AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team opened with a two-goal lead, but #12/13 Boston University answered with two of its own as the squads battled to a 2-2 tie at the Mullins Center on Friday evening. The Mass Attack (1-2-1, 0-1-1 Hockey East) and Terriers (1-2-1, 0-1-1 Hockey East) will square off again tomorrow night in Boston.
Both defenses dictated much of the play early in the first as neither team managed to generate a quality scoring chance until late in the period. Boston University's first power play yielded no shots for the Terriers.
BU was denied on its best opportunity of the period on its second power play of the evening. A shot by Chris Connolly crept past Kevin Boyle, but Joel Hanley was there to clear the puck off the goal line.
This energized the UMass offense, resulting in a flurry of shots at the opposite end of the ice. The efforts by the Mass Attack yielded a power play with 1:33 to go before the intermission.
After having a goal disallowed, UMass responded moments later with T.J. Syner collecting the power play tally. Hanley sent a pass to Michael Pereira down along the goal line near the right post. Pereira then sent the puck through traffic to Syner at the opposite hash marks for a quick shot and score.
The Minutemen increased their advantage to 2-0, 6:08 into the second period. Rocco Carzo's initial shot from the slot off a feed from Branden Gracel was turned aside by Kieran Milan, but Conor Sheary was there at the doorstep to knock in the rebound.
With eight minutes and change left in the second, Garrett Noonan was denied on a breakaway during a four-on-four. However, the Terriers managed to pull within one soon after. On a quick break out of their defensive zone, Adam Clendening sent the puck to Charlie Coyle who fed Matt Nieto. Nieto finished the play with his fifth of the season at 15:45.
With less than three minutes to play in the period, Alex Chiasson came within inches of tying the score, but had his shot clang off the post as UMass went into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Then in the third, Nieto and Coyle fed Sahir Gill from behind the net as Gill wristed in the equalizer for BU at 5:16 to complete the scoring.
UMass out-shot the Terriers, 35-23, including a 15-6 margin in the second period alone, while winning 30 faceoffs to BU's 26.
Milan totaled 33 saves in net for Boston University and Kevin Boyle registered 21 stops.