Men’s hockey falls to UMass in season opener
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 23:10
The UConn men’s hockey team dropped its first game of the season on Friday, losing 4-1 against Massachusetts at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.
Senior UConn goaltender Garrett Bartus did reach a milestone in the loss, saving 35 shots, moving him to No. 3 all-time in Atlantic Hockey Association history with 2,851 saves.
The Huskies, who were No. 3 in the nation last year on the power play at 25.7 percent, went a meager 1-8 and only produced nine shots with the advantage in their first game of the 2012-13 season.
Special teams overall was a cause for concern for Bruce Marshall’s team as that is where UMass took advantage. Besides going 1-8 on the power play, the Huskies penalty kill unit was forced onto the ice ten times and allowed the Minutemen to score twice on power plays.
UMass went up early taking advantage of a tripping penalty on UConn sophomore Jacob Poe five minutes in. Just over a minute into the power play, Colin Shea beat Bartus with a slap shot.
UConn’s equalizer and lone goal came on a power play five minutes later. Freshman Tyler Helton picked up his own rebound off a shot from the right side and beat Minutemen goaltender Kevin Boyle for his first career goal to tie the score at 1-1.
The tie game would not last long. With three minutes remaining in the first period, UMass junior forward Brandon Gracel picked up his second point of the period with an even strength goal to put UMass up for good.
UConn had five power plays in the second period and failed to convert on all of them. During those five stints with an extra skater, the Huskies were only able to attempt six shots.
UMass put the game out of UConn’s grasp two minutes into the third period when Steven Guzzo beat Bartus for his second point of the night. Six minutes later, a power play goal by Darren Rowe made it 4-1 and was the nail in the coffin on a long night for the Huskies.
The Huskies will not play again until Oct. 26 when they open their AHA campaign at Holy Cross. They return home the next day to play No. 10 Union, a Frozen Four team last season.