Pereira Reaches Milestones, But UMass Falls 3-2 At Merrimack
Jan. 25, 2014
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Senior Michael Pereira scored twice to reach both the 50-goal and 100-point milestones for his career, but Merrimack used two third period goals to rally past UMass, 3-2 on Saturday night at Lawler Rink. The loss leaves the Minutemen at 7-16-3 on the season, 3-8-2 in Hockey East, while the Warriors improve to 7-13-3, 2-7-2 in conference play.
Pereira logged his sixth career multi-goal game to become just the fifth player in UMass history to reach both the 50-goal and 100-point benchmarks. He now ranks fourth on the program's all-time list for career goals and is 11th in points. The pair of power-play tallies also brings him to within two of the UMass record as he has 20 for his career.
Sophomore Ben Gallacher recorded two helpers on the night for his first multi-point game in a UMass uniform. Senior Colin Shea added an assist for his 10th of the year and fifth in the past sixth games, while senior Conor Sheary's assist marked his 16th of the season and squad-best 20th point.
Merrimack controlled the bulk of the possession in the opening period, out-shooting UMass 13-4 in the frame, and jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Off a faceoff win by Vinny Scott, Jonathan Lashyn's shot from the point found its way through traffic and past neminder Steve Mastalerz 4:32 into the stanza.
The Minutemen would tie the score, though, at the start of the second. With UMass on the power play, Pereira and Sheary came down the ice on a 2-on-1 rush and Pereira managed to loft a perfectly-timed pass from Sheary over Rasmus Tirronen at the 2:41 mark for his 50th career tally. Gallacher earned an assist on the play, as well, with an outlet pass from the defensive zone.
Pereira then closed the period with his second of the night for his 100th career point, once again converting on a power play. After Shea fed Gallacher for a shot from the point, Pereira was in front to redirect in the blast at 18:05.
However, the Warriors manage to tie the score 3:53 into the third. Amidst a scramble in front, Chris LeBlanc tapped in a puck from Lashyn for the squad's second goal.
Just over two minutes later, Merrimack pocketed the would-be game winner. LeBlanc started a 2-on-1 for Hampus Gustaffson and John Gustaffson that the latter Gustaffson finished off at the 6:04 mark.
The Warriors finished with a 34-26 shot advantage with Mastalerz totaling 31 saves for the Minutemen. Tirronen finished with 24 stops for Merrimack.
UMass went 2-for-5 on the power play in the contest, while limiting the Warriors to an 0-for-4 showing with the man advantage.
The Minutemen will return to action next Friday, Jan. 31, when the squad will host Boston University for Olympic Celebration & Bright Out Night in a game that will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m.