UMass Downs Rutgers 10-5
(Amherst, MA) The No. 9 Minutemen (10-4, 4-2 ECAC) outplayed visiting Rutgers 10-5 (5-9, 2-5 ECAC) with the calculated use of a strong and stingy defense, a balanced attack, and a dominant hand at the face-off x. Looking to secure their 17th NCAA appearance, the Minutemen, especially seniors Sean Morris, Jake Deane, and Jack Reid, all stepped up for the last regular-season game on Senior Day. Morris led the scoring assault with a hat trick an assist for the day.
UMass played a cleaner, smarter, and better game. The Minutemen out shot the Scarlet Knights 49-22, won it on the ground (34-14 ground balls and 14-19 face-offs), capitalized on 2-3 EMOs; and minimized their turnovers 15-6. Rutgers worked hard for five goals and the offense had a challenging day with the large and aggressive UMass defense.
UMass out scored Rutgers 5-0 in the first period off of 15 (to Rutgers’ two) shots. The Minutemen came out strong winning the first possession of the face-off x. Senior Clay Stabert (Lower Merion, NY) scored the first goal and his 14th of the season over a minute into regulation going righty low off the pipe (1-0). UMass won the ensuing face-off and got several good looks at the cage. RU and UMass traded possession for nearly eight minutes until Junior Brian Jacovina (Holy Trinity, NY) dished off to Pat Larmon (Desmet Jesuit, MO). UMass’ Larmon found the back of the net off a lefty overhand shot hitting upper 90 (2-0) at 4:58.
UMass won the face-off. Rutgers’ senior defender Dan Rauch (Marple Newtown, PA) was called :30 for pushing. Morris capitalized on man-up going low underhand off an assist from Larmon (3-0) at 4:04. Morris found the net again for his 25th goal of the season less than a minute later going lefty behind the back hitting low left pipe off an assist from Jacovina (4-0) at 3:34. Jacovina set up another play finding sophomore Fred Federico (Daniel Hand, CT). Federico clipped the lefty bouncer giving UMass a 5-0 lead going into the second period (:25).
Rutgers outscored UMass 2-1 in the second period while the Minutemen out shot RU 12-10. Rutgers scored at 11:33 with a low side-arm goal from senior Brett Mooney (Springfield, PA) off an assist from junior Chris Doctor (Skaneateles, NY). Morris responded less than 10 seconds later with a lefty top left rip (6-1). Junior Colin Checcio (Radnor, PA) scored his 12th goal of the season off an assist from senior Austin Rodgers (Loyola Blakefield, MD). Checcio found the back of the net with a lefty bouncer stick side (2-6) at 7:47.
UMass continued to press hard into the third period winning 3-1 off of 9-7 shots. Junior Andrew Recchione (Ramapo, NJ) scored his 16th goal of the season off an assist from Morris. Recchione’s EMO-goal came from Morris on X. Recchione took Havalchak with a righty overhand bouncer (7-2). Recchione scored his second goal of the game unassisted opting for the righty overhanded rip on the run nailing upper right (8-2). Colin Checcio responded with a goal for RU. Freshman Mike Dugan (Summit, NJ) passed from X to a Checcio in front. Checcio found the net with a lefty stick side shot (3-8). Freshman Tim Balise (Minnechaug Regional, MA) rounded out the third period scoring off a rebound off of the keeper’s chest at :53 (9-3).
A possible comeback for Rutgers started to look questionable as UMass continued to control the tempo of the game. Rutgers did work the ball and showed some good ball movement on their fourth goal, but each goal was taking too long to execute. Rutgers outscored UMass 2-1 in the final period off of three (to UMass’ 13) shots. Rutgers’ leading scorer Matt Gaines was held scoreless. Gaines did manage to assist senior John Manners’ third goal of the season. Rutgers worked the ball on motion and ran down EMO. Just as the two teams were even, Manners took Schneider with a lefty side arm shot going stick side high (4-9). Recchione notched a hat trick off an assist from sophomore Rory Pedrick (Saratoga, NY) at 7:23 (10-4). Scarlet Knight Jeff Rommel scored the last goal of the game. Rommel scored on a stick side bouncer while falling down (5-10) at 5:05. Both teams traded possession for the remainder of regulation. Final score UMass 10 Rutgers 5.
Massachusetts vs. Rutgers