UMass soaks in Frozen Fenway despite 5-3 loss to Boston University

  • UMass gathers in front of its bench during its Frozen Fenway game against Boston University, Sunday in Boston. UMass lost 5-3. THOM KENDALL FOR UMASS ATHLETICS

  • UMass and Boston University drop the puck during their Frozen Fenway hockey game, Sunday in Boston. UMass lost 5-3. COURTESY STEVE BABINEAU/UMass

  • Ray Pigozzi, front left, and Steven Iacobellis celebrate their goal and assist, respectively, with the UMass bench during its Frozen Fenway hockey game against Boston University, in Boston Sunday. UMass lost 5-3. THOM KENDALL FOR UMASS ATHLETICS

For the Gazette
Published: 1/8/2017 7:52:22 PM

BOSTON — Greg Carvel called his team over to the bench during a third-period timeout Sunday.

“Many times on the bench I had to stop to soak it all in,” Carvel said. “I told the team to do the same thing because this was awesome.”

Playing in the shadow of the green monster in one of baseball’s most iconic parks didn’t seem to faze the UMass hockey team.

But the big red monster that is Boston University was another matter.

UMass played a solid game, but No. 5 Boston University avoided an upset and the Terriers went on to beat the stubborn Minutemen, 5-3, Sunday afternoon at Frozen Fenway.

UMass stayed true to its roots — the school used to play hockey on the campus pond — and served notice this was not going to be a cakewalk for the favored Terriers. The Minutemen, fresh off a surprising 3-0 setback to American International College, played well and made the Terriers earn everything.

“This was an intense battle,” Carvel said. “Our guys played hard, but this was pond hockey — a different game because of the ice and BU did a better job of getting pucks to the net.”

UMass skated well, played physical at times and carried the play. But it fell into a 3-0 hole largely because it could not cash in on its five power plays.

UMass cut the lead to 3-1 late in the second period on a goal by Griff Jeszka. Later, a short-handed goal by Ray Pigozzi with 11 minutes, 39 seconds remaining gave the Minutemen life down 3-2.

But BU sealed the win with 4:21 left on a goal by Chad Krys to provide the Terriers with a two-goal advantage. Then, just 48 seconds later, Gabriel Chabot struck for a 5-2 edge.

Steven Iacobellis closed the scoring with 52 seconds remaining after the Minutemen pulled goalie Ryan Wischow (24 saves). But the two-goal margin stood.

Iacobellis saw his first major league baseball game at Fenway Park and was thrilled to play there.

“It was pond hockey,” he said. “But it was so cool and one of the best experiences I’ve been a part of.”

Carvel felt the same way.

“I’ve seen the Stanley Cup roll into a rink and this ranks right up there with that,” Carvel said.

The sun looked like it could pose an early problem before the rink was finally covered by a shadow 15 minutes after the puck dropped. The 1:30 p.m. start was by design following a study by the Red Sox, who determined an earlier start time would be harmful to the goaltenders.

“The sun never was a factor,” Carvel said.

Pigozzi, who grew up in the Chicago area and has been to Wrigley Field, was happy to be in another storied ballpark.

“This was pretty surreal,” said Pigozzi.

Staying close to the Terriers for most of the game was hardly a consolation for the Minutemen (5-15-2), who played better than their record indicates.

UMass just doesn’t have the firepower Boston University possesses.

Among them is Jakob Forsbacca Karlsson, who scored a pair of goals and was named the game’s first star.

Highly regarded Boston Bruins’ prospect Charlie McAvoy, who won gold with Team USA at the World Junior Championships, added a power-play goal at 13:52 of the second period to provide the Terriers with a 3-0 lead,

BU outshot UMass, 30-29.

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