FINAL: UMass 5, Sacred Heart 2

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian

Dennis Kravchenko completed a hat trick with two goals in the third period and Dominic Trento tallied an additional goal to lead the Massachusetts hockey team to a 5-2 victory over Sacred Heart in its home opener Friday night at the Mullins Center.

Entering the final period tied 2-2, Kravchenko opened the frame’s scoring with a hard slapshot from point-blank range that got past Pioneers goalie Brett Magnus to give the Minutemen the lead and provide him with his second goal of the game. The sophomore, coming off a 34-point season last year, later tallied his third goal with an empty netter after speeding past the blue line into Sacred Heart’s defensive zone.

In between Kravchenko’s tallies, Trento put one home on a scrum in front of the net to give UMass the two-goal advantage and set up the empty net situation.

Kravchenko’s hat trick was the team’s second of the season, following freshman Austin Plevy’s three-goal performance in his debut last Friday against Colorado College.

Kravchenko finished with four points while Plevy and Steven Iacobellis each added two with two assists each.

With the win, the Minutemen move to 3-0 for the season. They next take on New Hampshire at home in their Hockey East opener.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

END 2: UMass 2, Sacred Heart 2

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Neither team could take control in the second period in Friday matchup between the Massachusetts hockey team and Sacred Heart. Both sides scored a goal apiece to keep the score deadlocked at 2-2 going into the final intermission.

UMass’ returning points leader Dennis Kravchenko scored his second goal of the season to give the Minutemen a momentary 2-1 lead six minutes, eight seconds into the second period. Much like UMass’ first goal of the game off the stick of Keith Burchett, Kravchenko took advantage of a loose puck deep in the Pioneers’ defensive zone.

Freshman Austin Plevy, who had five points last weekend, assisted on the power play goal along with Steven Iacobellis (second of the game). Both Plevy and Kravchenko now have a three-game point streak to open the 2015-16 season.

Sacred Heart responded nine minutes later, however, as Kory Kennedy notched his second goal of the game on a shot in between the legs of UMass goalie Henry Dill. The two goals are Kennedy’s first two points of the season.

UMass was outshot 16-to-9 in the second period and now trail 27-to-7 in overall shots through the first two frames. The Minutemen will open the third period with 17 seconds left on the power play following Pioneers forward Jeff Carroll’s late elbowing penalty.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

END 1: UMass 1, Sacred Heart 1

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team returned to the Mullins Center Friday night for its 2015 home opener against Sacred Heart, following a pair of victories in Colorado Springs last weekend against Colorado College.

After one period of play, the Minutemen and Pioneers are knotted at 1-1 following goals from Sacred Heart’s Kory Kennedy and UMass’ Keith Burchett.

Burchett ties it up

UMass was outplayed in the first half of the opening frame, getting outshot and seeing very few opportunities on the attack. That culminated with Kennedy’s goal at the 10:05 mark to hand the Pioneers an early lead.

However, the Minutemen battled back and applied increased pressure on Sacred Heart’s backline in the latter half, and Burchett finished on his opportunity on a loose puck near Pioneers goalie Brett Magnus. Burchett tipped it past Magnus off assists from Shane Walsh and Steven Iacobellis to equalize the score with under three minutes left in the first period.

The goal was followed by another near-goal with the trio of Patrick Lee, Ray Pigozzi and Shane Walsh on the ice.

Despite a slow start, UMass was only outshot 11-to-8 over the first 20 minutes.

Dill back in net

Sophomore goalie Henry Dill returned to the starting lineup in net for the Minutemen in the opening period Friday after sitting in favor of Nic Renyard in the Minutemen’s second game of the weekend last Saturday.

Dill recorded 10 saves in Friday’s first frame and allowed one goal.

Dill and Renyard will continue to battle for playing time in the early portion of the season. Both played well in their starts against Colorado College.

Early penalties

Friday’s matchup started with three penalties in the first period, despite no power play goals.

