UMass completes series sweep of Northeastern with 6-0 win on Saturday

Minutemen score four goals in the opening period


Chris Tucci/ UMass athletics

By Sophie Weller, Collegian Staff

BOSTON — A strong opening period gave the Massachusetts hockey team a 6-0 victory over Northeastern in Saturday’s matchup, completing the series sweep.

“Obviously outstanding effort to make it a complete 60-minute game,” said head coach Greg Carvel. “Got a couple bounces early and then we really road that wave the rest of the way. Though we played outstanding defensive hockey. Didn’t give up much.”

In the early minutes of the game, Cam Donaldson recorded his first goal for the Minutemen (12-6-2, 9-2-2 Hockey East) after Slava Demin passed the puck to the middle, with Eric Faith swatting it over to Donaldson’s stick.

“We need him to be a factor in games and he is,” Carvel said. “I have not heard cheering from the team like that ever and gave him his puck for scoring his first goal at UMass.”

The scoring would not cease in the first period, with Ryan Lautenbach firing a shot, hitting the top right corner of the net, and dropping in, putting UMass up by four.

Following a rough start, the Huskies (16-7-1, 8-5-1 HEA) head coach Jerry Keefe made the decision to sit Devon Levi for the first time this year, with Evan Fear taking over in goal. At the end of the first period, Northeastern was held to seven shots, compared to the 12 by UMass including four goals.

Northeastern’s best scoring opportunity in the second period came off an odd man rush, but the shot from Gunnarwolfe Fontaine went wide. However, its success was quickly overtaken by another UMass goal scored by Lucas Mercuri after Cal Kiefiuk took a backhanded shot that the freshman center tipped in.

The Huskies opened the third period with the most intensity seen from them all game. T.J. Semptimphelter was in net for Northeastern and it was the first true test for Matt Murray throughout the night, with the Huskies moving the puck and generating scoring opportunities. Murray ended the night with 27 saves and earned his 14th shutout of his career, extending his record for the most shutouts UMass hockey history.

Captain Bobby Trivigno displayed skill and precision on the ice helping build UMass’ lead and contributing on the penalty kill. The Hobey Baker candidate used speed to tuck the puck in behind Levi just over two minutes into the game. Coming off two penalties, Anthony Del Gaizo sent the puck towards the goal, with Garrett Wait taking a shot that bounced off the pads of Levi and right to the stick of Trivigno who scored again to put UMass up by three.

“That was his best game of the year,” Carvel said. “He’s getting away from it a little bit this year at times, but when he leads us the way he played tonight, it makes us a really good hockey team.”

UMass was charged with two penalties in the first period and did not allow any scoring opportunities for Northeastern’s power play unit. Anthony Del Gaizo was sent to the box for tripping and soon after Josh Lopina was sent for committing the same penalty. On the second penalty kill, the Minutemen defense kept the Huskies to just one shot during the entire two minutes. Northeastern responded with two penalties of its own in the second period, with UMass scoring on one and the Huskies able to kill the other.

Aiden McDonough was sent to the box for high sticking and 13 seconds into the powerplay, Garret Wait passes the puck in front of the net, with Lopina getting UMass’ sixth goal of the night. Lopina is known for being stationed in front of the net but was out for a majority of the first half of the season due to an injury. With his return, Trivigno and Wait consistently look for him in position on the ice.

The Minutemen have a short rest before the take the ice again at the Mullins center for a 7 p.m. matchup against Boston University.

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