UMass hockey beats BU 4-1 on Saturday night

The Minutemen got back on track with the win


Parker Peters/Daily Collegian

By Evan Marinofsky, Collegian Staff

For the second straight game, the Massachusetts hockey team scored three goals in the third period. The only difference was the final result, as the Minutemen earned a 4-1 win over the Boston University hockey team on Saturday night.

No. 5 UMass (7-3-0, 3-3-0 Hockey East) entered Saturday night having lost its previous two games, but Mitchell Chaffee’s two lamplighters and a strong goal-scoring output in the third period from the Minutemen ended the losing streak.

“Very happy with our team’s performance this weekend,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “I think as a team we took a big step forward playing a skilled BU team and in two games dominantly outshooting them.”

Through the first 10 minutes of the third period, BU (3-4-4, 2-3-3 HEA) goalie Sam Tucker looked almost unbeatable. Roughly eight minutes into the final period, Gianfranco Cassaro dumped a puck in that Tucker went behind the net to make a play on. The puck ricocheted off his stick and out front to Jeremy Davidson who threw the biscuit towards the open cage.

Tucker dove out and got his stick on it, making the stop and keeping the score knotted at one. Nothing seemed to be going in the net for the Minutemen once again.

With 9:48 to play in the third, Chaffee picked off a pass and entered the offensive zone, missing on his first attempt at a wrist shot. His second attempt proved to be successful, as it slid past Tucker’s left leg to break the tie and give UMass the 2-1 lead.

“I kind of knew that he was going to try and go cross-ice,” Chaffee said of the goal. “I swatted it out of mid-air and kind of fanned on the first one, but it ended up going in.”

It was the goal the Minutemen needed to finally break through Tucker, as just moments later, Matthew Kessel shoveled a backhand past the BU netminder’s blocker from right in the slot to make it 3-1 Minutemen. It was the freshman’s third goal of the season.

The Minutemen would’ve had another goal had Cal Kiefiuk’s tip of Kessel’s shot from the point not gotten called back for a high-stick at the 2:47 mark of the third, but Colin Felix’s empty-net goal put the game out of reach with under two minutes to play in the game.

Unlike Friday night’s 4-3 loss, the Minutemen actually did have a goal before the start of the third period. After a plethora of BU penalties in the first 20 minutes, UMass found themselves on a 5-on-3. Despite the maroon and white being lackluster of late on the man-advantage, they cashed in on the two penalties when Chaffee slid a wrister through Tucker to make it 1-0 with 1:07 left in the period.

“I kind of knew that their goalie started playing back in his net a little more,” Chaffee said of the goal. “With how much time I had, I tried to no-look slide through.”

The Terriers’ lone goal of the night came roughly nine minutes into the second period, when Cam Crotty’s wrist shot snuck over the top of Filip Lindberg and into the back of the cage to knot things up 1-1. Lindberg had 16 saves on 17 shots Friday.

Tucker finished the night having stopped 36 of the Minutemen’s 39 shots. Through the first two periods, Tucker stopped 28 of 29.

Even with Tucker being as hot as he was this weekend, it still didn’t change the team’s mindset.

“You just keep doing what you’re doing,” Carvel said. “Keep shooting, keep crashing the net. Keep trying to make life tough on him. We didn’t do a good enough job last night. He was outstanding this weekend. He made a ton of big saves. Credit to him. But we call it pounding the rock. Just have to keep pounding and keep pounding. I don’t think we ever get frustrated – we might get a little mad and want to try harder to get to the net.”

Carvel said after the win that the team expects to have star defenseman Marc Del Gaizo back next week.

The Minutemen will look to build on Saturday’s momentum when they play host to Merrimack next Friday. Puck-drop is slated for 7 p.m.

Evan Marinofsky can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @emarinofsky.