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Holy Cross Recap

Despite the worries of fans and local sportswriters trying to jinx them, there was no letdown after topping #1 Boston College last week and UMass came out and waxed Holy Cross, 7-2.  Except for faceoffs, UMass was by far the superior team in all aspects of the game; scoring, shots, penalty kill, power play, goaltending.  The Minutemen dominated the game so thoroughly it’s tough to understand how this Crusader squad beat Boston University just a few weeks ago, something UMass could not do.  If the schedule is going to be filled with Atlantic Hockey foes, last night was exactly the type of game you would hope for.  It allowed for some players to play that had been sitting a few games, gave pretty much everyone involved some confidence going into tonight’s league game, and was even filled with a number of personal milestores for Minuteman players.

The biggest milestone was Conor Allen’s hat trick.  Allen becomes just the third defenseman to record three goals in a game with the others being Thomas Pöck and Marvin Degon.  Unfortunately he wasn’t able to have the achievement recognized at the time because it wasn’t until after the game that the scoring was changed on the second goal of the game from Steve Guzzo to Allen.  Not that I’ve ever seen a hat thrown in celebration of a hat trick in the history of the Mullins Center, but it is too bad he couldn’t have heard the cheers when it was announced. 

Next up for milestones was the first win for Steve Mastalerz’s career.  He looked to be fighting the puck early, perhaps still trying to settle in after a rough outing last week.  It didn’t help that the first period was the most active for the Crusaders who had 12 shots on net with 9 coming on the power play.  But eventually Mastalerz played better as the game went along and the defense in front of him really started the stifle the Holy Cross offense, carrying over the strong defensive play we saw last week against BC.  I had hoped to see Mastalerz in net because I thought it would provide him the best opportunity to get back on the ice and forget about what happened last week.  It was good to see that’s what happened and now he has something to build off of for future starts.

The last milestone was the first career goal for Peter DeAngelo.  DeAngelo, like Eric Filiou, has really improved his game from last yera and is making an impact on the outcome of games when he gets in there.  Not only did he get his goal but he also had a nice open ice hit on a Crusader, sending him to the ice.  Not bad for a guy who stands just 5’7″.  Obviously when you put up 7 goals on the board, pretty much everyone in uniform had a good night.  But here are a few who really stood out.  Oleg Yevenko continues to play well.  He played some very smart defense and even contributed offensively on a nice down ice pass that setup the first goal of the game by Mike Pereira.  Conor Sheary had three assists last night and now is one point behind T.J. Syner for the team lead in points.  Steven Guzzo now has three goals in his last four games.  His line with DeAngelo and Rocco Carzo had some of the best shifts of the night.  It was good to see Mike Marcou return from injury with a goal and an assist on the night.  Zack LaRue got his first career point and Eddie Olczyk got his first point of the season on DeAngelo’s goal.

It was great to see the momentum carry over from last weekend and for the team to finally go out and not only beat a team, but not let up halfway through.  UMass did seem to play conservatively in the second after going up 6-1 and when Holy Cross scored their second goal you were worried about what could happen in the third.  Instead UMass came out and completely controlled play.  They outshot the Crusaders 16-5 that period and Allen’s goal five minutes in killed any chance of a late Holy Cross run.  I never want UMass to go out and embarass other teams, but at the same time I don’t want to see them just go out and go through the motions because they’re up big.  If teams get blown out because this team keeps playing with intensity, so be it.

Tonight should be a good one.  UMass hosts the Northeastern Huskies who they’re currently tied with in 7th place.  It would be great to keep this little win steak alive while taking some key points from a foe near them in the standings.  Though they still only have one win, the Huskies will present a tougher challenge than Holy Cross.  Northeastern lost a heartbreaker last night as they gave up the game-winning goal to Boston College with under three seconds left in regulation.  Hopefully UMass can send them home disappointed again.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Conor Allen
Hat trick, 6 shots on net, +2.  Tough to go with anyone else.  And I continue to enjoy the toughness he’s bringing to his game.  It may land him in the penalty box every now and then, but his physical play goes a long way to intimidate opponents.

Here’s the recap from the Republican.

Toot says the game was fun for the players in the Gazette’s game story.  Believe me, it was a lot of fun for the players too.

Speaking of fun.  After the enjoyment that was the 7-2 beatdown it was a great opportunity to head over to the Cage to watch the basketball opener.  My freshman year at UMass was the first full year of the Mullins Center (also the first year of the return of hockey) so I never got to experience a UMass game in the hallowed arena where Julius Erving once played.  Not only was it great to see the environment in there, but the basketball team played very well while cruising to a win over Elon.  If you can get to some basketball games this year, let me tell you that redshift freshman point guard Chaz Williams is well worth the price of admission.

Good news everybody.  After USCHO’s Atlantic Hockey writer picked Holy Cross to win last night, I’m happy to report that both Hockey East writers are picking UMass to fall to Northeastern at home tonight.

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2 Comments

  1. Carson

     /  November 12, 2011

    I cannot believe that team beat BU…

    Like

  2. Anonymous

     /  November 12, 2011

    stunning that they beat bu…but hc had multiple 5-3 power play goals against bu
    umass made hc look like a high school team…

    go umass….punish northeastern tonight

    Like

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