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Goalie Kevin Boyle, UMass hockey out to stop Colgate

AMHERST — With Jeff Teglia struggling and Steve Mastalerz injured, sophomore Kevin Boyle would probably have been the University of Massachusetts hockey team’s No. 1 goalie by default.

But as the Minutemen get set to host Colgate Friday and Saturday (both at 7 p.m.), Boyle is playing like a No. 1 goalie regardless of the competition.

Boyle is 5-3-2 and his 1.67 goals against average leads Hockey East and is sixth in the country. His .936 save percentage is second in the conference and tied for eighth nationally.

Boyle, who was up and down as a freshman, has found consistency as a sophomore.

“I’m definitely a lot more comfortable. Confidence is a big thing when you’re a goalie. I worked real hard in the offseason. The experience from last year helped out. It’s going well so far,” Boyle said. “Getting the minutes and the playing time definitely builds up your confidence.”

Minuteman coach John Micheletto has been impressed.

“He’s done a good job being consistent. His play, not only in games, but in practices, has been really good. He’s embraced the idea that in order to be a consistent goalie he has to do that six days a week, not just when he’s been called upon to play,” Micheletto said. “His practice habits and his attention to detail has been better. I’d like to think he’s seen a connection between that and his more consistent play in the games.”

Micheletto said despite Boyle’s strong start, he’s got to keep playing well to continue to earn starts.

“He’s got to continue to perform, but he gets the bump of that added positive evaluation. That certainly plays a factor in the decision going forward. His play in practice has warranted him being the guy as well,” Micheletto said. “I don’t think that will ever change. Practice matters for all our guys. But if you play on Friday or Saturday and have a good game, that’s going to add to your value moving into the following week.”

Mastalerz, who started the second and third games of the season, is battling an upper body injury.

“He’s skated some introductory drills and warmup drills for us,” Micheletto said. “He’s skated on his own. But he’s still day to day.”

Colgate (7-7-2, 3-4-1 ECAC) arrives at the Mullins Center 3-1-1 over its last five games. The Raiders lost to St. Lawrence last Friday and edged Clarkson in overtime Saturday.

Senior Robbie Bourdon (six goals, seven assists) and freshman Taylor Spink (four goals, nine assists) lead Colgate in scoring just ahead of sophomore defenseman Spiro Goulakos (six goals, six assists).

Junior Erik Mihalik and freshman Spencer Finney have split time in goal. Mihalik is 4-4-1 with an .886 save percentage and a 3.09 goals against average. Finney is 3-3-1 with a .913 save percentage and a 1.93 GAA.

The weekend starts a stretch of three games in five days, including Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game at Yale. Afterwards, UMass will get 18 days off for Christmas before returning to face Bemidji State in the first game of the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Dartmouth, N.H.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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