Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass club hockey splits weekend contests

Minutemen best Eagles before losing at Keene State

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(Collegian File Photo)

(Collegian File Photo)

(Collegian File Photo)

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After taking a month-long break from hockey, the Massachusetts club hockey team came back from winter vacation ranked second in the Northeast region of the American College Hockey Association.

The Minutemen (16-7-1) lost three of its first four games back from break, with a lone win coming against the University of Vermont. After losing the first two games of the week, UMass got back on track over Boston College (10-6), squeaking out a narrow 2-1 victory Saturday night.

UMass’ first goal came from defenseman Matt Cieboter halfway through the second period and defenseman Dennis Medeiros scored the second goal halfway through the third.

The game against BC would serve as the only bright spot for the Minutemen. Friday night, UMass took to the road to take on Keene State where the Owls (14-6-1) got started early and never looked back, shutting the Minutemen out 5-0.

Forward Mario Serra had two goals in the game for the Owls, the first coming seven minutes into the first period and the second just three minutes into the second period.

Ryan LaCroix started in net for UMass, allowing four goals while making 19 saves. LaCroix was replaced by Dylan Campbell five minutes into the second period.

“After the third goal, we though about it, but we were still getting opportunities and when they get the fourth goal, we pulled LaCroix,” UMass coach Mike DeFazio said. “We felt the team needed it as a spark and could pop a few [shots] in [the goal], make it 4-1, 4-2.”

The other two goals from the Owls came from forward Cullen Gustafson in the first period and from defenseman Domenic Federico in the third.

Originally UMass was supposed to play New Hampshire (15-5-1) on the previous Sunday, but due to weather the game was postponed until Wednesday night.

Usually rest can be a good thing for any athlete. This time, however, it had the opposite effect. The Minutemen were shut out, falling to the Wildcats 3-0.

The game started out well with neither team scoring in the first period, but just eight seconds into the second period, forward Danny Mullin scored his sixth goal of the season, putting UNH up 1-0.

Forward Brendan Murphy scored off the opening draw three seconds into the third period, making it 2-0, and fellow classmate Kyle Scancerella scored an empty net goal late, putting the nail in the coffin.

“It was a really good game, two evenly matched teams, I think the difference was their goaltending,” DeFazio said. “I’m pretty sure we outshot them, I wouldn’t say we played bad, we just didn’t get bounces.”

UMass will take the ice Friday when they face off with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at home. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Zander Manning can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ ZMSportsReport.

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