Late Goal Sinks Hockey
UMass scores with 9.9 seconds to play to top Spartans, 4-3.
With UMass leading 2-1 after the first period, the Spartans crawled back with a mid-second period goal by Berry and then a tally from Michael Ferrantino just 52 seconds into the third to take a 3-2 lead. The MSU advantage held until Iacobellis scored his second goal of the night with 4:32 to play to tie the game.
A contact-to-the-head major penalty to Justin Hoomaian with 3:49 to play gave the Minutemen a power play for the remainder of the game. It looked as though the Spartans might push the game to overtime, but the puck found Lee's stick to the left of Jake Hildebrand, who beat the goaltender up high for the winning goal in the waning seconds.
"I thought we got what we earned," Spartan head coach Tom Anastos said. "I didn't think we were ready to start the game. We knew they would come at us hard and we didn't match that intensity, so I was disappointed in that.
"It's an opportunity for us to learn some valuable lessons. There was a lot to learn this weekend, both good and not so good."
With the game scoreless late in the first period, the teams combined for three goals in a 2:17 span. Iacobellis scored his first of the game at the 15:10 mark, but Berry answered just 1:20 later when he snapped a shot past UMass goaltender Henry Dill from the left circle.
The tie lasted less than a minute as a turnover inside the Spartan zone helped UMass quickly reclaim the lead when Jake Horton took a pass on the doorstep of the crease and tucked it in.
Berry tied the game at the 8:44 mark of the second period when the puck took an awkward few hops on a routine dump-in and slipped between the pads of Dill and into the net. Berry sent the puck into the UMass zone from center ice and was nearly off the ice on a line change when the puck bounced toward the net and skidded in.
The Spartans took their first lead 52 seconds into the third period when the Berry-Michael Ferrantino-Mackenzie MacEachern line teamed up on a nice play that started in the Spartan neutral zone. MacEachern took the puck from Berry and upon entering the UMass zone, slid a perfect cross-ice pass to Ferrantino on the right side, who beat Dill with a wrist shot under the crossbar.
"I thought that line created some good scoring opportunities and had a lot of possession," Anastos said. "They're good forecheckers and it looks like they have something good going."
The Spartans finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play, while UMass went 1-for-5.
MSU outshot the Minutemen, 31-28.
The Spartans will take on a pair of Hockey East opponents next weekend when they travel to Boston University on Friday and then UMass-Lowell on Saturday.