AMHERST, Mass. - No. 3/2 University of Massachusetts hockey erased a 3-0 second period deficit and went on to take game one of the Hockey East Quarterfinals in double overtime, 5-4 over New Hampshire on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The win moves the Minutemen to 27-8-0, while the Wildcats drop to 12-14-9 on the year.
"In playoff hockey, you just don't win easily," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "Tonight it was tough to be down 3-0 in a game you think you're playing well. It seemed like every time UNH got a rush up the ice they scored. The goal at the end of the second period was huge and gave us some life and some momentum. I thought their goaltender was outstanding tonight, but we also made it easier for him. We didn't get in front of him very well. In the second half of the game we talked more about urgency getting pucks to the front of the net instead of monotonously trying to create Grade A scoring chances. We have to be a little more urgent offensively."
After a scoreless first period, UNH took a 1-0 lead in the opening minute of the second as Eric MacAdams started a rush out of the Wildcats' end and Brendan van Riemsdyk finished off the play from Marcus Vela at the 57-second mark.
Less than a minute later, the margin increased to 2-0 when Angus Crookshank threw a puck in front that directed off a UMass skate and past goaltender Matt Murray at 1:45. Charlie Kelleher and Benton Maass earned the assists. Chris Miller then made it 3-0 midway through the stanza.
Just before the intermission, the Minutemen took one of the goals back. Senior Jacob Pritchard collected a pass from freshman Marc Del Gaizo in the corner and sent the puck to the front of the Wildcats' net where it redirected off freshman Bobby Trivigno and behind Mike Robinson at 19:05.
Pritchard and Trivigno again connected for UMass' second goal, which came 1:08 into the third period. Picking up a feed from sophomore Philip Lagunov below the goal line, Trivigno curled out in front and found Prtichard at the far post for a tap-in that brought the Minutemen back to within one.
Miller stretched the Wildcats' lead back to two at the 5:18 mark, ripping a shot from the left faceoff circle past freshman Filip Lindberg with Eric Esposito and Richard Boyd earning the assists.
However, it was Trivigno again with the answer as he netted his second of the night 7:50 into the period off a centering pass from Pritchard and Lagunov.
Sophomore Cale Makar then leveled the score at 4-4 with his 14th of the season off a faceoff win by sophomore Jake Gaudet at the 11:28 mark.
Thirty-four minutes and 24 seconds of game action later, sophomore Mitchell Chaffee redirected a Ty Farmer shot home from the slot for the 2OT winner. Gaudet collected his second assist of the night on the play, as well.
UMass finished with a 53-28 shot advantage and went 0-for-2 on the power play, while UNH was 0-for-4. In relief of Murray (11 saves), Lindberg stopped 13 shots and recorded the win (7-2-0). Robinson had 48 saves for the Wildcats in the loss (11-11-8).
Trivigno tied a season best with three points in the contest on two goals and an assist, his third multi-goal game of his career. Pritchard also tied his single-game career high with three points on a goal and two assists. Lagunov and Gaudet both chipped in two helpers apiece, Lagunov's fourth career multi-point game and Gaudet's sixth.
UMass and UNH will return to action at the Mullins Center for game two of the Hockey East Quarterfinals tomorrow night, March 16, at 7 p.m.