Oct. 12, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Connecticut men's hockey program opened the season with a 4-1 defeat at UMass on Friday night at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. in front of 7,123 fans.
"I thought we really shot ourselves in the foot there to start the game," said Head Coach Bruce Marshall. "We missed some great chances, we took some stupid penalties and that'll do it every game."
The Huskies took 14 penalties for 28 minutes on Friday night. The Minutemen were called for 12 infractions.
"I think it was two teams that were kind of excited to begin the season and didn't realize that there were referees out there and that they had to play within a certain confines of the game," said Marshall. "We'll look at those things on an individual basis and see if they were just part of the game or something else."
Senior goaltender Garrett Bartus finished with ##35 saves and moved into No. 3 all-time in the Atlantic Hockey Association with 2,851 stops. Freshman Tyler Helton scored the lone goal for Connecticut.
UMass goaltender Kevin Boyle recorded 24 stops to earn the victory.
The Huskies failed to capitalize on several chances early in the contest to go ahead and paid the price as UMass finished the game with two power-play goals. Freshman Ryan Tyson had an empty net but rang a shot off the post in the first from the high slot. Brant Harris had an open left side of the cage on the power play early in the second and missed wide left.
Senior captain Sean Ambrosie (Moorhead, Minn.) had an excellent chance just 1:36 into the game. A hard forecheck caused a turnover from UMass at its own blue line. Ambrosie fired from the bottom of the left face-off circle forcing the first save of the night for Kevin Boyle. UMass took a penalty following the shot, putting the Huskies on the power play for the first time.
The Huskies failed to generate a shot on goal during the two-minute man advantage. UConn came into the game a year after ranking No. 3 in the NCAA at 25.7-percent on the power play. UConn finished the game 1-8 on the man advantage.
UMass earned a power play at 5:03 with a tripping penalty on sophomore Jacob Poe. The Minutemen capitalized at 6:11 with a slap-shot from Colin Shea at the right point.
Connecticut equalized on the power play at 11:56 with freshman Tyler Helton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) beating Boyle from the right side on a rebound off his own shot.
The back-and-forth action continued with a go-ahead goal from UMass forward Branden Gracel at 16:57. Gracel, stationed in front of the net, tipped in a shot from the right face-off circle to go back ahead, 2-1.
Sophomore Ryan Tyson failed to convert a golden opportunity at 18:59. With Boyle out of the net, Tyson had an open shot from the left face-off circle ring off the cross bar and out.
At the end of one period, UMass held a 2-1 lead and a 15-4 edge in shots on goal.
A series of penalties in the opening five minutes of the second led to a 4-on-3 power play for the Huskies at 4:50. Connecticut had shots from Billy Latta and Alex Gerke blocked by the UMass defense. Brant Harris had best chance of the power play but missed the net from just off the left post at 5:50.
Connecticut earned another 4-on-3 power play at 14:14 but failed to beat Boyle. Latta and Gerke each had shots saved from the high slot.
The Huskies went 0-5 on the power pay in the second as the period ended with UMass still ahead, 2-1.
UMass forward Steven Guzzo gave the Minutemen a two-goal advantage at 1:53 with a wrap-around goal from the left side of Bartus.
The Minutemen added a fourth at 7:26 with a power-play goal by Darren Rowe lifted into the top right corner from the slot.
Connecticut will open Atlantic Hockey action at Holy Cross on Friday, October 26 in Worcester, Mass.