Saturday Recap

If you saw Friday’s 6-4 loss against Colgate then you pretty much saw all the reasons why UMass lost last night’s game as well.  Poor defensive play.  Another bad night on the penalty kill.  And a team losing its composure.  What was maybe even more discouraging however was unlike Friday when the team made a big push in the third to get back in the game, yesterday it was the opposite.  The team entered the final period clinging to a 2 to 1 lead, but ended up giving up four goals total in the 3rd to give the Raiders the 5-2 win and the weekend sweep.  What was sad to see was once Colgate took the lead, the Minutemen appeared to give up and the Raiders added to their lead within minutes.

While it was the same result as Friday, it was a different group of players for the Minutemen who witnessed the loss.  Gone from the lineup were Oleg Yevenko, Stephen Guzzo, and Patrick Kiley.  In their place were Mike Busillo, Zack LaRue, and Peter DeAngelo.  Busillo in for Yevenko seemed to work OK as he ended up even on the night and had a couple blocked shots, something the team had very few of the night before.  But there are still major deficiencies on defense that need to be addressed.  This is especially true on the penalty kill, which gave up five power play goals on eight Colgate opportunities this weekend.  You’re not going to win a lot of games that way.  Obviously the Colgate line of the Spink brothers and Kyle Baun deserve a lot of credit for what they accomplished this weekend.  However if the defense would’ve been able to limit their chances a little better, the Raiders really didn’t have much depth beyond that.

Offensively the team looked much worse than Friday, likely due to the absence of Stephen Guzzo who was not dressed due to coach’s decision.  With him gone coach Micheletto shuffled all the lines instead of just finding someone to fill Guzzo’s role.  Broken up was the line of Tiefewerth/Gracel/Pereira which seemed to gel well last week against Northeastern.  Kevin Czepiel was moved up to the second line.  Overall, the changes seemed to create more confusion than cohesion on offence.

The third period performance is really concerning because it’s been a problem all season.  UMass has given up 20 of the 46 total goals this season after the second period.  This team would be among the best in the conference if they’d been able to hold onto third period leads.  Instead they’re now three games below .500 and playing their worst hockey of the season.  The team will have just a couple days to absorb what transpired this weekend and try to adjust since they travel to #15 Yale on Tuesday.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Branden Gracel
Gracel had a goal and a team high six shots yesterday.

Micheletto questions the call on Joel Hanley that led to the go ahead goal for Colgate in the Republican recap.  I agree, it was a total phantom elbowing call.

The Collegian has their game story.

College Hockey News’ coverage points out the soft goal let up by Kevin Boyle early in the third as the turning point.