Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Four goal first period causes UMass to fall 6-2 against Boston University

Michael Cameron and Matt Koopman net goals
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2022)

BOSTON — The Massachusetts hockey team always seems to struggle against Boston University and Wednesday night was no different, falling to the Terriers, 6-2.

With calls that did not go the No. 19 Minutemen’s (9-9-3, 3-7-1 Hockey East) way, they headed into the second period four goals down from the No. 7 Terriers (14-6-0, 9-4-0 HEA). As a BU skater skated by Owen Murray, the Terrier stuck his foot out and tripped up Murray. With the sneaky play, it went under the ref’s radar and allowed Cole Hutson to give BU a 3-0 game.

Not long after the Terrier’s third goal, Nick Zabeneh skated quickly towards goaltender Luke Pavicich. Zabeneh looked like he lost control of his body, causing Pavicich to brace for impact. During that time, Zabeneh managed to slip the puck past the goaltender as he fell to put BU up by four goals. The goal was reviewed but ultimately called a good goal.

“We need to respond on Sunday after that one,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “That was as ugly a game as maybe I have coached in the last five years. BU is a good team; they do a great job.”

Despite the four goals, Pavicich did not seem to be at fault for many of them. The sophomore goaltender constantly came up with large saves in the first period. In the second period, though, after being faced with 26 shots due to constant penalty kills and breakdowns in defense, Pavicich started to falter.

As Murray defended Devin Kaplan in front of the crease, Kaplan was finding ways around Murray with stick handling. Kaplan let the puck go and it slowly found its way in between Pavicich’s legs. That was the fifth goal Pavicich allowed in net, and Carvel decided to put Henry Graham in to replace him.

“[Pavicich] has got to find a way to stop a couple goals for us in the first period,” Carvel said. “That fifth goal to me shouldn’t have gone in.”

Graham in the third period faced 19 shots on net and saved 18 of them. The one goal he allowed was from a pass from Skoog behind the net. Kaplan snuck the puck behind Graham for his second goal of the night.

“He made some big saves,” Carvel said on Graham. “He did a good job to stop the bleeding.”

Due to the Minutemen not being able to create offense, they netted two goals compared to the Terrier’s six. In the second period, Eric Faith passed the puck to Scott Morrow, who used his vision to pass the puck across the ice to Matt Koopman on the back post. Koopman fired a hard shot up high for the first UMass goal on the day.

Michael Cameron grabbed the other tally, slipping the puck in between Commesso’s legs with five minutes on the clock. The goal came too little too late for the Minutemen, who were still down by four goals.

In all areas of the ice the Minutemen struggled to put things together. The offense could not put shots on goaltender Drew Commesso and the Terriers were finding ways around defense. With the frustration UMass had in the game, they took multiple penalties.

Taylor Makar took a penalty after cross checking a Terrier after the whistle had blew. Makar took another penalty in the third period out of frustration, but this time a major for spearing, sending him down to the tunnel for the last five minutes of the game.

“A couple [penalties] were after the whistle so I think that was just discipline issues,” Carvel said. “[Makar’s] penalties were a concern, but it wasn’t the reason we lost the game.”

UMass had shown small glimpses of offense throughout the periods, but nothing that grew into goals. The freshmen line has been one of the Minutemen’s largest offensive contributors and had come up with one of the biggest chances in the game. With two minutes off the clock in the second period, O’Hara skated quickly to the crease, passing across the crease to Kenny Connors. Connors shot the puck, but it was at the goaltender’s pads and with a buildup in front of the crease, Commesso covered up the puck, giving no chances of a rebound.

In the third they had another chance from a Tyson Dyck pass behind the net to Connors. The freshmen attempted to shoot it hard but fell to knees as he did in front of the goaltender.

UMass will play a must win game on Sunday, Jan. 15 against the University of New Hampshire with puck drop set for 3:00 p.m.

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

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