Naas Leads UConn Past Massachusetts, 4-3
Freshman forward Spencer Naas scores two goals for Huskies

Freshman forward Spencer Naas scored two goals for the Huskies
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 10:45  CON1-0 EV Spencer Naas (5)Brent Norris/3, Jesse Schwartz/3
1st 14:53  CON2-0 EV Trevor Gerling (6)Shawn Pauly/9
2nd 1:44  UMA1-2 EV Shane Walsh (3)Brandon Montour/3, Steven Iacobellis/10
3rd 1:56  CON3-1 PP Trevor Gerling (7)Kasperi Ojantakanen/5, Shawn Pauly/10
3rd 4:24  UMA2-3 EV Frank Vatrano (12)Ben Gallacher/3, Dennis Kravchenko/9
3rd 9:01  UMA3-3 PP Brandon Montour (1)Dennis Kravchenko/10
3rd 13:55  CON4-3 EV GW Spencer Naas (6)Jacob Poe/5
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Connecticut  2024
Massachusetts  0123
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Connecticut  14111439
Massachusetts  12111336
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Connecticut (5-9-4)  1/3 6/12 0
Massachusetts (5-14-0)  1/6 4/8 0
Connecticut Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Rob Nichols (W, 5-9-4)60:003 12101133
Massachusetts Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Steve Mastalerz (L, 0-7-0)58:474 12111235
Empty Net1:130     

AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team climbed back from a 2-0 deficit, but UConn netted the game winner late in the third period to edge the Minutemen, 4-3 on Friday night at the Mullins Center. Following the loss, UMass sits at 5-14-0 overall, 1-10-0 in Hockey East, while the Huskies improve to 5-9-4 overall and 3-4-1 in league action.

Playing in just his fourth career contest, Minuteman freshman Brandon Montour logged his first collegiate multi-point game, which included his first career goal and extended his point-scoring streak to three straight. Classmate Dennis Kravchenko registered a pair of helpers, his ninth and 10th of the year, for his second straight multi-point game.

Redshirt sophomore Frank Vatrano pushed his goal-scoring streak to four games with his 12th of the season, currently tying him first in Hockey East. Junior Shane Walsh chipped in with a tally for the Minutemen as well, his third of the year to match a career high (three in 28 games as a freshman in 2012-13) and sophomore Steven Iacobellis tied his career high in assists with his 10th of the season.

After UMass had a few near misses in the opening minutes, UConn took a 1-0 lead 10:45 into the first. Off a pass from Jesse Schwartz, Brent Norris centered the puck to Spencer Naas alone in the slot for the tally.

The Huskies then increased their lead to 2-0 when Trevor Gerling hammered home a rebound at the doorstep with Shawn Pauly earning an assist.

Less than two minutes into the second period, the Minutemen cut their deficit in half as Walsh turned and fired a shot into the back of the net from the left faceoff circle after receiving the puck from Montour at the point.

Freshman Dennis Kravchenko put home the would-be tying goal at the 16:49 mark of the frame, but the tally was called back.

Early in the third, UConn pushed its advantage back to two 1:56 into the stanza with a power-play goal by Gerling from Kasperi Ojantakanen and Pauly.

The Minutemen fought back will a score of their own less than three minutes later. After collecting the puck from junior Ben Gallacher at the point, Vatrano spun and buried UMass' second goal of the night 4:24 into the third.

Then at 9:01, the Minutemen pulled level with the Huskies. Kravchenko carried the puck into the zone on the power play and connected with Montour at the point. Montour picked the top corner of the net to tie the score at 3-3.

However, UConn managed to score the would-be game winner at the 13:55 mark. Naas took an outlet pass from Jacob Poe up the left wing and tucked it past goaltender Steve Mastalerz for his second of the night.

UMass had its sixth power play chance in the closing minutes of the third, but was unable to come up with the equalizer despite several quality chances and finished 1-for-6 with the man advantage on the night, while the Huskies were 1-for-3.

UConn finished with a 39-36 shot advantage with Mastalerz making 35 saves for the Minutemen. Rob Nichols totaled 33 stops for the Huskies.

UMass will be back in action next Friday, Jan. 9, continuing its four game homestand with the first of two non-conference meetings against Maine at 7 p.m. in the Mullins Center.