Notre Dame hockey: Late UMass goal sinks Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND -- After his team earned what he called an “ugly win” Friday night against Massachusetts, Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson had a different adjective for Saturday’s effort.
“Disappointing,” Jackson said after his 13th-ranked Fighting Irish lost, 3-2, to the Minutemen.
Adam Phillips, younger brother of former Irish goaltender Brad Phillips, scored a power play goal with 2:47 to play to give UMass a split in the Hockey East series at Compton Family Ice Arena.
Irish captain Jeff Costello took a whack at a loose puck and was whistled for a slash on UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz with 4:18 to play, and he was not happy about the call as he headed to the box. With 29 seconds left on the power play, Phillips rifled the puck past Irish goalie Steven Summerhays for the winner.
“Apparently I hit the goalie and the ref called the penalty,” Costello said. “I was upset. I didn’t see the goalie go down, or anything, I was still focused on the puck and where it was. The ref saw what he saw and made that judgment call, and I ended up hurting the team there.”
Massachusetts (4-11-2, 2-7-2) snapped a four-game losing streak and earned its first road victory of the season. Mastalerz finished with 33 saves.
Notre Dame (10-7-1, 3-4-1) closed out the first half of its season by going 2-4 over its last six games. The Irish don’t play again until they face No. 9 Boston College at Fenway Park on Jan. 4.
Notre Dame took the first game, 5-3 on Friday night, despite giving up 39 shots on goal and eight UMass power plays. The Irish controlled much of Saturday’s contest, outshooting the Minutemen 35-22, but went 0-for-5 on the power play, and allowed two UMass power play goals.
“I thought we played a lot better tonight and lost,” Jackson said. “The difference in the game was special teams, basically. They capitalized on the power play, we didn’t.”
None of the three UMass goals were on particularly hard shots, but Summerhays struggled to get a bead on them after making 36 saves the night before. The final goal came on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that found its way under the senior goaltender.
“It wasn’t a good goal,” Jackson said. “All three goals were similar.”
The Irish outshot UMass 15-6 in the first period and controlled the play much better at the outset. But despite several good scoring chances and near-misses in front of the Minutemen net, Notre Dame could convert only one into a goal when Sam Herr redirected an Andy Ryan shot 3:16 into the game.
“It’s not a matter of how pretty it is, it’s about getting pucks to the net,” Jackson said. “We missed the net a fair bit, especially early in the game.”
UMass got the tying goal eight minutes later when Branden Gracel’s long shot from the right point got past a screened Summerhays.
Notre Dame was not whistled for a penalty in the first period, but its first of the game early in the second resulted in the first UMass lead of the weekend. Joel Hanley sent a bouncing puck on the Irish net that banged off a post and in, 2:27 into the period.
The Irish got the equalizer with 1:22 left in the second. Vince Hinostroza stole the puck along the right wing boards and found Mario Lucia coming up the slot, and Lucia snapped it in for his team-best ninth goal of the season.
Notre Dame had its chances all game, including two big ones in the third period, but couldn’t convert. Costello had a shorthanded breakaway try poked away by Mastalerz five minutes in, and Austin Wuthrich’s wide open shot from between the circles halfway through the period went over the UMass cage.
“That was one of the better games that we played in this last stretch here,” Costello said. “Obviously, it’s frustrating to lose and give a goal up that late in the game. Everyone battled tonight, and it came down to me making a stupid play at the end of the game.”
At Compton Family Ice Arena
ND - Sam Herr, 8 (Andy Ryan, David Gerths) 3:16; UM - Branden Gracel, 7 (Conor Sheary, Mike Busillo) 11:18. Shots on goal: ND 15, UM 6; Penalties: UM 3-6, ND 0-0.
UM - Joel Hanley, 2 (Ray Pigozzi, Troy Power) PP, 2:27; ND - Mario Lucia, 9 (Vince Hinostroza) 18:28. Shots: ND 13, UM 9; Penalties: ND 3-6, UM 2-4.
UM - Adam Phillips, 3 (Hanley, Pigozzi) PP, 17:13. Shots: UM 8, ND 7; Penalties: ND 4-8, UM 2-4.
|Massachusetts||1||1||1 — 3|
|Notre Dame||1||1||0 — 2|
Shots: ND 35, UM 22; Saves: UM 33 (Steve Mastalerz), ND 19 (Steven Summerhays); Power plays: UM 2-7, ND 0-5; Penalties: ND 7-14, UM 7-14; Attendance: 5,009.