UMass ends four game homestand with a 4-2 win over Maine

Garrett Wait has third multi-goal game of the season

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Kira Johnson/ Daily Collegian

By Kayla Gregoire, Collegian Staff

When the Massachusetts hockey team stepped onto the ice on Saturday night it had its tough overtime loss from the night before still in its mind.

The Minutemen (16-9-2, 11-5-2, Hockey East) went without a key forward Saturday night, Cal Kiefiuk, due to injury. The Black bears (5-17-4, 3-13-2 HEA) also lost a senior forward of their own, Jack Quinlivan, to a one game suspension following Friday’s game.

The Minutemen were getting more shots off Black bears goaltender Victor Ostman during the first period and that pressure paid dividends, leading the Minutemen to an early three goal lead.

Garrett Wait was the first to get on the board for UMass, scoring a goal from his knees.

After the Wait goal, the Minutemen gained a lot of confidence and were getting quality shots on goal. Ostman made a few key saves on Lucas Mercuri and Anthony Del Gaizo but UMass was able to move on quickly and keep pressuring the solid goaltender. When Maine committed an early penalty, the Minutemen capitalized.

During the ensuing powerplay Bobby Trivigno slapped the puck across the ice to Scott Morrow who thew it in front of the net for Lopina. Lopina got his stick directly on the puck and tipped it into the net to give UMass a 2-0 lead.

After the powerplay, on a 2-on-1 chance, Ryan Ufko gave the puck to Eric Faith who went top shelf to give the Minutemen a comfortable 3-0 lead. Faith almost had another score during the second period, but the goal was overturned for goaltender interference.

Many mistakes from the Minutemen gave the Black bears three power plays in quick succession, causing UMass to go on the penalty kill. Maine scored two goals on those power plays to make the game 3-2 going into the second frame of the game.

“If you play hard and play the right way you don’t take penalties,” Carvel said. “The one on Trivigno just wasn’t even a penalty. We watched it on video, and I told the ref and he said, ‘I’m sorry, I screwed that one up’.”

The Minutemen were firing shots off Maine Ostman throughout the game, but the netminder continued to find ways to save the puck. During a UMass powerplay, Ostman was put on his back as Morrow lifted the puck up, but Ostman came up and stabbed the puck out of the air while still on his back.

“I thought he was excellent,” Maine head coach Ben Barr said of Ostman’s performance. “I don’t know if any of those goals were his fault.”

The performance of the Black bears goaltender kept the Minutemen to zero goals in the second frame, compared to their three goals in the first.

Lopina was not up to his typical faceoff performance on Friday with a close 13 wins and 10 losses, but on Saturday he had 21 wins with just four losses. Mercuri had 10 wins and two losses of his own and combined with Lopina to total 31 faceoff wins.

The fourth line saw Cam Donaldson replacing multiple different players throughout the game due to the performances of players on the line. In the third they had a dominant shift towards the beginning of the frame and were staying in Maine’s zone keeping the pressure on the visiting team.

In his next shift with the fourth line, Taylor Makar was throwing the puck to the Maine goaltender but continually coming up short, even falling a few times from the pressure from Maine’s defense.

In the third period the Minutemen wanted to extend their lead when Trivigno threw the puck in front of the net but Wait fell on top of the Black bears goaltender and the refs called the play dead. In the same shift Wait scored a goal slapping the puck out of the air to make a 4-2 game and give UMass more breathing room down the stretch.

Trivigno added three assists on the night, helping out on each of Wait’s goals and Lopina’s goal to extend his point streak.

The Minutemen will travel to Connecticut on Feb. 18 to take on the University of Connecticut. Puck drop will be at 7:05 PM.

Kayla Gregoire can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kaygregoire.