JERREY ROBERTS Branden Gracel, center, of the University of Massachusetts, celebrates his goal against Boston College in the first period with Ben Gallacher, left, and Shane Walsh Thursday at the Mullins Center.
AMHERST — It looked as if Troy Power had tied the game.
Trailing by a goal with 16 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the third period Thursday, the University of Massachusetts broke out of its own end on a man advantage. Steven Iacobellis carried the puck over the blue line and found Power streaking down the right side. Power, who admittedly thought he had a good step on the play, received the pass and faked to his forehand before dragging the puck to his backhand and burying it behind Boston College goaltender Brian Billett.
While the Mullins Center erupted, BC coach Jerry York wasn’t sold.
York, after conferring with several members on his bench, called a timeout and requested that the officials review the play to determine whether Power was offside. Following a lengthy review, the officials disallowed the goal and ruled Power offside.
BC defended the lead for the rest of the game and skated away with a 2-1 victory.
“We will certainly explore any options,” Minutemen coach John Micheletto said regarding the ruling. “As I was told, there was a decision made on the ice. I have not been able to hear back from the league office or the director of officials. So any questions about that call or the impact on the game should be directed to them.”
The official NCAA hockey rulebook has multiple rules for video replay. Rule 93.1 states that replay can be used in any game. Rule 93.4 falls under tournament competition: “During NCAA competition that is televised and where a video replay official is in use, game officials may use replay to correct an error on calling an offside or too many players on the ice that directly leads to a goal.”
Power said this was the first time this type of outcome has happened to him.
“It’s obviously frustrating,” Power said. “I don’t know what the exact rule is. Some guys were saying maybe you could only call that in the NCAA tournament. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong.”
The call overshadowed the play of UMass freshman goaltender Mac Haight, who made his first collegiate start in place of injured goaltender Steve Mastalerz. Haight (31 saves) attacked pucks and controlled rebounds against an Eagles offense that averaged five goals a game coming in.
“I thought I handled myself pretty well,” Haight said. “I was pretty nervous, if you could imagine, but it helped having 19 other players out there with me blocking shots, sticks in lanes. They did everything for me. They battled so hard.”
UMass (3-7-1, 1-4-1 Hockey East) opened the scoring on Branden Gracel’s fourth goal of the season, 18:12 into the first period. Gracel capitalized on a rebound that kicked directly to him off a shot from Shane Walsh.
BC (7-2-1, 4-0-0) struck twice in the second period with the equalizing goal coming on a one-timer from Johnny Gaudreau 9:25 into the period. Gaudreau beat Haight glove side for his 10th goal of the season. Just four minutes later, Kevin Hayes put the Eagles ahead on the power play, using advantageous positioning to put back a shot that ricocheted off the post.
Micheletto said he was pleased with his team’s response following last Saturday’s 9-0 loss to New Hampshire and didn’t believe the controversial offside ruling would affect the club.
“We’re not deterred emotionally despite obstacles” he said. “It was a great effort from our guys.”
The teams play again at 7 p.m. Friday in Boston.