UMass hockey holds on in 3-2 win over Army West Point Friday night at Mullins Center

By Nick Souza

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(Alex Tang/Daily Collegian)

 

Almost two weeks ago, the Massachusetts hockey team opened its season against Colorado College and gave up the three goals in the first seven minutes during its first loss of the season. It was a different story Friday night against Army West Point as UMass held the Black Knights to just one shot in the first period en route to a 3-2 victory.

Coming onto the ice for the third period the Minutemen (2-1-0) held a 3-0 lead, but three penalties in the first four minutes kept Army on a 5-on-3 advantage. The Black Knights then cut the lead down to one with back-to-back short-handed goals from Zach Evancho and Clint Carlisle.

The Minutemen proceeded to defend and hold on to a one-goal lead for the final 15 minutes of the third to close out the win.

“I didn’t really say much,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “A lot of it was the guys on the bench saying the right things, staying calm and collected.”

The only goals given up by freshman goaltender Ryan Wischow came in the first five minutes of the third period, who finished the night with 23 saves.

“It’s tough we you get a few (penalties) back-to-back,” Wischow said. “Your legs start to burn a little bit, but you just got to try and see through the lanes that’s the toughest thing in college hockey because there are so many screens and you got to find the puck and it’s something I need to work on.”

The Minutemen had a similar opening to the second period with two penalties in the first 10 seconds, which gave Army its first chance to take momentum away from UMass.

However, Wischow was successfully in turning away all 13 shots the Black Knights took during the period, including one that bounced off the left post.

In contrast, the Minutemen on the power play came up empty despite having 13 shoots on 10 opportunities.

“I think 5-on-5 we played very well,” Carvel said. “ Our special teams to me are our weak point right now. We got to get our power play creating more scoring chances, or at the very least scoring on the shots we’re taking.”

All three goals for UMass came at even strength with the first coming from freshman Griff Jeszka – his second goal in three games – at eight minutes, 29 seconds into the first period.

UMass closed out a strong first period with its second goal by junior Patrick Lee, his first of the season, coming just 40 seconds before the end of the period.

“The concern heading in was that we didn’t start like we did the last game, and that we respected their opponent,” Carvel said. “I thought we did a good job of that tonight and to out shot them 13 to one is a real good sign. I thought our team played well until we had to start killing penalties.”

After surviving the initial two minutes of the second period short handed, freshman Niko Hildenbrand scored what proved to be a game-winner, putting the Minutemen up 3-0.

Junior assistant captain Dominic Trento continued his strong start to the season assisting on two of the three goals scored by UMass giving him four in the first three games.

“I thought we were getting to the net really well today,” Trento said. “We did have a few more shots than in previous games, but I think just getting to the net was the key to scoring some goals.”

UMass will face No. 4 Quinnipiac on Tuesday for its first road game of the season with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

Nick Souza can be reached at [email protected] and followed @nicksouza27.