By Mike McMahon
---- — AMHERST — Despite last night’s 3-0 loss to UMass, Merrimack College head coach Mark Dennehy felt as if there were plenty of positives for the Warriors to bring into next week’s Hockey East playoffs.
Last night Steve Mastalerz was the story. The sophomore from North Andover stopped all 24 shots he faced.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Dennehy said.
“We just couldn’t score. I liked how we played, though. I thought we played much better than (Friday night) for sure. I don’t care what (the stat sheet) says, we had a lot more shots than that. I like how we played.”
The Warriors beat the Minutemen, 4-3, in overtime on Friday.
The Warriors struggled to score last night but Dennehy pointed to his teams forechecking and offensive chances.
“We’ve been more aggressive on our forecheck,” Dennehy said.
“But, in order to do that, guys need to work just as hard coming back or else you give up numbers. That’s where we got into trouble (Friday). We just weren’t working hard enough coming back.
:We weren’t stopping on pucks and we weren’t as disciplined. We worked a lot harder tonight, our power play was a lot better. We had plenty of looks and at the end of the day, we just couldn’t put it by their goaltender.”
The Warriors finished sixth in Hockey East and will travel to Boston University next week for the league’s best-of-3 quarterfinal series at Agganis Arena.
All three games will be at BU.
The Warriors are 0-3 against the Terriers this season.
“We’re 0-0-0 now,” Dennehy said. “It’s a new season. Now we’ll see whether we’ll be a below-.500 team or will we be an above-.500 team? That’s the challenge for us. It’s a clean slate, we need to take the positives from the entire season and move on.”
Lowell wins Hockey East
UMass Lowell, by beating Providence last night, won the Hockey East regular-season title.
The River Hawks become the first team outside of the “Big 4” (BC, BU, UNH and Maine) to win the regular-season title. The River Hawks will most Maine in the first round at the Tsongas Center.
agateHed:UMass 3, Merrimack 0
agateText:at Mullins Center
Merrimack (15-15-6, 13-11-3 HE): 0-0-0—0
Massachusetts (12-19-3, 9-16-2 HE): 2-1-0—3
agateText:First Period: 1. UMA Adam Phillips 6 (Rocco Carzo, Conor Allen), pp, 5:08; 2. UMA Conor Sheary 11 (Branden Gracel, Adam Phillips), ev, 17:42.
agateText:Second Period: 3. UMA Colin Shea 3 (Kevin Czepiel, Conor Allen), ev, 13:02.
agateText:Shots: Merrimack 8-6-10--24; UMass 9-10-14--33
agateText:Goalies: MC Marotta 33 shots, 30 saves; UMA Mastalerz 24 shots, 24 saves
agateText:Power Play: Merrimack 0 for 6; UMass 1 for 6
agateText:Penalties: Merrimack 7-14; UMass 8-27
agateText:Faceoffs: 36-29 UMass