AMHERST, Mass. — UMass and Providence battled to a 3-3 tie on Saturday night at the Mullins Center with both teams tallying goals in the final 1:06 of play. Freshman Michael Lecomte put UMass ahead by one at the 1:06 mark, and it looked like UMass would get the win.
Trailing by one, Providence lifted junior goalie Chris Mannix for the final minute in favor of an extra attacker, and the strategy paid off as Taormina batted the puck out of mid-air from right in front of the net, past UMass freshman goalie Paul Dainton with just six seconds to play.
Senior Matt Burto stole the puck from a Providence defender right after a face-off in the Providence zone, and fed the puck to Lecomte for UMass’ third goal of the game. The goal came on the power play and was Lecomte’s first career collegiate goal.
The Minutemen were on the short-end of a controversial no-goal call for the second consecutive night. P.J. Fenton had a breakaway and shot the puck between Mannix’s legs; the puck eventually squirted through with eight minutes remaining in the third period. However, the goal was waved off since Fenton crashed into Mannix, dislodging the net.
The teams had already exchanged goals earlier in the period. Sophomore Will Ortiz deflected a blue line shot from senior Mike Kostka to put UMass ahead 2-1 at the 5:53 mark. Providence responded less than two minutes later with a goal from junior Kyle Laughlin.
Providence scored the first goal of the game at the 14:28 mark in the second period on the power play from junior Pierce Norton.
However, UMass evened the game at one though with just 1:10 remaining in the period when Brian Keane tipped a shot from Mike Kostka past Mannix.
The Minutemen are now 2-2-2 overall and 0-1-2 in Hockey East, while Providence moves to 1-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 in conference play.