By Staff Writer Thomas Griffin.
The Corsairs men’s hockey team quickly skated through its first week of play, racking up two losses so far along the way.
Their first game of the season – Tuesday, October 30th against the Fitchburg State Falcons – held immediate playoff implications from within MASCAC. The Falcons somewhat limped into this matchup after losing the own season opener. Despite the loss being out-of-conference, Fitchburg State is a powerful MASCAC rival.
The Corsairs started their season off with a 1-0 lead over the Falcons halfway through the first period. They struggled to hold that lead, allowing a Fitchburg State goal later in the period and going went the second tied at 1-1.
It was there in the second period that UMassD struggled to keep up with the Falcons. Despite a Corsair goal from Nicholas Short, UMassD let in three Fitchburg State goals throughout the period to find themselves down 4-2 in the second intermission.
The third period started with a resurgent Corsair offense tying up the score at 4-4, with goals from Connor Court and Brendan McDonough. For much of the rest of the period, the UMassD defense kept the Falcons away from scoring range.
That is until much later, with a minute and change left in regulation, where Fitchburg State snuck a fifth goal into the net, taking a late lead. The Corsairs tried in vain to empty their net and tie the game back up with another score but lost to the Falcons 5-4 at the end of regulation.
Flash forward to Thursday, November 1st. The Corsair hockey team is looking for a win to get them back on track, in both their season and in their MASCAC conference. Scheduled for a matchup against the 2-0 Assumption Greyhounds, the team’s work was cut out for them. If they wanted to pick up their first win of the season, they’d have to earn it against a very good team.
The first period of this game featured the most scoreboard action. After allowing the Greyhounds to score first, the Corsairs were granted two back-to-back power play opportunities stemming from Assumption penalties. Both allowed Brendan McDonough, the standout left wing, to score two goals and take the lead at 2-1. The remaining half of the first period continued without incident.
The second period was comparatively quiet. The only action of note was that, halfway through the period, the Greyhounds managed to score and tie the game up at 2-2. The two teams continued to exchange scoreless blows for the rest of the second period and the entirety of the third. Regulation ended in a tie. To decide a winner, the game needed overtime.
Up to this point, the UMassD hockey team had given it their all to beat an undefeated team. They had held the only lead of the game, and after the Greyhounds scored their second goal, they held the game at a tie for nearly half of regulation. Beating Assumption was very possible, and all they had to do was score one more.
Despite their best intentions to win, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty put the Corsairs on the short-handed end of a power play. The Greyhounds made quick use of this power play, and, after only two minutes of overtime, scored their third goal to take the lead, and the win, away from the Corsairs.
Looking forward, UMassD will have to wait for another chance to redeem themselves, as their next game is scheduled for Thursday, the 8th, against Salem State.