College Hockey: UNH's late, late show ends with a point
DURHAM - Massachusetts senior forward Eddie Olczyk scored a late goal to give Massachusetts a lead over No. 5-ranked New Hampshire.
UNH senior forward John Henrion scored one even later to tie it again.
Olcyzyk's fourth career goal made it 2-1 with 1:05 left in the third period.
The Wildcats pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and Henrion sent it to overtime with a shot off a rebound with 3.7 seconds left.
A wild ending with great chances on both sides decided nothing and Friday night's clash in front 4,805 at the Whittemore Center ended 2-2.
"Eric Knodel had a great shot on the ice and the goalie actually made a nice save on it but the rebound came right out to me," Henrion said. "I kind of dove at it and took a swing. Just barely made it in, but we'll take it."
The teams go back at it again tonight in the Whitt at 7 p.m.
"The point we got tonight was huge," Knodel said. "We couldn't take a loss there."
The pressure is on tonight.
"It's a big two points out there tomorrow," said UNH coach Dick Umile. "That's for sure."
UNH is 17-8-6 overall and 12-7-5 in Hockey East and slipped out of a tie for the league lead.
The Wildcats went into the night locked in a four-way tie with Boston College, UMass-Lowell and Providence. BC and UMass-Lowell won their Friday night games and remain tied for the top spot.
UNH is in third place, a point behind the top two teams. Providence and Boston University are tied for fourth.
UMass is now 11-17-3 overall and 8-14-2 in Hockey East.
The Minutemen went into the night holding down the eighth and final league playoff spot by a point over Maine. Maine beat Northeastern, 3-1, on Friday night leaving UMass and the Black Bears tied for eighth.
The Minutemen killed off three power plays in the third period, including 1:21 of a UNH two-man advantage early in the period.
Sophomore Steve Mastalerz made his fourth start in the last five games and made 32 saves.
He smothered a shot from John Henrion in the slot with 5:25 left in the third period to keep it 1-1.
Then he stuffed UNH's leading scorer, Kevin Goumas, on a breakaway with 2:50 left in overtime and Casey Thrush when he shot on a two-on-one with 15 seconds to go.
Casey DeSmith stopped 35 shots for UNH and also had some highlight-film saves, including a series with 1:20 left in overtime.
"There was some great goaltending by both goalies," Umile said. "It was a battle of goalies."
Umass Junior forward Michael Pereira knocked in the rebound of a Conor Sheary shot for the only goal of the first period with 7:41 left.
Mastalerz stopped all 15 shots he saw in the first period and caught a break late in the frame when a Kevin Goumas shot on a rebound with just over a minute left went off the inside of the post and bounced away.
UNH sophomore Matt Willows got the goal back when he deflected a Knodel shot from out front into the net for a power play score with 9:16 left in the second period.
Through two periods, the game mirrored the contest the teams played in Amherst on Nov. 2.
UNH scored in the first period in that game, UMass in the second. The Minutemen ended up winning it on a Darren Rowe goal 3:08 into overtime. It was the only game UNH lost in the first two months of the season.