UMass drops back-to-back games against BU, this time in OT

The Minutemen couldn’t keep their 3-1 lead heading into the third period

Collegian+File+Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Colin McCarthy, Collegian Staff

A day after the Massachusetts hockey team had its win streak snapped by Boston University, No. 8 UMass (9-5-1, 9-5-1 Hockey East) lost 4-3 in overtime, allowing the Terriers (3-1-0, 3-1-0 HEA) to complete a sweep of the series.

The Minutemen cleaned up some of their mental mistakes which plagued them in Sunday’s loss, but let their two-goal lead slip away in the third period, eventually costing them the game.

“I didn’t like the way we started the game,” coach Greg Carvel said. “But the last 10 minutes of the second period we started playing hard.”

The Terriers came out of the gate hot, striking first just over five minutes into the first period. UMass bounced back though when Eric Faith threw a shot on net that was deflected in by Cal Kiefiuk to even the score at one apiece.

UMass opened the second frame putting multiple bodies in front of the net to screen BU goaltender Drew Commesso, and it paid off early when Carson Gicewicz buried his tenth of the season, giving the Minutemen the lead.

“Their goaltender, you saw, if we didn’t have someone in front of him, he just made a real easy glove save,” Carvel said. “We scored our goals when we were around the net.” 

And UMass’ top line was not done scoring yet in the second period. After another long stint in the offensive zone, Jake Gaudet deflected in a shot from Colin Felix to go up 3-1 heading into the third.

“I don’t think 6-foot-6 means anything,” Carvel said of Gicewicz and Gaudet’s ability to beat bigger defenders in front. “It doesn’t matter how big you are, it’s how hard you play.”

But, under a minute into the third Gaudet took a five-minute major penalty, giving the Terriers an opportunity to climb back into the game. And just 15 seconds into the man advantage, BU capitalized on that opportunity, beating Matt Murray to cut the Minutemen lead in half.

Still with 4:45 left to kill, UMass stuck to its game plan and remained aggressive, even down a man. That paid off for Matt Kessel, who stole the puck and drew a penalty on the breakaway, negating most of the remainder of the Terriers’ power play.

Less than a minute after it got back to even strength though, BU was able to tie the game up with 15 minutes still left to play in the final frame. But neither the Terriers or Minutemen could find the game winner over that time.

In overtime, UMass generated more scoring chances, but again could not convert, before BU found a breakaway opportunity and beat Murray on it for the win.

Despite the loss, the Minutemen displayed a lot more physicality than in their loss on Sunday. They gave BU trouble getting over the red line, which was a big help in keeping possession of the puck and generating scoring chances.

“I didn’t think we started the game playing physical,” Carvel said. “But I thought halfway through the first we decided we were going to play that way, and carried it through the second and that’s why we were ahead.”

UMass played a much more complete game on Monday, but it was clear that the momentum had shifted after Gaudet’s major penalty, and the Minutemen couldn’t get it back.

“I thought we deserved better tonight,” Carvel said. “You take away that five-minute penalty in the beginning of the third, I would have liked to see what the result of the game would have been, because I thought we were in a good place.”

Colin McCarthy can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @colinmccarth_DC.