Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Overturned second period goal prompts UMass’ 3-2 loss

John Leonard and Niko Rufo each scored in Friday night’s affair.

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(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Liam Flaherty, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts hockey team was on the wrong end of an overturned-goal call that ultimately led to its 3-2 loss to Boston University on Friday.

After John Leonard’s eighth tally of the season tied things up at one just 33 seconds into the middle frame, the Minutemen (11-15-1, 5-11-1 Hockey East Association) believed they had grabbed the lead at 12:21, thanks to a wrister off the stick of Jake Horton that found its way into the back of the Terriers’ (14-11-2, 10-7-2 HEA) net.

But much to UMass coach Greg Carvel’s displeasure, the call on the ice was reversed due to what the referees determined was goaltender interference on BU netminder Jake Oettinger (20 saves).

“We watched it on video and it’s pretty sad that they determined that was goalie interference, the goalie was not in the least bit affected,” Carvel said. “I do feel like we still don’t get the respect that we deserve. We’re trying to earn it from the referees.”

Horton’s overturned goal would have tremendously shifted the tides of the game and put an exclamation point on his newly-named leadership position.

“Horton, we put the “C” on him yesterday, and he goes out and that was a tremendous shot, it should’ve been a goal,” Carvel said. “For our team it was a real moment and to get it called back was tough.”

“I think we were competing hard and we were doing all the right things but for that to happen, it was a really tough bounce,” Leonard added. “I haven’t seen the replay or anything yet but obviously it was a great shot by [Horton]. I just wish it would have counted.”

After UMass dominated the first period of play and evened things up immediately in the second, a goal from Horton would have put the Minutemen in a good position to get their first win in the last five games.

“That’s a tough one, because that puts us up 2-1 and gives us momentum,” Carvel said. “That’s the kind of thing that can just really shot put you through the rest of the period and the rest of the game.”

Just two minutes following the second period reversal, the Terriers jumped at their opportunity to get something going on the attack and quickly took a 2-1 lead off a backhander from the stick of Jordan Greenway.

Then, with under eight minutes to play in the third, Shane Bowers sent one in through Matt Murray’s (36 saves) five-hole that doubled the BU lead.

Niko Rufo was able to make things interesting at 12:04 thanks to a nifty play by Philip Lagunov in front of the Terrier’s net, but in the end, UMass was unable to do enough and squeeze out a point at home.

“Any time something like that happens you gotta come back stronger and be more motivated to get the goal back,” Leonard said. “Obviously Oettinger is a great goalie and at times we made it tough on him, but I think we could’ve made it tougher. I just think we have to get more hungry around the net, something we’ve been talking about for a while now.

 

Liam Flaherty can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @_LiamFlaherty.

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