AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team erased a two-goal third period deficit to rally for a 3-3 tie against Boston University in front of a crowd of 6,018 at the Mullins Center on Friday evening. Following the tie, the Minutemen sit at 7-16-4 overall and 3-8-4 in Hockey East action, while the Terries are now 8-14-3 overall and 3-8-2 in league play.
Seniors Branden Gracel and Colin Shea both had mutli-point nights for the Minutemen, while classmate Conor Sheary notched his fifth goal of the season. Sheary now has a squad-best 21 points on the year and 97 for his career (34g, 63a).
Gracel logged his team-leading 11th goal of the season on the power play for his 11th career tally with the man advantage and added an assist, as well. Shea contributed a pair of helpers to set a new career high for assists in a season with his 11th and 12th of the year. The defenseman has seven assists in the past seven games.
Shortly after a BU power play expired, the Terriers took a 1-0 lead at the 12:50 mark of the opening period. Nick Roberto's initial shot was turned aside, but Cason Hohmann collected the puck behind the net and managed to put in a wraparound. Dalton MacAfee earned an assist on the play, as well.
The Minutemen tied the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal late in the opening period. After receiving the puck from Shea at the point, sophomore Ben Gallacher fired a shot towards traffic in front of the net and Gracel was there to knock it home 19:06 into the frame.
However, Boston University pulled out in front again with the lone goal of the second period. Trailing an odd-man rush, Ahti Oksanen buried a one-timer from Hohmann and Lane from the top of the slot at 7:44.
The Terriers later pushed the lead to 3-1 after Mike Moran won the puck behind the net and tucked a shot from the right faceoff circle under the crossbar at the 4:02 into the third. Kevin Duane and T.J. Ryan earned assists on the play.
With less than eight minutes to go in regulation, though, UMass began its comeback. Amidst a scramble off the rush, Sheary banged home a feed from Gracel and Shea at in the slot at the 12:35 mark.
Then, with the extra skater on and 50 seconds remaining in regulation, freshman Ray Pigozzi redirected in a shot from the point by senior Adam Phillips, who received the puck from senior Joel Hanley.
UMass finished the night with a 49-22 shot advantage and won 42 of 69 faceoffs, paced by a 22-for-32 night by freshman Steven Iacobellis. The Minutemen were 1-for-7 on the power play on the night and limited Boston University to a 0-for-7 showing with the man advantage.
Junior Steve Mastalerz totaled 19 saves for UMass and Matt O'Connor turned aside 46 in net for the Terriers.
The Minutemen will return to action next Friday, Feb. 7, when the squad will travel to #10 Northeastern for a 7:00 p.m. matchup with the Huskies.