UMass’ winning streak snapped with 4-2 loss to BU

Cockerill scores two to put UMass away

Collegian+Staff

Collegian Staff

By Evan Marinofsky, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts hockey team looked to be in prime position to tie the game.

Boston University forward Jamie Armstrong had just been ordered to sit in the penalty box for two minutes after taking a holding penalty. The Terriers (2-1-0, 2-1-0 Hockey East) led 3-2 and with No. 6 UMass (9-4-1, 9-4-1 HEA) having already netted a power play tally, here stood another chance to cash in and tie the game.

And then just a few seconds into the power play, the Terriers cleared the puck out of their zone and captain Logan Cockerill poked the puck past Carson Gicewicz and Marc Del Gaizo in the neutral zone. Cockerill outskated both Minutemen, fended off Gicewicz and slid it through UMass goalie Matt Murray’s legs.

4-2 BU, and that’s how it ended.

“Frustrating loss for me as a head coach,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel said after the loss. “I was concerned the way we went too long without a game after winning seven in a row. I was concerned that our mental edge would be off. I thought that was tonight.”

The mistakes Carvel spoke of were all connected by one, simple result: a BU goal.

The Terriers opened the scoring Sunday afternoon when UMass goalie Matt Murray gave the puck away to BU forward Jamie Armstrong, who then fed linemate Dylan Peterson in the slot to fire one past Murray to make it 1-0.

Six minutes later, the Josh Lopina line was hard at work in the offensive zone. Ty Farmer, who missed the first portion of the season due to injury, jumped down as the trio cycled the puck. Lopina fed Farmer in front, who wristed one past a surprised Drew Commesso to tie the game.

Shortly after Farmer’s goal, the Minutemen got a chance on the power play. After Zac Jones found Oliver Chau down low in the umbrella formation, Chau delivered the puck on a platter for Carson Gicewicz who ripped one past Commesso to give UMass the 2-1 lead at the conclusion of the first 20 minutes.

The next 20 minutes were where BU won the game.

Roughly eight minutes into the second period, Aaron Bohlinger brought the puck through mid-ice, but Cockerill forced the freshman to lose it, springing the BU captain on a breakaway. He slid it right through Murray’s legs to tie the game at 2-2.

“Cockerill is a very good player,” Carvel said. “When you give good players chances, they’re going to make you pay.”

Then came the eventual game-winner, when BU broke through the third-best penalty-kill in the nation.

Terriers forward dished a pass up to David Farrance on the power play. Farrance let a shot go from the point that had eyes, never getting tipped and beating Murray over his right shoulder to make it 3-2.

As for the goaltending, Murray had a somewhat rough afternoon, only stopping 13 of the 17 shots he faced. Commesso, on the other hand, stopped 33 of 35, as he routinely came up large for BU, especially on the six power plays the Minutemen had.

Another positive for BU was the 19 blocked shots they had.

“They were in shot lanes and they wanted to block the shot,” Carvel said of BU. “We tell our guys all the time, ‘If you want to block a shot, you’ll block it. If you don’t, it’ll get past you’. I thought BU was courageous tonight and blocked a lot of shots.”

UMass will look to start a new winning streak Monday when they face the Terriers again. This time it’s at 3 p.m. at Boston University.

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