Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Fille Lindberg earns first collegiate win Saturday night with UMass hockey

Freshman goaltender from Espoo, Finland recorded 20 saves

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Fille Lindberg earns first collegiate win Saturday night with UMass hockey

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

(Caroline O'Connor/UMass Athletics)

By Ryan Ames, Assistant Sports Editor

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Things could’ve looked better for Fille Lindberg after the first period of his Massachusetts hockey debut in goal.

With UMass up 1-0 against Rensselaer, the Engineers failed to get a shot on the Espoo, Finland native for the first seven minutes of game action but capitalized on just its second shot when Jakub Lacka redirected the puck past Lindberg.

Lindberg’s lack of action early combined with a sudden RPI goal could’ve spelled doom for a freshman making his collegiate debut, but instead Lindberg collected himself and looked composed for the rest of the night in the Minutemen’s 3-1 win.

“We had good goaltending from Lindberg, which is great to see,” coach Greg Carvel said. “It looks like I’ve got two good goaltenders to go with here which is to me, now I feel like I have depth at every position and that’s very comforting to me.”

Lindberg compiled 20 saves in his first start, with No. 35 seeing the most action in the second period stopping eight RPI shots.

“It feels good, just great, nothing to complain about,” Lindberg said about playing his first career game. “It was how I imagined it to be. It was great, I enjoyed it a lot.”

It most likely wasn’t the start Lindberg envisioned, but he certainly used that experience in the opening frame to translate it into a result himself and the rest of the team could be satisfied with.

“Of course, college hockey is a hard tempo and everything happens quicker, and you get used to it,” Lindberg said. “After the first period I was like, ‘okay this is the deal’ and I just continued from there.”

“The one goal they get is a deflection, nobody is gonna stop that,” Carvel added. “He had one shot where he let up a bad rebound on one shot but other than that he was, I thought he was really sound. He made some really good glove saves, made them look easy.”

Perhaps Lindberg’s most important save came halfway through the second period when an Engineer skater broke through the UMass defense for a partial breakaway. Moving to his right, Lindberg stoned the attempt and seconds later, followed it up with a glove save, preventing RPI from tying the score.

“I didn’t think about anything special, I was just focused on the next puck,” Lindberg said on his mindset during the play. “That’s what you got to do. We’re not supposed to think about anything else, just stop the puck, that’s it.”

As it did with the rest of the squad, getting the first road win out of the way was a huge confidence boost for Lindberg.

“Every game gives you more confidence,” Lindberg said. “We’re gonna continue with the boys, we played a good game [Saturday]. For me, it just feels great and I’m ready for the next game.”

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

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