UMass sweeps series with 5-1 over Providence College Saturday

Game marks win No. 100 for Greg Carvel as Minutemen coach

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Luis Ramirez/ Daily Collegian

By Kayla Gregoire, Collegian Staff

The mindset the Massachusetts hockey team had going into its game against Providence College Saturday night was to be prepared for physicality and a hard-fought game on a smaller sheet of ice.

The first period started off with the Friars (6-5,3-3 Hockey East) getting the first shot off the Minutemen’s (6-2,4-0 HEA) goaltender Matt Murray on a breakaway two minutes into the period. It was not too long after forward that Cal Kiefiuk hit the puck off a skate on a pass from Anthony Del Gaizo to allow UMass to take a 1-0 lead.

“[Kiefiuk] is an important part of our offense and special teams,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “To me, he’s been a quiet player that has been very effective.”

Throughout the first frame it was shown that the game would end in more penalties than when the teams faced each other Friday night. With less than five minutes left, Anthony Del Gaizo was whistled on an offsides call that he and the second line disagreed with, and they showed it. While subtle, that play pointed towards a fired up UMass team early on.

With 12 seconds left in the first period, Friars’ goaltender Jaxson Stauber came up with a big save that ended with players in a pile in front of the net and in the penalty box. Friar, Guillaume Richard and Minuteman, Matt Baker were the ones to take the penalties to make a 4-on-4 going into the second period.

The Minutemen started off the second with dominance. Defensively, UMass was keeping Providence out of its zone. They were also getting shots on goal, continuing to pressure Stauber.

The common theme in the series has been UMass goaltender Matt Murray not allowing the puck to pass him. The graduate student kept the Friars to few chances in both games of the series.  Providence was taking solid shots off the goaltender, with forty-two shots on net, but Murray would only allow one puck by him.

As the Minutemen’s offense started to come to life in the third, the Friars’ defense seemed to fall behind. Less than two minutes into the final period, Reed Lebster found Slava Demin to extend the Minutemen’s lead to 2-0.

Friars’ forward Cody Monds was able to find the back of the net on a tap in that was passed by Brett Berard to give Providence a sign of life. The Minutemen answered back less than three minutes after the Friars’ goal on a goal by Reeb Lebster.

After that the Minutemen scored two more goals on the powerplay. The first one came from defenseman Scott Morrow, making it game his third game in a row with a goal. Then, Bobby Trivigno scored on a one-timer to give the Minutemen a 5-1 lead.

UMass scored three unanswered goals against Providence, which led Friars’ head coach Nate Leaman to pull Stauber and put in Austin Cain with a little more than six minutes left in regulation.

The Minutemen extending their win streak to six games was not the only monumental event to happen Saturday night. Greg Carvel reached win No. 100 as coach of UMass hockey. Carvel did not know of his accomplishment until Trivigno congratulated him for it after the game.

“I had no idea. I am obviously very proud… I hope to win a couple hundred more at UMass,” Carvel said. “It’s a milestone for me, but it’s a reflection of the outstanding commitment and sacrifices of so many great kids that we have brought into the program.”

The Minutemen will travel to Boston University to take on the Terriers Friday night. Puck drop will be at 7:00 PM.

Kayla Gregoire can be reached at [email protected] and followed on twitter @kaygregoire.