HARTFORD, Conn. - UMass hockey skated to a 2-2 tie with #8 Quinnipiac on Sunday at the XL Center, but the Bobcats will advance to the UConn Hockey Classic championship game after defeating the Minutemen, 2-0, in a shootout. UMass is now 6-12-3 on the year, while Quinnipiac sits at 13-3-4.
Junior Emerson Auvenshine scored his first collegiate goal for the in his 27th career contest with the Minutemen, while redshirt junior Troy Power logged his fourth tally in the past four games. Power's goal extended his point-scoring streak to a career-best five games and marked his eighth goal of the season and 14th point, matching the team lead in both categories.
Freshman Ray Pigozzi contributed an assist, his sixth in six games in the month of December and 10th of the year. Junior Zack LaRue, redshirt-junior Steven Guzzo and senior Colin Shea all added helpers, as well. LaRue's marked his first point of the season.
UMass was awarded the first power play of the contest just 58 seconds into the opening period, but it was Quinnipiac who put the first goal on the board. Kellen Jones scored shorthanded on an odd-man rush at the 1:28 mark.
The Minutemen later pulled even with the Bobcats 15:26 into the stanza. After forcing a turnover with a hit in the corner to start the scoring chance for UMass, Auvenshine buried a rebound from the slot with Guzzo and Pigozzi picking up the assists.
Then, as the period was drawing to a close, UMass pulled in front, 2-1. Shea dumped the puck into the offensive zone, which Pigozzi retrieved behind the net for a quick pass to Power to finish the play at the doorstep at 19:41.
Quinnipiac leveled the score, though, with the lone goal of the second period. Tim Clifton scored on a wraparound from Travis St. Denis and Matthew Peca 1:28 into the frame.
Following a scoreless third and a Bobcats' goal that was waived off for a high stick in overtime, the teams went to a shootout to determine which side would advance to the tournament championship game. Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Sam Anas converted both Quinnipiac attempts for the 2-0 win.
The Bobcats finished the night with a 38-21 shot advantage, while both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play. Junior Steve Mastalerz stopped 36 shots in net for the Minutemen and Michael Garteig turned aside 19 shots for Quinnipiac.
UMass will face either Connecticut or Sacred Heart tomorrow, Dec. 30, at 4 p.m. in the consolation game of the UConn Hockey Classic.