UMass falls to Boston College 2-1 on the road Friday

Bobby Trivigno nearly ties game with less than one second left

Dylan+Nguyen%2F+Daily+Collegian

Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian

By Kayla Gregoire, Collegian Staff

NEWTON — Boston College spoiled the Massachusetts hockey team’s chance of clinching first place in the Hockey East on Friday night.

The Minutemen (19-11-2, 11-8-0 Hockey East) started the game off with a slight edge over the Eagles (13-17-5, 8-12-3 HEA). Bobby Trivigno started the scoring chances 20 seconds into the game with a shot from behind Boston College goaltender, Eric Dop.

A few minutes later, Ryan Lautenbach tapped the puck to Ryan Sullivan, but when Sullivan let the puck off his stick Lautenbach fell onto the ice and blocked the shot from reaching the crease.

Despite the Minutemen adding multiple shots on goal first, the Eagle’s offense was generating chances nearly every time they reached UMass’ defensive zone. This led to UMass goaltender Matt Murray having to make hard saves in the first frame.

After Sullivan lost control of the puck, an Eagles player had a solid shot off Murray and on the rebound, Eagles alternate captain Jack McBain shot it hard at the Minutemen goaltender, but Murray shift from the left to right post to make the save and cover up the puck. On the next shift another Eagles player, Patrick Giles, tried to beat Murray with a quick strike but it was not enough to get by the goaltender.

Even with BC players firing shots, the Eagles defense could not keep up with the Minutemen’s offense and Garrett Wait was the first to score with a little over three minutes remaining in the period.

“I thought the first period was solid,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel said. “To me, once we took the three penalties in the second period that really changed momentum.”

The Minutemen had one power play when BC player, Brandon Kruse was called for slashing, but nothing came from UMass being up a man. Matthew Kessel had the best shot in the two minutes when he had a hard one-timer from the blue line.

The first penalty was called on Ryan Ufko and the Eagles were firing shot after shot of Murray with that penalty. As a BC player fired off a shot and Brendan Kruse caught the rebound, but Ty Farmer contested the play enough to prevent a second-chance score.

The second penalty was called on Lucas Mercuri for hooking and was proved costly for the Minutemen. As the penalty kill started for UMass, Murray was making multiple saves, even with Eagles players continually getting shots off the goaltender. Aaron Bohlinger joined in when Eamon Powell shot a hard one-timer at the goaltender, but Bohlinger used his body to make the block. Despite UMass’ attempts, BC’s Trevor Kuntar stick handled past a Minuteman defenseman and squeezed the puck past Murray’s shoulder to make a 1-1 game heading into the third period.

Before the second frame ended, Cal Kiefiuk was whistled for high sticking with a minute left in the period. In that minute, McBain was close the crease, but Trivigno was in front of the Eagles player to swipe the puck away.

Just 28 seconds into the third period, though, the Eagles capitalized on the remaining power play time and took the lead of a goal from McBain.

“We took three stick penalties … that we shouldn’t be taking, and that’s a lot,” Carvel said. “It took away from our momentum and then they got up and they did a good job defending.”

After the goal, UMass started to lose momentum and were unable to generate consistent offense in the waning minutes of action.

The Minutemen had a chance in the last second of the game after Murray was pulled to give UMass an extra man. Trivigno had a goal slide past the Eagles goaltender, but the puck went past the line too late to be called a goal. UMass fell to BC 2-1 in the end.

Kayla Gregoire can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kaygregoire.