Power plays leads UMass to 7-1 win over Union

The Minutemen score three goals with a man advantage

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Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2022)

By Kayla Gregoire, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts hockey team took advantage of an inexperienced Union team for a 7-1 win on Friday night.

The Minutemen (3-0-1) got off to a quick start, scoring less than five minutes into the game. After Ryan Lautenbach’s goal was overturned for goaltender interference, UMass came out hungrier. Lucas Mercuri threw the puck on net, leading the Union (2-4-1) goaltender to stretch out to make a save. As he stretched his leg out, Taylor Makar tapped the puck in for a fast one goal lead.

“I felt that we’ve come out pretty strong here, it’s alright,” Head coach Greg Carvel said on the called back goal. “It will probably give us a push to try a little harder.”

Freshmen were the ones to make an impact throughout the game. Tyson Dyck skated with a Dutchmen defender skating on him. As he turned his back, he lost the puck, but passed the puck to Kenny Connors. In the process, Dyck drew a hooking call to put UMass on a power play.

The young players did not stop showing up on the ice after the power play. Cole O’Hara showed up the score sheet, but he could be seen all over the ice. O’Hara used his vision to make a pass to Connors despite feeling pressure from a Union defender. The pass went on Connors stick, but he had to stretch out, so the shot was too light to make a push.

Jerry Harding is typically known for his defensive presence on the ice as a big body, but he showed up on the score sheet early. A tip in on a pass from Eric Faith put the Minutemen up to a comfortable 3-1 lead. The second line is not known to show up on the scoresheet, but they have been big on defense. Faith had a clean hit along the boards that put a Union player to the ice. Koopman was also making plays along the boards to keep the puck in UMass’ favor.

“I like [the second line] because they are an older line and they are creating offense for us,” Carvel said. “You might consider them a checking line because the three of them don’t have a lot of points combined in their career, but they can add offense to us.”

A concern in the Denver series was the penalties being lopsided towards UMass. On Friday, the Minutemen did not take a penalty until the end of the second period. Union was whistled for six penalties in the game, leading UMass to score three power play goals.

“We had an emphasis on things we wanted to work on this week, especially with the power play,” Connors said. “There were some good plays, [Lautenbach] made a good play to the net. It’s just guys making good plays and thinking with their head.”

UMass killed off the penalties it took easily, with no pressure added on to Luke Pavicich. The Minutemen were not only keeping shots off Pavicich on the penalty kill, but throughout the game. Defense kept the Dutchmen to 17 shots on the goaltender.

Pavicich got off to a shaky start in the game, allowing a goal by him in the first period. He was making risky plays, not covering up the puck, allowing the Dutchmen to catch rebounds. After the goal, the goaltender held his head high and did not allow another in the next two periods. Pavicich was making stretch saves and framed himself up with the puck to come up with saves.

Up by five goals in the third, Carvel opted to put Henry Graham in net for the last 8 minutes of the game. Friday marks the first time the junior was put in net for a game. Graham saved five, but he made quality saves to keep the extended lead.

“[Graham] is outstanding,” Carvel said. “He’s one of my favorite players of all time. He’s an awesome kid and has been such a good teammate. Every day in practice he works so hard and I’m glad we were able to reward him.”

The Elliott McDermott and Scott Morrow pairing were keeping pucks away from Union players. McDermott on a play stayed on a Dutchmen skater with the puck on his stick for 10 seconds. As the Union player skated towards the corner of the boards, McDermott hit him along the boards, forcing the player to get rid of the puck.

Morrow used crafty moves in both the offensive and defensive zone to make plays. The sophomore alluded to spins to throw off Dutchmen players. Morrow also easily dodged players to make his way towards net. Morrow did have mishandles with the puck, after 10 seconds into the game he overturned the puck to Union.

Lautenbach was all over the ice, making defensive and offensive plays in the game. The third line player checked Dutchmen constantly into the boards. Lautenbach used his speed to get to pucks before Union could make plays against UMass.

The Minutemen will take on Union for the second game of the series on Saturday, Oct 21st. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.

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