Black Bears top UMass, 3-2

For The Recorder
Friday, January 26, 2018

AMHERST  — UMass dictated the play for most of the game and outshot Maine for all of it. But when the final horn sounded, it was the Black Bears celebrating.

Maine did a better job of turning opportunities into goals than the Minutemen did and prevailed, 3-2, Friday at the Mullins Center.

UMass coach Greg Carvel didn’t hide his disappointment.

“This to me, for the first time this year, was a must win,” he said. “We’re playing a team we’re trying to catch in the standings, a team we played a few weeks ago and played really well. I thought it was set up for us to get home and start winning some games again. … It was a game I thought we needed to have for many reasons. But we move on.”

UMass appeared to be in good shape when Canon Pieper was called for boarding with 6:05 left in a 2-2 game, but instead it was Maine that scored with him in the box.

Carrying the puck in short-handed, Rob Michel wound up and fired from just inside the right point, the puck caromed off of Murray into the slot. Cedric Lacroix, who’d gambled to join the attack down a man, was rewarded for it as his momentum helped him push the puck past Minuteman goalie Matt Murray to give the visitors a 3-2 edge with 5:03 left.

UMass (11-12-1, 5-8-1 Hockey East) had third-period chances before and after Lacroix’s goal, outshooting the Black Bears 13-8 but Maine goalie Jeremy Swayman stood tall and finished the game with 28 saves.

UMass led 2-1 after the first period but Maine tied the game with the lone goal of the second.

The teams play again tonight at 7.