Things looked dire for the Minutemen on their trip to Orono last night but luckily a late goal by Conor Allen allowed UMass to come back from an early two goal deficit and grab a 2-2 tie. Since I didn’t watch the game I won’t comment on it too extensively, but just from the radio broadcast and box score I think there are some positives and negatives we can take from the result.
First off, it was great to see the team battle hard to tie the game up at the end. Allen’s goal came with just 1:08 left and Kevin Boyle pulled from the net. A loss against last place Maine could’ve had long term repercussions for the Minutemen. Especially when you start to think about tiebreakers later in the year. Getting out of Alfond with a point makes for an easier bus ride home for the team. The other UMass goal came on the power play from Steven Guzzo, his third on the season. The Minutemen have now scored a power play goal in all eight of their games this season. Boyle had another strong game as starter.
While it’s good to get out of Maine with the point, it was disappointing that the team gave up an early 2-0 lead to a last place team that was only scoring 1.36 goals per game going into yesterday. The second goal came on a Black Bear power play, something they had plenty of last night. Maine ended up having five extra man advantages in total, and while UMass killed four of the chances it was tough to get any momentum on their side with the constant interruptions. Another negative was who wasn’t in the lineup. Eric Filiou and Evan Stack were both out with injuries suffered against Providence. Shane Walsh, who has made solid contributions as a freshman, was also out with an undisclosed injury. With those guys missing Coach Micheletto had Adam Phillips dressed as a forward tonight, but he ended the night with no shots on net and a –1 rating.
UMass may look back upon this game as a missed opportunity or maybe as a hard fought point. I think a lot of that depends on what happens Sunday against Lowell. If they can beat the struggling River Hawks at home the Minutemen will have grabbed 3 points on weekend, which is always a good thing. If they drop the game against Lowell then they’ll have managed just one point against the two teams at the bottom of the Hockey East standings. That would be very disappointing considering how well the team has played recently
Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Conor Allen
Allen gets the honor for his game tying goal with just over a minute left. He finished the game with three shots total and an even rating. It’s a little troubling to see him take three penalties in a game, since he’s been so disciplined to date. However, if there’s a bright spot it’s that only one of those led to a Maine power play. Allen remains the anchor on the defense and a legitimate threat on offense.
Here’s the game story from the Republican.
Here’s a recap from the same writer as above, but for the Bangor paper.