Wellman nets hat trick as UMass beats No. 18 UVM
Behind a second-period hat trick by Casey Wellman and five assists by James Marcou, the Massachusetts hockey team overcame two deficits at Vermont to come out with a 6-2 win on Tuesday night.
After the Minutemen (9-2-0, 5-2-0 Hockey East) fell behind 1-0 three minutes, six seconds into the second period after a goal by Vermont’s (4-5-1, 3-4-1 HEA) David Pacan, Wellman went on a tear and scored three goals in a period of 6:25. The three goals were Wellman’s seventh, eighth and ninth on the season and were all assisted by junior James Marcou.
“They got the first goal, and I think that affected us in becoming a little bit more thorough and staying within ourselves,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “Then obviously the special teams took over, and that was the difference when [Marcou] and Wellman put on a show.”
Wellman scored the first goal of his hat trick while No. 10 UMass was on the power play after the No. 18 Catamounts’ Sebastian Stalberg was called for hooking. With two seconds remaining on the power-play opportunity, Wellman received a pass from Marcou to tie the contest at one, 8:42 into the second period.
Vermont regained the lead just over one minute later after Pacan found Brian Roloff, who would beat UMass’ Paul Dainton (27 saves) for his third goal of the season.
The lead would last until the 13:27 mark in the middle period when Marcou found Wellman again for an even-strength goal to tie the game at two.
One minute and a half later, the two would connect for the third time in the period to give the Minutemen a lead they would keep. The goal came while UMass was on a 5-to-3 man advantage for its second power-play goal of game. The Minutemen finished 3-for-6 on the power play on the night, while stopping all four of Vermont’s power-play chances, making UMass 21-for-22 in their last 22 penalty-kill chances.
“I like the fact that we still executed pretty well in some areas, special teams in particular, and I think that was the difference in the game tonight,” Cahoon said.
Before the period was over, UMass extended its lead to two with its third power-play goal of the game on Rocco Carzo’s third goal of the season. Will Ortiz and Marcou would be credited with the assists on the goal, giving Marcou four in the second period.
UMass added two more in the third period when Marcou and Wellman assisted Justin Braun 5:51 into the period for a 4-on-4 goal. The assist was the fifth of the game for Marcou – and 17th of the season – setting a new career high for the senior and giving Marcou his 100th point for UMass. The five points also tied the forward with Minnesota’s Jack Connoly as the top point scorer in the nation.
Danny Hobbs put in the Minutemen’s final score of the game, with both teams at full strength and 7:55 remaining in the game. Brett Watson and Marc Concannon assisted Hobbs on his second goal on the night.
The first period was quiet in comparison to the last two, with zero goals being scored and only one penalty called, a holding call on UMass’ Brian Keane. In the final two periods, nine penalties were called, six on the Catamounts and three more on the Minutemen.
The loss was the Catamounts’ first at home this season. UMass gained its third victory in three tries over ranked opponents this year. The Minutemen defeated then-No. 2 Boston University on Oct. 16 and won in overtime at then-No. 9 Yale last Thursday.
The 9-2-0 start for the Minutemen is the best in the school’s history since joining Division I.
UMass concludes its three-game road trip Saturday at 3 p.m. at Quinnipiac before returning home to face Boston College on the following Friday.
Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at email@example.com.