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Recap ▲ Dismal Start Dooms Minutemen In 6-3 Loss to #9 BU

The Massachusetts Minutemen were looking to put together a much better result against the 9th ranked Boston University Terriers than when the teams first met last month.  In that game UMass hung tough with the Terriers for half the game before being overwhelmed by BU’s superior skill, losing 7-2.  The Minutemen were not in last night’s game nearly as long as BU scored in the opening minute and built a three goal lead by the five minute mark, ultimately winning 6-3.

Yesterday’s snowstorm prevented me from doing my usual Friday trip to Western Mass for the game and then left me without power so I wasn’t able to watch or listen to it.  So I don’t have a lot of insight into the game itself.  But here are the facts.  William Lagesson and Callum Fryer both dressed, meaning UMass were injury free for the first time since December.  We’ve heard a lot that the injuries have been the main reason why UMass had lost their previous eight games heading into last night.  But given the way they started the game, it’s clear the team’s problems extend well beyond just needing certain players in the lineup.

BU scored their first goal just 57 seconds into the game.  The Terriers would then get a couple goals from their fourth line, first at 2:43 into the game and the next at 4:49 in.  Five minutes in and a three goal lead for the Terriers.  Coach John Micheletto still seems unable to settle on a goaltender as he went with Henry Dill to start, but Dill would get pulled after allowing two goals on BU’s first three shots.  Nic Renyard came in cold off the bench and allowed the third goal of the night.

UMass would get on the board seven minutes into the game when Ray Pigozzi scored his 7th goal of the season on the power play.  But BU got one of those dreaded goals scored in the last minute of the period to head into the first intermission up 4-1.  The lead would be extended 5-1 midway through the period.  UMass would start a mini-rally in the third period with their second power play goal, this one by Dominic Trento for his 2nd goal in as many games.  Joe Widmar would score his first collegiate goal less than a minute after Trento’s to cut the BU lead to 5-3.  But that was as close as UMass would get.   Jordan Greenway, who kicked things off with the BU goal in the first minute, would close things out with the 6th and final goal for the Terriers at 12:10 into the third period.

Looking at the stats, the Minutemen appeared to play OK in the final two periods.  But they obviously were not prepared to play right from the start.  I’m not really sure how that happens when you’re preping all week for just this one game this weekend against a ranked opponent in your own conference.  The Terriers are the team that were at risk to not being ready for the game mentally with the Beanpot championship looming on Monday.  But Dave Quinn had them good to go and as a result they pretty much sealed the game in the opening minutes.

There are a few positives to take out of the game for the Minutemen.  Widmar got his first goal.  Pigozzi continues to play well.  They were 2 for 4 on the power play.  And their possession stats were an improvement from games in recent weeks.  But a loss is a loss and UMass now has lost their last nine straight and 15 of their last 16 games.  Healthy or injured.  Home or away.  With the power play advantage or without it.  No matter the circumstances UMass continues to be uncompetitive in nearly every game it plays.  UMass now has a short turnaround before heading downriver to Springfield to take on AIC in what has to be considered a must-win game.  Even if only for pride.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Ray Pigozzi
Pigozzi scored UMass’ first goal and then assisted on Widmar’s.  Pigozzi has five points in the last four games.

Recap and Box Score from UMass Athletics.

The Collegian has their game story as well as a notebook section for the game.

Here’s a BU viewpoint from the Daily Free Press.

Obviously with games like last night’s the reasons why Micheletto needs to be replaced at the end of the season continue to pile up.  But here’s another one, a quote in this article about Quinnipiac’s success from former Minuteman K.J. Tiefenwerth, “Guys work super hard and pay attention to details.  Coming from the program I was at, it’s night and day. The way guys prepare for practice, the way they battle for spots. It’s a fun environment to be around and it translates well into games.”

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1 Comment

  1. umassattack

     /  February 7, 2016

    I would say like last weekend when Maine came to town, the game this Tuesday in Springfield is being looked at by each of these two teams as a game they each feel they can win, and need to win. We attend most UMASS games, but living in West Springfield we watch our share of A.I.C. games when UMASS is not playing, and both these teams match up pretty well against each other.
    Both UMASS and A.I.C. are their conferences cellar dwellers. When it comes to team defense both of these teams are dead last in D-I hockey, A.I.C. is 60th in the country while UMASS is 59th in the country, and neither team has a goaltender rated in the top 50 of D-I hockey. UMASS is averaging 2.5 goals a game while A.I.C. is averaging 2 goals a game, and they are both giving up slightly over 4 goals a game. They are both pretty even on the penalty kill, and on the PP I’d give UMASS a slight edge.
    Hopefully this will be a pretty entertaining game because both of these teams are in dire need of a win in the worst way. A.I.C. has 1 win and 2 ties in the second half, UMASS has 1 win in the second half. That one UMASS win came at Army, another Atlantic Hockey Team. We were at that game and UMASS was lucky to win that game. UMASS played a full 60 minutes of hockey and they were in a real battle till the end before scoring quickly in the OT. It just so happens that A.I.C. closed out the first half of the season against Army and they swept them to take 4 points.
    Two things that concern me the most about the Tuesday game is that we have seen that UMASS has a hard time even getting up for games against the best teams, how do you get them up to play another cellar dweller, also in many of the games I’ve attended at the Mullins Center………this UMASS team has often looked like they just don’t care whether they win or lose. On the other hand all A.I.C. will be looking at is that they are playing a team from the prestigious Hockey East Conference. It is always a thrill when an Atlantic Hockey Team takes out a team from Hockey East. I’m pretty sure that A.I.C. will be motivated Tuesday, but you never know what UMASS team will show up that day.
    There is also one other “BIG” plus Tuesday. This game is at the Massmutual Center and not at A.I.C.’s regular home ice, the “Olympia Ice Center” in West Springfield. That rink is also affectionately called ….THE FROZEN TUNDRA. Tickets are $10 at the Massmutual Center Box Office.
    ……….GO UMASS…………….

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