Well, you can’t blame this weekend on lack of effort. Despite being down 5-1, UMass was able to get two goals in the third period in tonight’s game against Northeastern.
Northeastern’s Robbie Vrolyk got it going 5 minutes into the first period. With the puck behind the net, Drew Daniels threw it out front where it was shot in by Vrolyk. UMass was able to answer with Michael Marcou getting his seventh collegiate goal from Lecomte and Langeraap at 16:39.
Northeastern netted 2 goals in the second. The first came on a power play after Casey Wellman was called for Contact to the Head High Sticking. The second goal came in the middle of the frame on even strength.
James Marcou started the third with a tripping call, and Northeastern was able to capitalize with 0:02 left in the power play. Then, on a 4-on-4, NEU netted another one. UMass wasn’t done as James Marcou’s shot bounced off Rawlings and Danny Hobbs was able to put it home. Northeastern got a PP goal to get the 6-point touchdown (or two field goals). The final goal was scored by Will Ortiz from Casey Wellman on a shorthanded breakaway with 5 minutes left in the third.
As much as the effort was there, the discipline was not. UMass could not seem to stay out of the box with 11 penalties for 33 minutes. Northeastern had 9 penalties for 18 minutes, and was able to capitalize on 3/9 power plays.
UMass’ penalties ultimately cost them the game as they were constantly on the defensive. The minutes included some bad penalties (too many men on the ice in the first, a bench minor in the third, and fighting with a game disqualification, halfway through the third).
The bench minor came after a tripping call on James Marcou, followed by a hitting after the whistle call on Casey Wellman. Toot was upset with the calls and was trying to talk to the refs, who would not respond. He continued screaming, which drew the bench minor.
Despite all of this, I was able to leave the arena with my head held extremely high. UMass played a great game despite what the scoreboard might say. They came out and played with a lot of effort and kept working hard throughout the third period. It was a fun game to watch, and there was a lot of great playing by UMass.
Some other key points to the game were that the NEU pep band wasn’t there. The band gets quite annoying when they continue to play after the puck drops. Also, the plastic horn was missing in the student section. Maybe Northeastern got wind that they violate NCAA regulations? The horn arguably was replaced with a giant, hick-sized triangle that could bring the country redneck out of any Northeastern fan. (Also, I felt like it was callin’ ya’ll fans t’ dinnah!)
UMass currently sits in 4th place (tied with Boston University). However, BU has a game in hand, giving them the edge on UMass. At this time, we are sitting in 15th place in the USCHO Pairwise rankings.
What does that mean for us? Next weekend we’ve got to sweep Merrimack. They’re coming off a win against Vermont, and looking to get into the Hockey East playoffs. We’re also going to need other teams to help us get a good seed in the Hockey East playoffs. Right now, we would be traveling to Boston to play in the Agganis Arena, where we have lost at twice this year and seem to struggle every time.
Next week is senior night. Come out and support Justin Braun, Dan Meyers, Martin Nolet, Will Ortiz, and Brett Watson, and thank them for their hard work during their time at UMass.
Keep your heads held high, we aren’t out of it yet. Go UMass!
~Ben (Flag Guy)