UMass’ Season Ends With 7-0 Playoff Loss To Notre Dame

The Massachusetts and Notre Dame hockey teams played 14 periods of hockey this past weekend and Massachusetts was as good or better than the Irish in 9 of those periods.  But Notre Dame’s dominance in the final four periods played during the weekend ended up deciding the series.  After being the better team in final period of Saturday’s Game 2 to break a tie and even the series Notre Dame embarrassed the Minutemen by scoring seven in last night’s deciding game.  UMass’ season ended much as it began way back in October, with a seven goal loss.

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Three Goal Third Gives Notre Dame 5-3 Win Over UMass, Forces Game 3

The trend of one step forward, one step back has continued into the playoffs for the Massachusetts hockey team.  After dispatching Notre Dame in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday when Shane Walsh’s goal ended a record setting five overtime affair, the teams met again later that night as UMass looked to sweep the Irish and move onto the Hockey East quarterfinals.  But a lot of the problems that have plagued the Minutemen for much of the season, problems that were largely absent in the 150 minutes played the previous night, ultimately led to the Irish grabbing the 5-3 win and forcing the series deciding game later tonight.

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Heroics Abound As Minutemen Top Notre Dame In Longest NCAA Game Ever Played

This has been one of the most frustrating and disappointing seasons of UMass hockey in the 20 plus years that I’ve watched the program.  There have been blowouts.  There have an unthinkable amount of late game collapses.  There have been games, as recently as last Friday, where the team has looked unfocused and at times disinterested.  It’s been tough to understand why the team has played this way and know exactly what they were truly capable of.  Last night the Massachusetts hockey players showed that despite the up and down results of the season, they are in fact a team that can play inspired and amazing hockey.  They are a team that can execute at a high level on consistently through long stretches.  They can battle to get back into a game and continue to battle to get a win.  They are a team that will leave it all out on the ice for a victory. They are a team that has heart.  A lot of heart.   The prevailing problem this season has been that the team too often failed to put in a total 60 minute effort.  But they put in a 60 minute effort last night.  Twice in fact.  And then did it some more.  In the 152nd minute of last night’s five overtime marathon, the longest game in NCAA history, Shane Walsh’s game winner sent all the Minutemen back to the locker room as heroes.

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UMass Dominated By UConn In Finale; Will Travel to Notre Dame For Playoffs

The Massachusetts hockey team concluded its regular season much as it began way back in October.  By being utterly dominated.  In the season opener it was an 8-1 defeat at the hands of Boston University, who ultimately went on to win the Hockey East regular season title.  On Friday UMass travelled to Hartford to take on UConn and fell to the Huskies by the score of 4-0.

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Recap: UMass Splits A Pair Of Overtime Thrillers With #12 Providence

This weekend’s Massachusetts hockey game were not for the faint of heart.  The home and home series with 12th ranked Providence were nearly carbon copies of each other.  Nearly.  Both featured great goaltending on both sides.  UMass taking a lead into the third.  UMass ultimately surrendering that lead.  But luckily the games had vastly different outcomes.

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UMass Upsets #12 Lowell, falls to Northeastern in weekend split

The Massachusetts hockey team was able to put last weekend’s disappointing finish against #2 Boston University and gain two Hockey East points and arguably their best win of the season in a weekend split.  It looked like it’d be a tough weekend for the team when they gave up another third period lead on Friday to Northeastern, losing 5-3.  But they rebounded the next night by dominating the 12th ranked River Hawks on the way to a 5-2 win.

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Penalties Prevent UMass From Completing The Upset Over #2 BU

It’s like déjà vu all over again.  Mimicking what we saw in the season opener the Minutemen hung tough with Boston University for two periods and found themselves down only a goal going into the final period.  They had momentum and a chance to tie or win but ultimately surrendered six goals in the third period, just as they did in October, getting blown out 9-5.  There were a few new twists in this one from the earlier matchup.  First is that unlike when the teams met in the season opener, the Terriers are ranked #2 in the country and this would’ve been a signature win for UMass.  Another difference was the Minutemen actually taking the lead twice in the final stanza.  But the main differentiation was how the team lost.  In October it was poor defense that did them in.  Last night the story was penalties, penalties, and more penalties.

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Recap: UMass Takes Three Points From #14 Merrimack; Kravchenko Wins Rookie of the Week

When the Massachusetts Minutemen returned from winter break with a 4-1 loss to Providence it dropped their record to 4-13-0.  Just four wins in 17 games.  The next night they won against Air Force and they’ve done pretty well ever since.  With this weekend’s tie and win against 14th ranked Merrimack UMass has now picked up as many wins in their last eight games as their did over their first 17, going 4-3-1 in that time.  Splits with New Hampshire and Maine in the past couple weeks showed that the team could hang with some of the other teams at the bottom of the Hockey East standings.  But to take three points from ranked Merrimack who was coming off a weekend where they were College Hockey News’ Team of the Week shows that things may be turning around for this UMass team.

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Recap: UMass Splits Against Maine, Wins Second Home Game Of Season

Splits tend to bring forth both positives and negatives for a hockey team and that’s exactly what happened for Massachusetts this weekend as they split the weekend non-conference series with the Maine Black Bears.  The positives for the weekend were that UMass got another win in a season that hasn’t seen a lot of them.  Friday’s game featured an impressive come from behind victory, something the team hasn’t been able to do a lot this season.  The win that night was just the second win of the season at the Mullins Center.  There were some excellent individual efforts this weekend, namely from Shane Walsh and Henry Dill.  And, due in large part to Dill, the Minutemen only allowed 5 goals total all weekend.

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Recap: UConn Gains Its First Hockey Road Win, Drops UMass 4-3

The Massachusetts hockey team picked up right where they left off in 2014 in terms of league play performance and that’s not a good thing.  UConn came into the Mullins Center in their first Hockey East game against the Minutemen and picked up their first road win in their new league 4-3.  The Huskies have now won two straight games against the Minutemen, the first consecutive wins in the series between the programs for the Huskies since 1979, the year the UMass hockey program went dark before being resurrected in 1993.

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