The No. 18 Minutemen and the No.6 Pride were locked at a first-period impasse with each team banking two goals apiece. It wasn’t until the second period when UMass broke away on the heels of a four-goal effort. Symptoms of a momentum shift flared in the third, but UMass staved off any threat of a Hofstra insurgency. UMass used a balance attack and moved the defense well leaving the backside open on more than one occasion. Hofstra out shot UMass 41-27, and UMass sophomore goalie Tim McCormack made 12 saves.
The game wasn’t as close as the score suggested; UMass dictated the tempo for the majority of the game. UMass played the better six-on-six offense. The only temporary lapse was in the third period when the UMass’ overly aggressive defense set up offensive opportunities for Hofstra. UMass somewhat underestimated Hofstra’s perimeter shooting concentrating more on the attackers in the hole freeing up the firepower of Kevin Ford leaving him with too much space topside for the two-step, quick release crank shot.
Hofstra took possession of the face-off at the opening whistle. Kevin Ford was first to take a crack at the whip shooting wide right of UMass goalie Tim McCormack. Ford took another look at the cage, but Minuteman Casey Rahn came up with the loose ball. Teammate Ryan Hantverk scored shooting lefty on the run off hip (1-0). Hofstra’s Brad Loizeaux leveled the score at one with a pass from Stephen Bentz (1-1). UMass’
Art Kell put up his 19th goal of the season drawing the short stick working the ISO from X and finishing with the inside roll off-hip shot (2-1). UMass’ Anthony Biscardi was called for slashing setting up the Hofstra EMO. Bentz took advantage of his defender ball-watching cutting to the hole receiving an assist from teammate Adrian Sorichetti (2-2).
UMass turned the tables in the second quarter taking all five balls at the face-off x. The Minutemen started to connect on offense playing the clock and possession. Dodgers seemed to have quicker first steps baiting the second slide more convincingly freeing up the backside and creating the mismatches. UMass went up 3-2 off a goal by Bobby Hayes off an assist from Will Manny. Hayes’ goal set off a flurry of UMass goals by teammates Biscardi, Hain, and Fleming. Biscardi went stick side high off a pass from Hantverk (4-2). Manny dodged hard to the hole freeing up Hain for the lane to goal (5-2). Fleming wrapped up the second period scoring going stick side hip off a pass from Manny (6-2).
The score was 5-5 in the third period. UMass opened up the quarter off a goal from Biscardi (7-2). Hofstra responded with a pair of EMO goals from Bentz and Ford (4-7). The Minutemen fired back with three goals, one from Liebel and two from Kell (10-4). Kell dangled his defender working the ISO inside and shooting righty overhand, opposite pipe giving UMass the six-point margin. Hofstra scored three goals with three minutes remaining in the quarter. Mike DeNapoli returned the ISO-favor shooting lefty off hip (5-10). Teammate Brad Loizeaux scored less than one minute later off a fee from Dan Stein (6-10). Ford ripped a lefty shot on the run going off side to bring the Pride within three (7-10), but UMass’Will Manny cut short any aspirations of a comeback with a goal with one second left in the period. Manny caught the goalie off guard with a Millon-like overhand move that was an off pace shot through the five hole. Hofstra would go on to score only two more goals in the fourth, and UMass would clench the win 11-9. UMass travels to Penn State next while Hofstra will host Army on the 30th.