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HAMDEN, Conn. - After trailing 3-0 after the first period, No. 10 UMass Hockey stormed back to tie the score before falling to No. 9 Quinnipiac 5-4 in overtime Saturday afternoon. Casey Wellman had two goals for the Minutemen (9-3-0), while Will Ortiz had a goal and an assist. Brandon Wong scored the game-tying goal with 1:10 left in regulation for the Bobcats (12-1-0) before netting the game-winner. Dan Meyers (12 saves) got the start for UMass before being replaced by Paul Dainton (28 saves) at the start of the second. The Mass Attack will return home on Friday to host Boston College at 7 PM at the Mullins Center for Operation 8K.
Saturday was the first loss on the road for the Minutemen this season, as well as the first loss to a non-conference opponent. Quinnipiac outshot UMass 45-32 for the game, while the Minutemen were 0-for-1 on the power play. The Bobcats were 1-for-3 on the man-advantage.
The first period saw Quinnipiac throw 15 shots on Meyers from all angles, scoring three times and putting the Minutemen in their largest deficit of the season. The Bobcats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead three minutes into the frame on a goal from Jean-Marc Beaudoin. After Quinnipiac took a shot from the left faceoff dot, the puck deflected off Meyers' glove and back onto the ice, where Beaudoin promptly pounded it home for his fourth goal of the season.
With five minutes to play in the period, Mike Atkinson netted his second goal of the year when Brett Dickinson took a shot from the point that was redirected by Atkinson on its way to the net. Scott Zurevinski made it 3-0 two minutes after Atkinson's goal when he backhanded a shot over Meyers for his eighth goal of the season. The Minutemen had a couple chances to chip away at the Bobcat lead, but Bobcat goaltender Dan Clarke was there to turn away all 10 UMass shots.
After Dainton replaced Meyers in goal at the start of the second period, the Minutemen went to work trying to cut into the Quinnipiac lead, outshooting the Bobcats 11-8. Massachusetts made it a two-goal game with 1:15 to play in the period when Wellman banged home a loose puck in the crease for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Matt Irwin took a shot from the blue line that was first blocked by a Bobcat defender. James Marcou tried to poke home the loose puck before Wellman finished off the play.
Quinnipiac had several chances to extend its lead throughout the period, forcing Dainton to make several huge stops to give UMass hope. The Minutemen were awarded one power play during the frame, but could not cash in on their man advantage.
The Minutemen battled in the third period, scoring three goals, including two 11 seconds apart to tie the score at three. The Bobcats climbed back though, netting the tying goal with 1:10 remaining in regulation while on the power play. Will Ortiz got his fourth goal of the year after T.J. Syner dug the puck out of the corner and fed Ortiz in the slot for the score. Wellman got his second of the night 11 seconds later when he skated into the zone and let a rocket go from just inside the blueline.
UMass took its first lead of the game with 6:46 to go when Ortiz took a hard shot from the left faceoff dot that was saved by Clarke. The rebound popped into the slot when Michael Lecomte was there to roof it right under the crossbar for his fourth of the season.
The Bobcats knotted the score at four with just over a minute to play in regulation while on the power play. Quinnipiac controlled the puck at the point before Zach Hansen sent a hard pass to a waiting Wong at the doorstep for the tip in.
Wong followed up his seventh goal of the year with his eighth, the game-winner when he was able to slip the puck past Dainton to the right of the cage.