#17 Northeastern Tops UMass Hockey, 4-3
Jan. 4, 2014
BOSTON - UMass hockey held a 3-2 lead going into the third period, but two goals in the final stanza, including one on the power play, helped #17 Northeastern past the Minutemen, 4-3, on Saturday night at Matthews Arena. The loss leaves UMass at 6-14-3 on the season, while the Huskies improve to 11-6-3.
The Minutemen's newly-formed line of senior Conor Sheary, freshman Steven Iacobellis and senior Branden Gracel provided eight of UMass' nine points on the evening, all-with multi-point efforts. Sheary's three-assist night was his 15th multi-point game of his career and tied career single-game bests in assists and points. He now has 93 points in his three-plus years at UMass, including 60 helpers to crack the top-10 all-time in program history (tied-ninth).
Gracel logged two goals and an assist to match his single-game personal bests for goals and points, while posting his fourth career multi-goal game and 17th career multi-point game.
Iacobellis notched a goal and an assist for his fifth multi-point game of the season. The freshman is now tied with Gracel for the team lead in goals with nine on the year.
Senior Colin Shea added an assist in the contest, as well, for his third in the past three games.
Northeastern opened the scoring just 2:06 into the first as Kevin Roy corralled a feed behind the net from Braden Primm and John Stevens and curled around the right post for the strike that gave the Huskies a 1-0 advantage.
With the period drawing to a close, UMass would equalize, though. After receiving the puck from Iacobellis, Sheary found Gracel in front for the tap-in goal 14:36 into the frame.
Then, early in the second, the trio teamed up once more to give the Minutemen a 2-1 lead. Gracel caused a turnover at the blueline, sending the puck over to Sheary on the opposite wing. Iacobellis then finished the play from the slot at the 1:35 mark.
The Huskies made it a 2-2 score at 16:38. Mike Szmatula scored top-shelf on the rush from Zach Aston-Reese.
Only 59 seconds later, though, UMass responded with a power-play tally. Gracel redirected a shot from the point by Shea and Sheary at 17:37.
However, Northeastern rallied with two unanswered goals in the third. Aston-Reese and Josh Manson set up Mike Murty to knot the score at 3-3, 2:30 into the final stanza.
Cody Ferriero later put home a blast from the point on the power play at the 5:25 mark for the would-be game winner. Pimm and Stevens earned their second helpers of the night on the tally.
The Huskies finished with a 34-29 shot advantage over UMass and were 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Minutemen were 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz totaled 30 saves in the setback, while Clay Witt made 26 stops for Northeastern.
The Minutemen return to action on Friday, Jan. 10, when the squad will head to Ithaca, N.Y., for a 7 p.m. meeting with #15/13 Cornell.