AMHERST, Mass. (December 5, 2008) - Two early goals put the University of Massachusetts up in the first period and would be enough to hang on for the win as the University of Connecticut fell to the Minutemen 5-1 at the Mullins Center. UConn’s lone goal on the night was scored by junior Chris Ochoa (Santa Monica, Calif.), his sixth of the season but it would not be enough for the Huskies (4-11) as they fell to the Minutemen for the fourth time since the 2005-06 season.
Junior Beau Erickson (Hinton, Iowa) made 38 saves on the night for the Huskies, just one shy of his season high which came against Army on October 24 but Minutemen's 43 shots on the night were too much for the netminder. UMass outshot UConn by 22.
UMass got out to a 1-0 lead in the first when after a flurry in front of the goal, T.J. Syner tapped in the first goal of his career at 5:03. Later, Alex Berry would tack on a shorthanded goal with just one second remaining in the power play to put the Minutemen up by two with six minutes remaining in the first half.
UConn cut into the lead at the end of the first when Ochoa took advantage of a UConn power play opportunity and flicked the puck into the net for the Huskies first and only goal on the night. Ochoa had some help from sophomore Matt Pedemonti (Enfield, Conn.) and freshman Marcello Ranallo (Burnaby, BC). Pedemonti tacked on an assist for the fourth time in the last five games. Ranallo’s assist was the ninth of the season and boosted him into first place on the team for points scored.
During the second period UConn had a chance to tie the game up when freshman Pat McAuley (Mt. Sanai, N.Y.) sent a rocket shot at the goal that bounced off of the inside of the pipe and ricocheted back into play. The shot could have tied the game up at two-all. Instead UMass responded with three unanswered goals in the third period including one with just 23 seconds remaining.
The Huskies will break for finals and are back in action during the Toyota UConn Classic on December 29 at 7:05 p.m.
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