Colleges: UNH rallies late, takes down UMass hockey in OT

Staff Reports

Published: 02-24-2024 9:48 PM

Clinging to a 2-1 lead late in the third period, the UMass hockey team was just a few minutes away from a weekend sweep over New Hampshire. The Minutemen defeated the Wildcats at the Mullins Center 3-2 on Friday night, and headed to Durham for Saturday night’s contest.

New Hampshire pressured UMass relentlessly toward the end of the third period, and it finally paid off as the Wildcats’ Alex Gagne found an equalizer with 2:09 remaining in regulation.

They eventually buried the game-winner in overtime off the stick of Liam Devlin as UMass fell 3-2 in the extra frame. It was a missed opportunity for the Minutemen, which are still on the outside looking in the PairWise rankings.

Gagne’s game-tying goal late in regulation was challenged for goalie interference by UMass head coach Greg Carvel. While Gagne appeared to make contact with UMass goalie Michael Hrabal’s stick on the play, officials upheld the goal – the second week in a row that goalie interference (or lack thereof in this case) impacted a key moment for the Minutemen.

Cole O’Hara scored both UMass goals, his first coming off a rebound from a missed Aydar Suniev shot in the second period to tie the game at one. He added his second seven minutes into the third, giving the Minutemen their first lead of the night at 2-1.

New Hampshire then notched game-tying and game-winning goals to pick up its 17th win of the season.

Suniev, Kenny Connors, Jack Musa and Dans Locmelis all tallied assists on the two O’Hara scores. Hrabal stopped 23 shots on 26 attempts in the loss.

UMass (17-10-3, 10-8-2 Hockey East) is back in action next weekend with another home-and-home series, this one coming against UMass Lowell – starting with a road game in Lowell on Friday night.

Amherst College women blank Bowdoin, move on to semis

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The No. 1 Mammoths women’s hockey team is no stranger to big conference tournament wins, and they showed they are once again ready for the big stage with a 2-0 win over Bowdoin in the NESCAC quarterfinals at Orr Rink on Saturday afternoon.

Both of Amherst’s goals showed up identically on the stat sheet. Maeve Reynolds was on the finishing end of both goals, while Marie-Eve Marleau and Mary Thompson each picked up assists on the two Reynolds tallies.

Her first came in the opening minutes of the second period, and her second came in the final minutes of the third. The two-goal cushion was plenty for goalie Natalie Stott. The former Williston standout nabbed 23 saves, including nine in the third period, en route to a shutout victory.

Amherst’s win streak now stands at nine and its overall record improves to 21-2-2.

The Mammoths will host the conference semifinals and finals next weekend. Fourth-ranked Hamilton will play Amherst in the conference semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m., with the other semifinal between Colby and Middlebury to follow. The title game at Orr Rink is set for Saturday at 4 p.m.

Amherst College men’s furious comeback attempt falls short

After falling behind 3-0 and 4-1, the No. 5 Mammoths rallied with two consecutive late third-period goals to strike within one with 1:15 remaining in the game.

Amherst fought and battled for an equalizer, but ultimately came up just shy in the NESCAC quarterfinals against No. 4 Hamilton on Saturday afternoon in Clinton, N.Y.

With the 4-3 win, Hamilton moves on to face No. 3 Tufts on March 2.

Amherst’s Tyler Bourque put a band-aid on the bleeding as he found the back of the net to put an end to Hamilton’s three unanswered goals that started the game. Bourque’s goal – which came with a little over a minute left in the second period – injected some momentum into the Mammoths heading into the third.

However, the opposition tacked on an early goal in the final frame and seized control again.

But Amherst wasn’t done, yet.

Josh Burke and Ryan Tucker tallied back-to-back goals and gave the Mammoths a chance to add a man-advantage game-tying goal after pulling goalie Alex Wisco. The Hamilton defense then buckled down and pulled away the win.

Amherst finished the season 14-10-1 including a 9-8-1 record in the NESCAC.