Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Bobby Kaiser’s goal lifts UMass hockey to 3-1 win over Holy Cross

Freshman’s first career goal was a game-winner

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Bobby Kaiser’s goal lifts UMass hockey to 3-1 win over Holy Cross

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Ryan Ames, Assistant Sports Editor

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WORCESTER, Mass.—Into the lineup, onto the scoresheet.

Freshman Bobby Kaiser hadn’t seen game action in about a month before the Massachusetts hockey team’s bout with Holy Cross Friday night. Slotted in on the fourth forward line with Kurt Keats and Anthony Del Gaizo, Kaiser made his presence felt, scoring the game-winning goal for No. 4 UMass in its 3-1 win over the Crusaders.

“We got a nice turnover and went down on a 2-on-1, and Kurt Keats just put it right in my sweet spot and I just let it go,” Kaiser said. “I got a good shot off and put it in.”

Kaiser’s first career marker catapulted the Minutemen (9-1-0, 5-0-0 Hockey East Association) to its sixth-straight win, while Holy Cross (1-7-1, 1-3-1 Atlantic Hockey Association) pushes its winless streak to eight games.

“I think that’s great to see, [Keats] and [Kaiser] do it together to score the big goal,” coach Greg Carvel said. “They’ve been patient, they work hard and they’re forcing me to keep them in the lineup so I love it when that happens.”

With the score knotted 1-1 in the third period, sophomore defenseman Mario Ferraro hit Keats with a crisp outlet pass from the defensive zone, sending Keats on an odd-man rush. Kaiser was stride-for-stride with Keats on the two-on-one and just after the pair reached the top of the faceoff dots, Keats slid the puck between the Crusader defenseman’s stick onto Kaiser’s blade, who then roofed it top shelf, short-side.

The game-winner came at 3:49 of the final frame — Cale Makar buried an empty-netter late in the game — in what was an eye-opening performance from UMass’ fourth line.

“I think it was really good to have all three guys on our bottom line tonight come up,” Makar said. “They really showed that we have a very deep team, and anybody can be in the lineup every single night. Congrats to him on his first goal, and I know he’s just going to get better with work.”

Kaiser’s goal was a bang-bang, simple play that resulted in a goal. A few times throughout the 60-minute affair, the Minutemen passed up opportunities to shoot and instead made an extra pass that the Crusaders flushed out.

Carvel didn’t mind the creativity but would’ve liked to have seen more pucks to the net.

“It’s a bit of a conundrum where I want my guys to be skilled, make skilled plays and so we practice that way a lot, and we get into the game and they’re good plays but ultimately we didn’t get shots,” Carvel said. “I appreciate the creativity but I’d like to see the puck get to the net every time.”

Kaiser’s goal quelled a Holy Cross squad that was feeling it in the second period particularly, but the Minutemen, led by Kaiser’s strike, once again found a way to win.

“We went into the game thinking, we know it’s going to be a battle, just because we have a win streak and all that, and we knew they were going out come out and give us their best, and they did all night, so we just had to answer,” Kaiser said. “They had good opportunities, but we tightened down the hatch and took care of it.”

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

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