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Friday Recap

Last night’s 6-4 loss at the hands of the Colgate Raiders was incredibly disappointing from the standpoint of UMass’ play on defense and special teams.  Whenever a team lets up six goals it’s easy to point fingers at the goaltender for poor play.  But honestly, I don’t think Kevin Boyle played all that badly last night.  He just got no help from the guys in front of him.  Colgate was able to continuously skate right in on him and shoot at will.  Other Raider goals were scored when passes easily made it to teammates across the slot without a UMass body or stick being in position enough to deflect them away.  Overall I would say this was probably one of the poorest defensive efforts from UMass in some time.  The Lowell game a few weeks ago had more goals against, but that was due more to lack of effort or lack of interest that day.  Last night was poor defensive execution.

A lot of that poor play on defense came on the penalty kill, which was horrible last night.  Colgate scored, and scored easily, on three of their four power play opportunities.  One of the few bright spots for UMass last night was that they were able to break their recent power play scoring drought by going 2 for 5 with the extra man.  However, they also let in another shorthanded goal, their third allowed on the season.  So that fact diluted the power play success a bit.  Overall, something needs to be done to address the poor play on defense and the penalty kill.  I personally think it has a lot to do with the personnel out there.  There are defensemen who are just not playing well enough on defense who are on the penalty kill squads.  There’s also Mike Busillo, who has played very solid so far this year and has a team leading +5 plus/minus rating, who for some reason continues to be a regular healthy scratch.  I can’t help but think if he was in last night’s lineup UMass might’ve been able to keep the game close enough to pull out the win.

If there was one positive from last night it was that the team didn’t give up and, despite being down 4-1, and came out of the locker room in the third determined to get back in the game.  Joel Hanley and Adam Phillips scoring within the first six minutes helped the Minutemen take back the momentum and make it a competitive game again.  But the shorthanded goal from Colgate that followed was a killer and while Conor Allen would get a goal back for UMass, that would be it for them.  In the end UMass controlled play in the third, outshooting the Raiders 14-5 in the period.  But Colgate ended up scoring on two of those five shots.  UMass made a nice effort, but the mistakes that led to those two goals was too much to overcome and at the end even coach Micheletto seemed resigned to the loss by not even attempting to pull Boyle to get the extra man on at the end.  UMass will need to play dramatically better tonight if they want to salvage an out of conference split.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Joel Hanley
Hanley had a goal and an assist last night and, I think more importantly for me, was only on the ice for a single Colgate goal.

Here’s the game recap from the Republican.

College Hockey News has their coverage of the game.

One time UMass recruit Joe Manno has left the Northeastern hockey program.

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2 Comments

  1. After this weekends games I definitely won’t be wasting my time and gas to go to Yale. Again the defense is horrible. Unfortunately No. 25 needs to be watching from the stands for a while. He’s just not getting the job done. A guy that big should be able to at least get in the way and he doesn’t even do that. He plays like he’s the smallest guy on the ice, and that’s an insult to the smallest guys on the ice because they play much harder and taller than he does. They hit more, they have more energy, and they come to PLAY. Once any player gets even with No. 25, he’s beaten. They go right around him and have a break away or partial break away. He just can’t turn and catch up.
    No. 27 may have finally broken out of his slump and start contributing on a regular basis. The power play has picked up a little bit but all the coach has to do is get them into the room and watch tape of Colgate taking it to them on the power play to see how it’s done. Every game it’s the same 1/2 doz. or so guys going all out, and then it’s like some of the others are just along for the ride.

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    • I hear you, Robert. I was planning on going to Yale as well. Now I just can’t justify the drive down.

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