No. 8 UMass beats UNH, 4-0

UMass wins its seventh straight

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Nina Walat/Daily Collegian

By Noah Bortle, Sports Editor

On a day in which focus was on anything but hockey, the Massachusetts hockey team and New Hampshire faced off, with the Minutemen coming away with a convincing 4-0 win.

“I thought we were really good today,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel said. “Solid for 60 minutes. Special teams excellent again. I thought our guys came ready to play and didn’t give UNH much life.”

The first period saw UMass (9-3-1, 9-3-1 Hockey East) and the Wildcats (2-3-1, 2-3-1 HEA) split control of play with shot totals finishing 7-6 in favor of the Minutemen.

UMass got itself the lone score of the frame thanks to the work of Marc Del Gaizo and Reed Lebster.

After an errant Wildcat pass in the UMass defensive zone left the puck in open ice, Del Gaizo took the puck and fired it to a streaking Lebster as he got behind the UNH defense, carrying the puck into the zone and then scoring to give the Minutemen a 1-0 lead.

While the first period might’ve looked evenly matched, UMass took full control in the second frame.

“I felt like this was our most complete game,” Carvel said. “I was expecting it to be a very close game today and we played well enough that it really never was that close.”

Two Wildcat penalties doomed UNH in the second frame as the team’s penalty kill surrendered goals on both occasions.

The first Minuteman power play came as a result of a Ryan Verrier penalty. UMass capitalized on the 5-on-4 when Bobby Trivigno buried a rebound to the right of goal.

The second time the Minutemen went to the man advantage in the second period it was due to a penalty call on Wildcat goaltender Mike Robinson after the netminder collided with a Minuteman behind the net.

UMass wasted no time capitalizing on the second power play, this time with Matthew Kessel winding up and launching a bomb from the blue line to beat Robinson and give the Minutemen a 3-0 lead.

“I expect every game to get some offense from the blue line,” Carvel said. “Matt’s just at a different level. He’s made a deal with the devil it seems like, he scores every game.”

While UMass goaltender Matt Murray wasn’t tested a lot—facing 21 shots—he managed to pitch his third shutout of the season and extend the Minutemen’s win streak to seven games.

Matt Kessel wasn’t done with just one goal though, in the third period—again on the power play—Kessel took a shot from a tight angle below the left faceoff dot that beat Robinson’s glove and give UMass its 4-0 lead.

“I thought our group was outstanding today,” Carvel said. “They played hard between the whistles.”

Noah Bortle can be reached at [email protected] He can be followed on Twitter @noah_bortle.