Massachusetts goalie Ryan Wischow might need an ice pack or two after Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss to Princeton.
The freshman netminder stopped 52 of 56 shots thrown his way as UMass (4-10-2, 2-7-1 Hockey East) dropped its third straight game in the loss to the Tigers (6-7-1, 3-6-1 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink.
“I thought I was finding pucks well in the first,” Wischow said. “I made some key saves in the second and third period but I have to find a way to win that game for our team.”
The last time the Minutemen allowed 50 or more shots in a game came against Notre Dame in the five overtime marathon loss in the H.E. playoffs.
“He played very well,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said after the game. “He’s emerged as our starter and I like how he’s competed over the last few games.”
After a scoreless first period, the Minutemen came to life in a hurry in the second frame when freshman Jonny Lazarus roofed one past Princeton goalie Colton Phinney a 1:24 into action. Fifty-nine seconds later, junior assistant captain Dominic Trento tallied his first of the season to give UMass a two goal advantage.
Wischow followed those goals making a couple stops Carvel described as being critical at that juncture of the game.
“Ryan did make a number of huge saves for us when we were up 2-0,” he said.
The Tigers kept the pressure high and it started to pay off when Ben Foster redirected a shot through Wischow’s legs to cut the Minutemen’s lead to one.
Although sophomore Kurt Keats scored at the start of the third period to make it 3-1, Princeton responded with three unanswered markers to take the 4-3 victory and further UMass’ winning woes.
Keats and Lazarus both finished the night with a goal and an assist.
“It’s frustrating for sure,” Carvel said. “For spurts we were the better team and had lots of momentum, but then they had spurts and the momentum and they capitalized on it.”
“Good teams find ways to win and they found a way to win tonight,” Wischow added.
Shots heavily favored the Tigers as they outshot the Minutemen 56-30, and also out-chanced UMass with 83 shot attempts compared to the Minutemen’s 56.
Carvel didn’t feel that was as big a factor as the stat-sheet shows as he thought Princeton’s large shot production was “wildly inaccurate.”
The power play was stagnant again as the man-advantage went 0-3, including a crucial 6-4 with under a minute remaining in regulation and Wischow out of the net, which was UMass’ best opportunity to knot the score at four a piece.
The Tigers were unsuccessful on the man-advantage as well, going 0-4.
Carvel also noted the overall inexperience his team possess hindered his club in the losing effort.
“We don’t know how to win,” Carvel said. “Certain players don’t want to play a certain style and it hurt us tonight.”
Despite the troublesome loss, UMass will have two contests this upcoming weekend against Arizona State and a prime opportunity to work out any hitches in their game before an extended layoff.
“We got to reset and get back in a routine,” Wischow said. “We got two days to reset and get the ball rolling so hopefully we come out and beat an Arizona State team this weekend.”
“Each game is a learning opportunity and we were doing that, but these last two games were frustrating,” Carvel said. “We can’t make things easier for our opponent.”
Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.