Waiting for his moment: Garrett Wait shows up against former team

Wait spent the first two years of his collegiate career as a Gopher

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Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian

By Sophie Weller, Collegian Staff

WORCESTER — Prior to Friday’s game, the spotlight shined brightly on Garrett Wait throughout the week as he was going up against his former team. While the contest didn’t give the result that the Massachusetts hockey team hoped for, the senior’s contributions on the ice remained a strength for UMass (22-13-2, 14-8-2 Hockey East).

After scoring a goal on a delayed penalty, UMass was determined to increase its lead on the ensuing power play. Trivigno passed the puck to Ryan Ufko at the blue line, and he fired a quick slap shot on goal. The puck bounced off the pads of Justen Close, hitting Garrett Wait and went into the net. After the Gophers (25-12, 18-6 Big Ten) scored with less than two minutes remaining in the first, Wait’s goal stood as the leading tally at the start of the second period.

Wait began his collegiate career in Minnesota but transferred to UMass for the start of his junior year. His impact was felt immediately, and Bobby Trivigno knew that he and Wait would create opportunities on the line together. The two forwards had prior experience playing together in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks.

“He’s my best friend on the team,” Trivigno said. “I think that carries over onto the ice. I think we’ve had good chemistry the last two years and I’m so happy he came here.”

This year Trivigno, Wait, and Josh Lopina were at the heart of the scoring for the Minutemen.

“[Wait] scores a lot of big goals and down the stretch, almost every goal we score, he is in front of the goal,” Carvel said. “He does the dirty little things.”

Carvel explained that when Wait arrived at UMass, they challenged him to grow as a player. Due to the pandemic, he couldn’t train with the team before they arrived on campus and didn’t get to know the culture and standards that came with being a Minuteman. However, he put in the work and developed his game, becoming one of the most important offensive players for UMass.

“When he got to campus, I didn’t think he was going to be very much, but I give this kid a ton of credit,” Carvel said. “He doesn’t say anything. He just walks around and smiles. That’s all he does. I think he’s very happy at UMass.”

Some of the guys that Wait played with remained at Minnesota, but they are a different team since he left two years ago. He credited them with being better and knew that the matchup was going to be a fight to the finish.

After the opening goal, his efforts did not cease, stationed in his usual spot looking for any puck flying towards the net. Halfway through the third period, the puck remained stuck in a scrum along the boards and Wait drifted back to help his teammates. He was in front of the blue line and received the puck with three Minnesota defenders charging towards him, yet still managed to hold onto it and create an opportunity.

The Gophers tied the game up on a powerplay goal, and UMass was desperate to end it in regulation. Trivigno was everywhere in the offensive zone, firing shots and getting the rebounds, before taking a slapshot that was tipped by Wait, but skimmed the top of the net going over.

This loss ends the Minutemen’s season. With an impressive resume, Wait and the other seniors have certainly left their mark on UMass.

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