AMHERST, Mass. - On the back of a three-point night by junior Michael Pereira and 17 saves by sophomore netminder Kevin Boyle, the UMass hockey team rolled to a 4-0 win over Providence at the Mullins Center on Friday evening. The shutout, which marked the first of Boyle's collegiate career and was the squad's first over the Friars (4-4-1, 3-3-0 HEA) since 2004, moves the Minutemen to 3-4-0 overall and 2-4-0 in Hockey East.
Periera tallied his first goal of the season and chipped in two assists for his third career multi-point game, the first since his hat trick against Providence on Feb. 11. Troy Power logged his second straight multi-point effort, notching a goal and recording a helper. Juniors Colin Shea and Branden Gracel each added goals, as well, their second and third of the season, respectively.
After a scoreless opening period in which UMass had the bulk of the opportunities and out-shot the Friars, 9-4, Periera staked the Minutemen to a 1-0 lead early in the second. With the man advantage, junior Conor Sheary sent the puck into the corner to freshman Shane Walsh who found Pereira at the doorstep for the score at the 4:27 mark. The tally extended the Minutemen's streak to seven straight games with a power play goal, matching the program's longest such streak since the 2003-04 season.
Just over three minutes later, Shea made it a 2-0 game as UMass was in the midst of killing its second of four penalties on the night. Off a neutral zone turnover, senior Rocco Carzo sent a pass ahead to Power who found Shea streaking down the slot for the short-handed tally 7:28 into the frame.
The Minutemen then added their third of the period 17:29 into the stanza. Digging the puck out from behind the net, Gracel found Pereira in front. Periera's initial shot was stopped by Jon Gillies, but Gracel was there to clean up the rebound and increase the margin to 3-0.
Power capped off the scoring in the closing minutes of the third. Pereira won the puck in the corner and sent it to Power in the left faceoff circle for a wrister through traffic at 17:46.
Boyle improved to 3-2-0 on the season, while Gillies fell to 4-4-1 and made 28 saves in the loss as the Firars were out-shot, 32-17 on the evening. UMass continued its dominance over the dots, winning 42-of-66 faceoffs, was a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and went 1-for-4 on the power play.
The Minutemen will make their longest road trip of the season for their next contest as the squad is slated to head to Maine on Friday, Nov. 16, meeting with the Black Bears. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.