AMHERST, Mass. - Darren Rowe scored with 3:43 remaining in regulation to help the UMass hockey team earn a 3-3 draw against Providence on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen (0-3-2, 0-1-2 HEA) held 1-0 and 2-1 leads throughout the game before the Friars (1-4-1, 1-2-1 HEA) battled back to even the score on both occasions. Doug Kublin and Michael Pereira also scored goals for the Mass Attack while Paul Dainton made 34 saves in his first conference start of the season. Alex Beaudry made 31 saves for Providence, who will host the Minutemen tomorrow night at Schneider Arena at 7 PM.
The Friars held a 37-34 edge in shots, including a 27-16 edge in the final two periods. The Mass Attack won the battle in the faceoff circle 39-28 and went 1-for-3 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-3 on the man advantage.
The Minutemen held a 16-10 shot advantage during the first period, and jumped out to an early lead on Kublin's first of the season, but Providence fought back to knot the score at one in the final two minutes of the frame. The Friars were awarded a power play seven minutes into the stanza, but the UMass penalty kill blocked five shots during the man advantage and limited the Friars to just one shot on goal.
Kublin gave Massachusetts a 1-0 lead near the midway mark of the period just as a Minuteman penalty had expired. Michael Marcou began the play by wrapping the puck around the boards behind Dainton's net to T.J. Syner along the wall. Troy Power, who had just exited the penalty box, drew a Providence defender towards him allowing Syner to escape the zone. Syner skated through the neutral zone and into enemy ice, where Kublin jumped into the play to provide Syner a passing lane. Syner threaded a pass over to the senior defenseman, and Kublin deposited the puck in the back of the net for the Minuteman 1-0 advantage.
Massachusetts continued to pressure the puck following the goal, but a late goal from the Friars sent both teams to the locker rooms tied at one. Ian O'Connor took a pass from Kevin Hart, skated into the UMass zone and ripped a wrist shot from atop the slot into the top corner.
Neither team could take the lead in the first 19 minutes of the second period, but both squads swapped goals in the final 43 seconds of the frame to keep the score tied after 40 minutes of play. Dainton made back-to-back stops during a Providence power play to keep the score tied at one, and UMass nearly took the lead during the same man advantage on a two-on-one between Branden Gracel and Syner and a Friar defenseman.
Massachusetts broke the deadlock with 43 minutes to play in the period when Marc Concannon spun around one Providence defender and found Pereira skating into the slot for the quick one-timer. The Friars battled back once again, however, as Kyle MacKinnon scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season with just one second left on the clock.
Matt Germain built off the momentum gained after MacKinnon's goal by giving Providence its first lead of the game two minutes into the third period on his second goal of the season. Germain controlled the puck below the goal before circling around the cage to stuff the puck under Dainton before he could cover the right post. The goal was reviewed but stood as called.
UMass went on the power play with 4:35 left in regulation, and Rowe wasted no time in tying the score at three as he redirected a shot on Syner past Beaudry to the right side of the goal for his fifth goal of the season. Joel Hanley also assisted on the play, picking up his first collegiate point to send the game into overtime.
Massachusetts outshot the Friars 6-3 in the extra five minutes, and Concannon nearly ended the game on a counterattack with 2:10 to go when he fired a wrist shot up high that nearly caught Beaudry by surprise.