Wischow wills UMass hockey to 2-1 win over Quinnipiac

By Ryan Ames

(Caroline O’Connor/Daily Collegian)

HAMDEN— The Massachusetts hockey team beat Quinnipiac 2-1 Friday night to secure its sixth win of the 2017-18 season.

Sophomore goaltender Ryan Wischow propelled UMass (6-6-0, 2-3-0 Hockey East Association) to the victory recording 32 saves at High Point Solutions Arena.

“His last game he was good, he had a really good week of practice and I think he’s starting to find great comfort and confidence in the net,” Minutemen coach Greg Carvel said. “Those are Grade-A plus chances and he made those saves and covered them up. It’s one thing to make a save [and then] give up rebounds. He just smothered everything. He was on task tonight, very focused and gave me and the team great confidence.

“That’s the best goaltending performance I’ve had since I came to UMass. He stole the game for us tonight.”

Freshmen Mitchell Chaffee and Mario Ferraro tallied the goals for the Minutemen, in periods one and two, while Bobcat (5-6-1, 2-4-0 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association) defenseman John Furgele netted QU’s only goal.

Wischow was put to the test early making a barrage of saves in the first five minutes, including a huge stop on a Bobcat 2-on-0 5:07 in, foreshadowing what would be an impressive performance from UMass’ sophomore netminder.

“I think I got off to a hot start and our guys made it really easy for me tonight,” Wischow said. “I thought we did really well with our systems and I think it showed.”

Chaffee scored his fifth of the season on a Minutemen odd-man rush late in the first period to put UMass up 1-0. After fanning on the initial shot, Oliver Chau picked up the puck and fed Chaffee who was open atop the Bobcat crease and the freshman from Rockford, Michigan made no mistake, firing it past Quinnipiac netminder Andrew Shortridge at 11:46 of the opening frame.

“Getting the first goal is really important and to get it early in the game helped us get back in the game,” said Carvel. “I thought we were sluggish at the start so that was a big goal. It was about eight minutes left in the first period, so it helped us get our feet under us.

Less than two minutes into the second period the Bobcats evened the score at 1-1 on a one-time blast from Furgele as he was barreling into the attacking zone.

The Minutemen regained the lead about three minutes later when Ferraro notched his third goal of the season on a wrist shot that snuck under the QU crossbar. Ferraro corralled the puck at the left point, faked a slap shot, then sauntered down the left side and ripped it past Shortridge short side high to make it 2-1 UMass at 4:02 of middle stanza. Jake Gaudet was credited with the assist, his first of the season.

At 9:31 of the third period Bobcat forward Kevin Duane hit Philip Lagunov up high and received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, granting the Minutemen a five-minute power play and a golden chance to build upon their advantage.

Despite a couple good looks UMass couldn’t muster a goal during the extended man advantage and remained up by only one.

QU made a valiant comeback attempt late in regulation with Bobcat forward Scott Davidson getting the best look in which he whiffed on a sure goal with under a minute remaining in the game. Wischow was late going post-to-post leaving the cage open for Davidson, but the puck hopped over his stick and couldn’t be controlled.

That miss proved costly as Wischow and Co. held on to secure the win–the Minutemen’s third-ever victory over QU, and only the second win in Hamden in program history–in the Black Friday matchup.

“This is huge for us,” said Wischow. “We went in there and took one in their barn and if we play like we did tonight tomorrow, we’ll be just fine.”

“We needed to win a game on the road against a good team as kind of the next step in our evolution,” said Carvel. “Quinnipiac’s a good team and it’s a tough place to win.”

Shots favored the Bobcats 33-25 after 60 minutes.

Tomorrow night the two teams face off again, this time at Mullins Center, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.