Comeback effort falls short for UMass hockey as they lost 7-4 to Boston College Saturday night

By Ryan Ames

William Lagesson and Nic Renyard blcok BC from scoring. Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)
William Lagesson and Nic Renyard blcok BC from scoring. (Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

Things weren’t looking great for the Massachusetts hockey team heading into the third period trailing 5-0 to No. 8 Boston College and a late game surge wasn’t enough to stop a 7-4 loss Saturday night.

UMass (2-4-0, 0-2-0 Hockey East) was on the verge of a blowout, however the Minutemen scored four goals in the final frame, preventing the Eagles (6-2-1, 2-0-1 HE) from leaving Amherst with an easy win.

Sophomore forward Austin Plevy kick-started the comeback effort on a man-advantage when he unleashed a dart from the right faceoff circle that beat BC goalie Ryan Edquist short-side high just 2:15 into the third period.

Less than six minutes later, junior forward Patrick Lee tipped in a point shot from sophomore defenseman William Lagesson to cut the Eagle’s lead to three with 11:49 remaining in the game.

BC scored two more goals to take a 7-2 lead, but UMass kept coming as sophomore forwards Ryan Badger and Kurt Keats tallied one each for the Minutemen to keep things close in the waning minutes of the game.

Despite the valiant effort in the last period, UMass walks away without a point in its first weekend of Hockey East play.

“I thought that we did things that allowed them to be really good,” coach Greg Carvel said. “We allowed transition and some bad turnovers that allowed them to really get up the ice on odd-man rushes. I’m just proud of the guys that they played well in the third period.”

Sophomore Nic Renyard got the start in the net for the Minutemen, and although the stat sheet shows otherwise, Carvel liked what he saw from Renyard (29 saves).

“He made a lot of big saves,” Carvel said. “A lot of the goals that beat him were really nice shots or breakaways or going off a defenseman’s chest into the net. I had no problem with his game.”

The Eagles struck first shorthanded off a breakaway goal from forward J.D. Dudek, intercepting a pass and beating Renyard 8:48 into the first period.

BC made the Minutemen pay again after defenseman Jesper Mattila fired a laser from the left point following a failed clearing attempt by UMass. The Eagles scored once more before the period came to a close when Austin Cangelosi one-timed a cross-ice feed from Chris Brown, giving the Eagles a 3-0 advantage.

“We came out a little slow, but I think if you look at the first eight to ten minutes we played them pretty well,” Plevy said. “We just can’t give them those chances because they are going to bury them. We’re feeling pretty good and then bang it’s two, three nothing and we’re wondering what happened.”

BC carried their momentum over into the second period as they scored two more goals, one from Ryan Fitzgerald and the other by Colin White, to extend the Eagles lead to 5-0.

The Eagles controlled the rest of the period as they outshot the Minutemen 28-9.

Once Plevy scored in the third period, pressure seemed to have shifted toward BC as UMass began earning more and more scoring opportunities.

“We were looking for something in the third, obviously coming into the period down five goals is tough, so our goal going into the third was to win the third period,” Plevy said. “I’m glad we could get us on the board there.”

“Obviously they’re a good team; if you give them time they’re going to make you pay, and they did that in the first two periods,” Keats said.

Special teams were prevalent again as 16 total penalties were assessed, 10 for the Eagles and six for the Minutemen. Both BC and UMass scored two goals on the powerplay and the Eagles scored two shorthanded.

“It was good to see our power play score some goals tonight. (It) was a real nice goal by Austin (Plevy),” said Carvel. “We both scored two goals so it was kind of a wash in special teams.”

“We wanted to get something out of this weekend and have something to feel good about. I’m proud of the guys for scoring four goals in the third period,” he added. “It was a character test for us to not shut down and keep playing and I thought the guys did a good job of that.”

Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.