Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass hockey allows eight goals in loss to UConn

By Mollie Walker

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(Amelia Shaw/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts hockey team fell 8-2 against Connecticut Tuesday night in Hartford to split the home-and-home series at a win each. The Huskies scored seven unanswered goals to secure the victory, netting three in the first and second periods before finishing off with two in the third.

The loss snaps UMass’ three game winning streak and counted as the first time the Minutemen have allowed eight goals in a game since Jan. 22, 2016 when they lost 8-0 to Boston College.

The Minutemen’s record dips to 8-7-0 overall and 3-4-0 in the Hockey East Association while UConn advances to 7-11-2 overall and 5-7-1 HEA.

“UConn is very opportunistic and scored on almost every scoring chance they had through two periods,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “Our goaltenders didn’t have trouble stopping the puck, the scoring chances were really good scoring chances so it’s not all on the goalie.”

The Huskies played relentlessly and intensely, securing a 6-0 lead heading into the third and prevented UMass from getting on the board until over six minutes into the last period.

Despite the Minutemen’s fast start – forcing Husky netminder Adam Huska to make six saves before UMass goalie Ryan Wischow had to make one – UConn seemed to find the back of the net every opportunity that came its way.

“We had them at seven scoring chances and six goals, I say if we can hold a team to seven scoring chances through two periods that’s a really good night,” Carvel said. “I think we had maybe 30 shots so I’ve never seen a team lose 8-2 and outshoot somebody.”

Brett Boeing ended the UMass scoring drought after sending a wrist shot from the slot at 6:21 in the third to make the score 7-1. The Minutemen’s first tally of the night also counted as the junior’s first goal of the season and prevented the shutout.

Austin Plevy capped off the UMass scoring with 40 seconds left in the regulation to lessen the final deficit. The goal counted as the junior’s first of the season.

“We’ve worked really hard to gain credibility and respect at this level after the last number of seasons with UMass’s record,” Carvel said. “You’re not going to win every game but it’s unfortunate when you get a score like that.”

Jeff Wight put on a two-goal performance for the Huskies with both tallies occurring in the first period of play. The forward put UConn on the board just 9:26 into the game before netting his second of the game just over four minutes later to take a comfortable 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

At the 12:25 mark Alexander Payusov netted his second of the series and his ninth goal of the season to take a 2-0 lead.

“So this is one of those games where the puck goes in, sometimes it happens for you and sometimes it happens against you,” Carvel said.

UConn showed no intentions of slowing down when 47 seconds into the second period Brian Rigali registered his first goal of the season, increasing the lead to 4-0.

Benjamin Freeman added on two more goals at the end of second period, the first assisted by Corey Ronan and the second unassisted. The six goals tied UConn’s season-high which they displayed last against American International College on Oct. 13, a 6-4 win.

Just over four minutes into the final period Maxim Letunov increased UConn’s lead to seven before Spencer Naas made it eight just under three minutes later. Eight goals count as the Husky’s highest scoring game this season.

“You get a score like this and after watching the game, we had a handful of guys that just weren’t playing to what they should be doing,” Carvel said. “It’s an ugly score but it’s a loss and I don’t think the score is exactly indicative of the game.”

Oliver Chau’s point streak was snapped after registering points in the last three contests.

All three UMass netminders saw ice time in the loss. Wischow earned the start in net though was substituted by Matt Murray promptly at the start of the second period. The sophomore faced 20 shots and registered four saves.

Murray registered seven saves and allowed three goals before Brad Arvanitis was sent to the pipes for his collegiate debut. Arvanitis gave up two goals but managed to gather three saves for his first time in net.

“It’s not like we couldn’t get out of our zone and they just had the puck in our zone the whole game,” Carvel said.

“UConn scored on the power play, we couldn’t score on the power play and we made some poor decisions with the puck in the D-zone,” Carvel continued. “It’s just one of those games where things snowball against you.”

Carvel acknowledged how a score with a margin that large doesn’t reflect the program positively, though he believes that anybody who was there could see it was a lot closer of a contest than the scoreboard revealed.

“We’ll move on and we’ll be alright,” Carvel said. “I’m glad we’ve got one more game here before the semester ends so that we can try and redeem ourselves.”

The Minutemen are back in action next Sunday where they travel to New York to play Union in their second matchup of the season following a previous 5-4 victory. Puck is set to drop at 5 p.m.

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @MWalker2019.

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