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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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Northeastern falls just short to UMass in 2-1 defeat

Northeastern+protects+their+net+against+UMass.+Freshman+goaltender+Cameron+Whitehead+tallied+33+saves.+
Molly McAlevey
Northeastern protects their net against UMass. Freshman goaltender Cameron Whitehead tallied 33 saves.

On Saturday, the Northeastern men’s hockey team (7-12-2, 2-11-0 HE) faced a disappointing 2-1 loss to the University of Massachusetts Amherst (13-6-3, 6-4-2 HE). 

UMass got the first touch of the puck, and it kept control throughout the majority of the first period. The Huskies were slow and could barely keep the puck in the Minutemen’s zone, let alone get a shot off. 

Northeastern had a chance to turn it around in the 15th minute after a brawl in front of the Huskies net put UMass junior center Lucas Mercuri in the box for cross-checking. However, UMass took advantage instead. Halfway through the power play, Northeastern sophomore center Jack Williams made a pass intended for sophomore right defenseman Vinny Borgesi, but like many bad turnovers this season, the pass misfired and slid right past Borgesi. Minutemen sophomore right wing Cole O’Hara chased after the puck and made a pass to junior forward Ryan Lautenbach, who was right in front of Northeastern’s net. Freshman goaltender Cameron Whitehead could not make the save as Lautenbach’s shorthanded goal gave UMass the lead 1-0. 

The Huskies got four more shots off during their power play but could not even up the score before the first period finished. 

However, Northeastern matched the Minutemen’s energy as the second period opened. 

An opportunity for UMass to extend its lead came in the ninth minute of the period after graduate student center Liam Walsh was called for taking a hit after the whistle. Northeastern held UMass off and kept the team scoreless during the two minutes. 

Less than two minutes later, Borgesi was called for slashing, giving UMass another power play. Whitehead was near perfect and kept the Minutemen from scoring during this chance. 

Northeastern and UMass prepare for the puck drop. Both teams secured 35 shots throughout the match. (Molly McAlevey)

Northeastern finally evened up the score in the 17th minute of the period. After graduate student defenseman Pito Walton took a shot at the goal, the puck deflected off of UMass freshman goalie Micheal Hrabal and slid right in front of Northeastern graduate student left wing Brett Edwards. While the Minutemen and Hrabal tried to regroup after Walton’s attempt on net, Edwards quickly got a shot off and scored. It was all tied up at 1-1. 

Two minutes later, the Huskies got a power play when Lautenbach was put in the box for interference. With only a minute left in the period, Hrabal made save after save to keep it a tie game. 

The third period began with one minute left of Northeastern’s power play, but the team only managed to get one shot off. 

In the sixth minute of the period, Mercuri was called for boarding. While the penalty initially allocated two minutes of power play for the Huskies, Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe challenged the call, and the referees deemed it a major penalty after a second look, increasing the power play to five minutes. 

Northeastern had several good chances to score, but UMass and Hrabal were able to keep the puck from going into their net. The Huskies fired off 11 shots but failed to convert during their extended power play. 

The teams went back and forth on the ice, Northeastern now outshooting UMass 17 to 6 in the third period.

In the 17th minute, UMass freshman forward Dans Locmelis stole a pass from the Huskies in their zone and passed to freshman forward Nick VanTassell. VanTassell took a shot over Whitehead’s shoulder, putting the Minutemen up 2-1 with just over three minutes left in regulation. 

The Huskies tried to gain control of the puck and even up the score, but UMass used VanTassell’s first collegiate goal as momentum, and they kept the puck in the Huskies’ zone. In the final minute of the game, Keefe pulled Whitehead from the net. Borgesi got two shots off, but Hrabal closed the game with more incredible saves. 

UMass handed Northeastern a heartbreaking 2-1 loss. While the loss was disheartening, the Huskies put up a decent effort against the No. 12 ranked Minutemen; they just could not catch up once UMass gained momentum and bad turnovers cost them goals. The Huskies’ next game will be at home Friday at 7 p.m., when they face Merrimack College (10-12-1, 3-9-1 HE).

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