Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass club hockey picks up win in season opener

Minutemen with a 12-2 victory over UConn
Courtesy of UMass ACHA hockey (2022)

The Massachusetts  club hockey team defeated Connecticut on Friday night, as it grabbed its first win of the season with a 12-2 victory. Leading the way was senior captain Dan O’Leary who netted a hat trick, with CJ Spillane and Jack McGrath each adding two of their own. The Minutemen were dominant from start to finish, and as the score suggested, they did not hold back.

The first few minutes of the first period were shaky for the Minutemen as they hit the ice for the first time this season. They were sloppy with the puck, allowing UConn two prime scoring chances right off the bat, and then took a minor penalty that seemed as though it would give the Huskies an opportunity to build up some momentum. The penalty kill however, did its job perfectly, not allowing UConn any sustained zone time and effectively killing the penalty.

After that, it was smooth sailing for the Minutemen. The first few minutes proved to be an apparition, as UMass completely dominated play for the next 15 minutes. The first strike of the game came from last season’s leading scorer Scott Shorrock, who deflected a point shot from Zach Reiser past UConn’s netminder. Shortly after, junior Will Trischitta tacked on another one with a beautiful snipe from the top of the left wing circle for his first of the season.

UMass would go on to score three more times in the last 10 minutes of the period. McGrath, Spillane, and O’Leary all notched their firsts of the season, and gave UMass a 5-0 lead heading into the second period.

What the first seven minutes of the second period lacked in scoring, it more than made up for it in physicality. UMass may have gone into its first small scoring rut of the game, but the Minutemen ramped up the physicality to the point where they were tiring UConn players out. This proved to be very effective as the scoring floodgates reopened with O’Leary’s second goal of the game, a breakaway goal gifted by a turnover at the far blue line by a UConn defender.

The Minutemen went on another run of goal scoring prowess, getting their next three goals all within the next two minutes. First it was McGrath with his second of the game, tapping the puck through the goalies 5-hole after a slap-pass from Mitch Rickert. Then it was Thomas Milne off of another slick Rickert feed, and finally O’Leary ended the period’s scoring with his second breakaway goal of the game.

Spillane later added his second of the game and Rickert and Reiser both tacked on tallies as well, while UConn grabbed a couple of goals of its own in the third period.

UMass will look to improve to 2-0 early on in the season as the Minutemen take on UMass Lowell tomorrow, Saturday, October 1, at 6 p.m. back at the Mullins Center Community Ice Rink.

Matt Skillings can be reached at [email protected].

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