UMass ended the first half of the season with another frustrating loss tonight. This defeat came against Yale by the score of 4-2. Tonight was all about penalties. Specifically the UMass team taking some, killing some, not killing others, and not scoring on power plays.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal just 3:24 in. What did UMass do for the rest of the period? Took just six shots but also took three penalties. Not surprisingly the score stayed 1-0 after 1. Things looked promising early in the second when two Yale players took two penalties on the same play, giving UMass a full two minutes of five on three. But, UMass couldn’t capitalize on the two man advantage. Yet, in probably the key play of the game, 15 seconds after missing out on the 5 on 3 advantage Rocco Carzo goes into the box for elbowing and then Yale scores a power play goal. 2-0 Bulldogs.
Stephen Guzzo would score toward the end of the second period to give UMass a little momentum going into the third period. That momentum died of self-inflicted wounds shortly thereafter. Just a half a minute into the final period Conor Sheary received as five minute major and a game misconduct for hitting from behind. Just a mere 19 seconds after that, Conor Allen doubles up the penalties with a slashing call. How many bad penalties can one team take in one game? Of course, UMass is able to battle and kill off the resulting five on three and the full five minutes of Sheary’s penalty, only to give up a goal a minute later to allow Yale to go up 3-1. Like we’ve seen too often UMass allowed that key goal to get to them mentally and they immediately give up yet another 21 seconds later. 4-1. UMass would score another late when Micheletto pulled Kevin Boyle with three minutes late (still wondering why he didn’t do that on Friday), but for all intents and purposes the game was already over. In fact another horribly timed penalty by Adam Phillips at 18:35 made sure the victory for Yale was complete.
Now, I think it should be pointed out that UMass was playing the 15th ranked team on their home ice tonight. However, I think it’s also safe to say that this team is playing some terrible hockey right now. The power play struggled again tonight, going one for seven overall and missing out on that key five on three to start the second that could’ve turned around the game. While penalties did not hurt the Minutemen too much on the scoresheet as they were able to keep Yale to just one power play goal on eight chances, the penalties were so ill-timed that they completely kept UMass from climbing back into the game.
So that’s it. UMass limps into the winter break with a 5-9-2 record, going 1-4-1 in their last six games. I’ll have a post in the next couple days on my thoughts on the team at the unofficial mid point.
Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Stephen Guzzo
Guzzo had a goal and was smart enough to stay out of the penalty box. In fact he’s only taken four penalties all season and hasn’t been in the box at all in his last six games.
No recaps out yet, if there end up being any at all. The Gazette and Republican both thought it more important to send people to the Faculty Senate discussion on football tonight rather than the hockey team facing the #15 team in the country.