AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team erased a two-goal deficit, but New Hampshire scored twice in a 17-second span in the third to hold off the Mass Attack, 4-3 at the Mullins Center on Friday night. Following the loss, the Minutemen are now 11-15-5 overall, 7-13-4 in Hockey East, while the Wildcats improve to 14-15-3 on the year and 11-12-2 in conference play.
Sophomore Conor Sheary scored his 10th of the year and added an assist for his sixth multi-point game of the season, one of three different goal scorers on the night for UMass. Sophomore Michael Pereira logged an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to five straight games.
The Wildcats scored the lone goal of the opening period 6:30 into the contest. Jay Camper found Matt Willows, who fed Trevor van Riemsdyk at the right point. Van Riemsdyk's slapper sailed into the top corner over the shoulder of UMass netminder Kevin Boyle.
UNH then expanded its lead to 2-0 early in the second as van Riemsdyk struck for his second of the night. Kevin Goumas passed the puck out to Eric Knodel along the blue line and Knodel sent it cross-ice to his defensive partner, van Riemsdyk for the shot and score at the 4:44 mark.
The Minutemen cut the deficit in half 11:14 into the second with a power play tally. Junior Darren Rowe won the puck along the boards and tapped it to redshirt freshman Steven Guzzo. Off a centering feed from Guzzo, Sheary wristed one home from the slot to beat Casey DeSmith.
UMass then pulled level with the Wildcats at the 4:47 mark in the third. Pereira skated the puck into the UNH zone and sent it over to Sheary. Streaking towards the net, sophomore Joel Hanley buried the drop pass for his fifth of the season.
Moments later, the Wildcats responded, though. Alone in behind Boyle, Nick Sorkin tucked in a feed from Goumas and Stevie Moses at 7:15. Just 17 seconds later, UNH took back its two-goal advantage. Goumas completed his three-point night by scoring on a breakaway 7:32 into the final frame from Connor Hardowa.
Senior Danny Hobbs brought the Minutemen back to within one with his 10th of the season at 12:25. Sophomore Eric Filiou sent a pass along the boards to senior T.J. Syner behind the net. Syner found Hobbs at the doorstep to cut the deficit to 4-3.
UMass could draw no closer, despite ending the contest on the power play, finishing the night 1-for-2 on the man-advantage. The Minutemen out-shot UNH on the evening, 51-29, as DeSmith totaled 48 saves for the Wildcats and Boyle stopped 25 for UMass.
The squads will close out the series tomorrow night, Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Mullins Center at 7 p.m.