There’s honestly not too much to post about regarding last night’s game at Providence. The Massachusetts defense looked much better than the night before, when they gave up five goals. Perhaps some of that was due to an increased focus with Steve Mastalerz getting the start. He played very well and it was good to see him back healthy and performing well. But I think after Friday some kind of message had to be sent to the defense and changing from Kevin Boyle, who hadn’t really played poorly, was the way to do it.
However, even with the defense having aa better than average game, it didn’t matter. UMass generated 44 shots on the night and yet could not get any of them past Friar goaltender John Gillies. The popular opinion will be that the Minutemen did the best they could and just “ran into a hot goalie”. From someone who was there I would say their shot selection wasn’t the best it could be, but in the end Gillies did play extremely well and led his team to a win. UMass got four behind him on Friday but couldn’t get any in the net on Saturday.
I was happy that defensively UMass played much, much better last night. After allowing Providence to skate in the offensive zone at will, the Minutemen did a great job shutting down the Friars, limiting them to just 12 shots through the first two periods and 24 overall. But, UMass lost the game and got swept on the weekend. The two losses are going to hurt very much in the long run. They needed to play with desperation last night and they didn’t. The Minutemen could not build off the momentum of winning the Ledyard Classic and kicked off the second half of the Hockey East season by losing two games a team they could’ve been battling for home ice. Now they’re all alone in 8th place, just one point ahead of Northeastern in 9th, and home ice is nothing but a dream, seven points ahead of them in the standings. If they’re unable to gain any points from a home and home with Providence it’s tough to imagine they’ll be successful against Boston College next weekend or two games at 7th place Vermont the week after. This weekend was, quite frankly, a disaster. We’ll see if they can pick up wins during the balance of the season to make up for it.
Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Conor Allen
As said the defense looked much improve this game. On the blueline Allen looked in good shape, playing good D, blocking a couple shots, and even getting five shots on net.
Coach Micheletto says the team could not have played better according to the Republican’s recap.
Similar comments in the Collegian game story.
Here’s how the game looked for the Herald.