UMass’ Dominic Trento (elbowing) and Sacred Heart’s David Iacono (slashing) and Jordan Minello (hooking) all spent time in the penalty box. The Minutemen finished 0-for-2 with the man advantage while the Pioneers failed to convert on their only chance.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

UMass rallies for 4-3 win

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Trailing Colorado College 3-0 entering the third period, UMass scored four unanswered goals to stun the Tigers Saturday night at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

It was the second win of the year for the Minutemen (2-0), as they completed a two-game sweep of their first series of the year.

Colorado College (0-2) scored three times in the second period to put UMass in a serious hole. Trey Bradley, David Radke and Teemu Kivihalme each scored for the Tigers, and they seemed to be on their way to their first victory of the season.

But the third period was not analogous at all. The Minutemen came out like a different team and quickly got to work erasing the three-goal deficit. Shane Walsh scored just 26 seconds into the period to get UMass on the board, and captain Steven Iacobellis added another tally under two minutes later on the power play. At that point, the Minutemen had Colorado College on its heels, and just 18 seconds after Iacobellis’ goal, Walsh scored again to tie the game 3-3.

The Tigers stormed back and put heavy pressure on UMass after the game was tied. But freshman Nic Renyard, making his first collegiate start, turned away several tantalizing chances on his way to a 45-save night.

At 16 minutes, 53 seconds of the third period, Austin Plevy scored his fourth goal of the year to put the Minutemen ahead. The play was reviewed but ultimately upheld, and UMass led 4-3.

Colorado College pulled its goalie, but was not able to land any shots on goal as Mark Hetnik blocked three shots in the final one minute, 20 seconds of the game to help preserve the win.

It was the first collegiate win for Renyard, who made his UMass debut Saturday. Senior captain Iacobellis scored his first goal of the year, while Walsh scored his first and second after leading all returning scorers last year with 14.

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at and followed on Twitter @RossGien

By ross gienieczko Posted in Misc.

END OF 3: UMass 4 , Dalhousie 0

Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian

Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team will head into the regular season on a high after a 4-0 exhibition victory over Dalhousie Saturday night.

Goals from freshmen Austin Plevy and Ryan Badger, junior Steven Iacobellis and sophomore Keith Burchett gave the Minutemen the comfortable win, with three of the four tallies coming in the first two periods of play.

Freshmen defensemen Ivan Chukarov and Callum Fryer each recorded two assists, with Plevy and Iacobellis each adding a helper of their own.

All three goalies (Nic Renyard, Henry Dill and Alex Wakaluk) played a period in net, combining for the shutout and making several key saves along the way, including three breakaways.

UMass will play its first game of the regular season next Friday when it heads to Colorado College. Puck drop is set for 9:37 p.m.

END OF 2: UMass 3, Dalhousie 0

Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian

Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian

After two periods, the Massachusetts hockey team leads Dalhousie 3-0 on goals from Steven Iacobellis and Keith Burchett.

With 14:44 left in the period Iacobellis was able to double the Minutemen’s lead, pouncing on a loose puck following a shot by Callum Fryer. The lead was extended to three when Austin Plevy set up Burchett with a slick pass for the easy goal. Ivan Chukarov also recorded an assist, giving him two on the night.

For the second straight period, the Tigers found themselves with another breakaway opportunity, but were denied once again, this time by Henry Dill who started the period between the pipes. Dalhousie also hit the pipe with 12 minutes to go.

The Tigers outshot UMass 12-10, and hold a 20-19 advantage after two periods of play.

END OF 1: UMass 1, Dalhousie 0

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team leads Dalhousie 1-0 after the first period of its exhibition matchup. Freshman Austin Plevy has the lone goal for the Minutemen, scoring with 10:13 left in the opening period. It was his first career goal for UMass, and was assisted by fellow freshman Ivan Chukarov and junior captain Steven Iacobellis.

Freshman goaltender Nic Renyard made eight saves, denying two breakaways to keep the Tigers off the board.

Maddison Smiley and Ray Pigozzi were each sent to the penalty box, but the Minutemen were able to kill off both penalties.

UMass has a 9-8 advantage in shots, and will look to add to their one-goal lead with the second period expected to begin shortly.