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

UMass opens Hockey East play with 5-2 loss to Boston University

Taylor Makar scores first goal of the season
Matt Skillings
Daily Collegian (2023)

BOSTON — The Massachusetts hockey team couldn’t find a win to open up Hockey East play, falling to Boston University 5-2 on Friday night.

The Terriers (3-2-0, 1-1 HEA) had the fans on their side in their home opener, but the Minutemen (4-2, 0-1 HEA) came out with a burst of energy to counteract the crowd. Energy and selflessness with the puck put UMass up less than a minute into the game.

Scott Morrow from the left side of net found a wide open Ryan Lautenbach from across the zone. Morrow’s play looked like a shot to goalkeeper Mathieu Caron. When Morrow made the pass, the goaltender stayed with Morrow, leaving a wide open net for Lautenbach. The junior did not have the puck on his stick for long before sending a wrist shot past the goaltender just 43 seconds in.

The goal marks Lautenbach’s fourth goal in six games, the hottest start the junior has had with UMass.

Although the Minutemen scored the first goal of the game, the Terriers did not back down from the puck. With Lane Hutson dominating the ice, the sophomore found the back of the net on the powerplay after a Cam O’Neill penalty. Hutson took a wrist shot from the point that flew by goaltender Michael Hrabal’s shoulder.

Special teams have been strong to start the season for UMass, but on Friday the they were not up to the Minutemen’s standard. The penalty kill struggled to clear the zone. When up a man, UMass could not take advantage of the chances the Terriers gave them.

“First time that we had more power plays than the opponent I think all year,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “We needed to score on the power play, especially in the second period. We had a number of chances, it would have helped a lot. Our penalty kill, every game until this point we’ve been the better team on special teams almost every game but [Friday] we definitely were not.”

After Hutson’s goal, BU controlled the ice, finding its way around the UMass defense easily. Just four minutes after Hutson’s goal, Macklin Celebrini skated through the neutral zone and passed to Jeremy Wilmer. The play gave Celebrini time to skate to the crease and catch a pass from Wilmer and shoot the puck in net. The goal put the Terriers up 2-1 heading into the second period, leaving the Minutemen to clean up play.

“What bothered me was the way [Celebrini’s goal] was scored,” Carvel said. “I think Celebrini skated through three guys and nobody checked him and all we talked about before the game was Huston, Celebrini, the talented guys, are we going to stick check or body check. We stick checked and got what we deserved.”

After struggling to keep up with BU throughout the second period, the Terriers found the back of the net again with five minutes left in the period. Sloppy play from UMass gave Dylan Peterson his second goal of the season.

The first period was not indicative of Hrabal’s performance as he made key stops in net to keep UMass in a game that was dominated by BU at certain points. The freshman goaltender made 31 saves, the second most he has faced in a game in the season. Breakaways did not shake Hrabal and he looked poised with the Terriers not seeming to phase him in net.

On the penalty kill, Ryan Greene was left with an open net and quickly tapped the puck in. Scoring did not stop there for the teams as Taylor Makar netted his first of the year. Mercuri passed the puck across the crease to Makar who closed the gap to 4-2 but it proved to be too little too late for the Minutemen.

After UMass pulled Hrabal, Luke Tuch scored an empty net goal to seal the game for BU.

“I feel like we gave up too much tonight, the game was on us tonight,” Carvel said.

The Minutemen will look to split the series at home against the Terriers in Mullins Center on Saturday, Oct. 27. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.

“Just keep the pedal down and [UMass] is going to come out hard at us and they’re going to bring a good game,” Huston said.

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

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