Center for a conference matchup Saturday night.

“Right now, It’s about taking care of the physical part of it,” Micheletto said. “ It’s about trying to get the body on the recovery path that leads to paying the game that we’ll have to play against a very good (Lowell) team.”

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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

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