Scott Morrow’s overtime goal lifts UMass over Merrimack, 5-4

UMass sweeps Merrimack in first weekend of Hockey East play

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Nina Walat/ Daily Collegian

By Sophie Weller, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts hockey team battled it out with Merrimack in Saturday night’s matchup, with Scott Morrow finding the back of the net in overtime to give UMass (4-2-0, 2-0-0 Hockey East) the win.

Garrett Wait made his return to the first line on Saturday and scored two goals in the second period, erasing the 2-0 deficit that plagued the Minutemen early. Less than three minutes after Wait’s second goal, Reed Lebster passed the puck to Cal Kiefiuk who found the back of the net on an odd-man rush and gave UMass the lead with under a minute remaining in the frame.

“Turned out to be a really revealing night,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “The kids showed a lot of character.”

The Warriors (3-5, 1-4 HEA) came out strong in the third with Steven Jandric scoring his second goal of the night to tie the game up at three apiece, but that was short lived. Oliver MacDonald charged towards the net, with a defender standing in his way, before finding the stick of Matt Baker who cemented the lead for UMass after taking a shot that passed by the Warriors’ goaltender Zachary Borgiel. This was Baker’s first goal in a Minuteman jersey.

“Players are playing really well,” Bobby Trivigno said. “It’s awesome that we are getting offense from all around.”

With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Merrimack pulled its goalie, giving them an extra attacker that it used to find the equalizer sending the game into overtime.

“That was a crazy game,” Carvel said. “Tough to give up that lead, two leads in the third, but found a way to win.”

Friday’s game saw a sense of urgency in the tone of play for the Minutemen, but that energy was lacking in the first period on Saturday. UMass was unable to generate movement during the first 20 minutes, while the Merrimack dominated possession and opportunities.

The Minutemen came off the ice that period having only taken 7 shots, 3 of which were on goal, while the Warriors ended with 14 out of 16 shots on goal.

The Warriors struck first after Filip Forsmark sent a pass across the circle, finding the stick of Jandric who tucked it away in the back of the net. The Minutemen’s luck did not change with back-to-back penalties that Merrimack was able to benefit from.

Bobby Trivigno was called for tripping, but the penalty kill unit was able to hold them off. Seconds after being at full strength again, MacDonald was sent to the box for holding, and this time the Warriors were able to capitalize when Logan Drevitch added to his success in the series against UMass, scoring his second goal of the weekend.

Trivigno was sent to the box again in the second period for high-sticking. The captain is starting to play more aggressively, the weekend series saw him in the box three times, which are the only three penalties called against Trivigno this season.

Aaron Bohlinger left the ice early in the first period, appearing to be holding his wrist. He did not return for the remainder of the game. Josh Lopina was also left out of the line-up for Saturday’s game, while Reed Lebster made his return to the ice after not skating last night.

“We got good depth on the team, so even in the back end we lost [Bohlinger], but we dressed seven [defenseman],” Carvel said. “Hate to lose those guys, but at the same time it’s exciting to see whose games will rise.”

UMass will return to the Mullins Center on Friday at 7 p.m. for a matchup against No. 8 Providence.

Sophie Weller can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @SophieeWellerr.