‘Cats clinch playoff spot
Published: Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 16:02
Kevin Goumas handed out a pair of assists, but the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team dropped a 4-2 decision to the University of Massachusetts in Saturday night's Hockey East action at the Mullins Center.
UNH falls to 14-16-3 overall and 11-13-2 in Hockey East. UMass keeps its playoff hopes alive improving to 12-15-5, 8-13-4 HE.
Despite the loss on Saturday, the Wildcats clinched a spot in the Hockey East playoffs with a 4-3 win over the Minutemen on Friday night. UNH will be able to rise no higher than the No. 6 seed in the tournament.
On Saturday, the Wildcats broke the deadlock just 4:50 in with a shorthanded goal. Goumas stole the puck at the top of the blueline and skated in. His backhand shot was stopped, but Stevie Moses was there for the put-back tally. Just moments later, Connor Hardowa appeared to have doubled the UNH lead, but the goal was overturned by the officials on a delayed offsides call at 5:22.
It was the Minutemen getting the equalizer on a scrum at the UNH net that was punched in by Kevin Czepiel at 10:15 of the frame. Eric Filiou and Andrew Tegeler assisted on the goal. Both teams had 10 shots in an even-played period.
UMass took the lead just 1:15 into the second period as Michael Marcou scored on the rebound of a Danny Hobbs shot. The Minutemen rush came in the midst of a UNH line change.
UMass added to its lead as Joel Hanley scored at 3:53 just moments after a Minutemen power play had expired. Hanley kept the puck in the offensive zone and fired a one-timer that beat Casey DeSmith to give the Minutemen a 3-1 lead. New Hampshire cut into the UMass lead with a goal in the final minutes of the second. Goumas won a loose puck battle behind the UMass net and slid the puck out in front for Nick Sorkin, who snapped a wrister in from the slot at 16:37. UMass held a 13-9 shot advantage in the period.
In an even-played third period, neither team could crack the scoreboard until the Minutemen iced the victory with an even-strength goal by Conor Sheary at 17:48 of the third period.
The Wildcats had chances to tie it early in the third and cut into the UMass lead late with DeSmith pulled in favor of an extra attacker, but the ‘Cats could not capitalize on scoring chances.
DeSmith stopped 28 shots including 11 in the middle stanza and moves to 8-7-1 overall. Steve Mastalerz stopped 26 shots and improves to 4-9-0 overall.
UMass was 0-4 on the power play, while UNH was 0-2 in its extra skater opportunities.
UNH concludes the 2011-12 regular season on Saturday, March 3 at the University of Maine. The puck drops at 4 p.m. at Alfond Arena with coverage on NESN.