Friday Recap

The hope was that the memory of November’s embarrassing 8-2 home loss to Lowell would provide the motivation needed to get up for last night’s game.  That didn’t appear to be the case and the team looked flat from the moment they first hit the ice.  The result was another lopsided loss to the River Hawks at home by a score of 6-3.  Lowell has now outscored UMass 14-5 so far this season and took the Alumni Cup with last night’s win.

It was basically defensive breakdown after defensive breakdown that led to last night’s loss.  Through the first two periods Lowell had four goals on just 11 total shots.  This will go down in the record books as a loss for Kevin Boyle but, other than the second Lowell goal, it’s tough to fault him on any of the others.  Overall the team just did not have it.  Recapping Sunday’s game I mentioned that the effort was there for the team but the execution wasn’t.  Last night neither of those things were present.  The team looked like they were just going through the motions on the ice, especially on the defensive end, and Lowell made them pay for their lack of focus.

There’s very little positive to take from last night’s game.  Joel Hanley played well, grabbing a goal and an assist and not being on the ice for any opposing goals.  Mike Pereira played well and had the best of the few highlights for the Minutemen when he aggressively forechecked on the penalty kill, took the puck away from Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck behind his own net, and easily wrapped it around the goal to score.

With UMass’ loss, Vermont’s win, and Maine’s tie the Minutemen dropped into 8th place and are just one point ahead of the Black Bears.  UMass is in serious danger of missing the Hockey East playoffs for the first time since 2002.  It helps that the team still has a game on hand on Maine and Vermont, but the remaining schedule is not easy.  Given the talent and experience on this team the prospect of missing the playoffs entirely would be a tremendous disappointment and not the kind of start fans were anticipating for Coach Micheletto’s career at UMass.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Joel Hanley
Hanley assisted on Conor Sheary’s power play goal in the second and then scored himself with the extra man in the 3rd to cut the score to 3-4.  That would be as close as the Minutemen got however.

Highlights from UMass Athletics

Here’s the game recap from the Republican and one from the Collegian.

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