UMass defeats Union 7-0 on Saturday night

Minutemen extends win streak to 4 with weekend sweep

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Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2022)

By Matt Skillings, Collegian Staff

For the second night in a row the Massachusetts hockey team dominated Union, completing its weekend sweep with a 7-0 victory at the Mullins Center.

Saturday was another offensive outburst for the No. 6 Minutemen (4-0-1), as it was led by Scott Morrow who potted two highlight reel goals. Freshman Michael Cameron also scored the first goal of his collegiate career as UMass extended its winning streak to four games.

A dominant second period was key to the Minutemen’s triumph Saturday, a period that saw UMass tally four goals, three of which came on the power play. It was the second period where Morrow shined the brightest. First it was a bullet wrist shot from the top of the circle over Union goaltender Connor Murphy’s left shoulder, making it 2-0 at the time.

Morrow added his second of the night 10 minutes later on a one-timer from a Ryan Ufko feed. Both of Morrow’s goals came on the man advantage.

“Yeah it’s a good sign for our power play, so far we’ve been almost 50 percent. Both units have been buzzing really well,” Morrow said. “I think we shared the puck really well, and overall it was a great team effort on special teams.”

Cameron also scored in the second period with a sweet catch and release from the slot. The goal marked the fifth straight game that a Minuteman has scored their first goal as a part of the program.

“Speed and good skill,” Carvel said. “That goal that he [Cameron] scored, that’s a gifted goal, to catch that puck and release it the way he did. We saw it all weekend, his speed created offense for us up the ice. He’s a really bright, smart, smart kid, smart hockey player.”

The power play was 7-11 on the weekend, an impressive stat that only made winning easier for the Minutemen. Tyson Dyck and Lucas Mercuri were the other beneficiaries outside of Morrow on the power play Saturday night. Power play time has been spread across the lineup as coach Carvel has shown that he trusts all four lines on the special teams. Five different players scored on the power play this weekend, Kenny Connors and Ryan Lautenbach Friday night.

Unlike Friday night, it took the Minutemen until the final five minutes of the first period to crack the scoreboard. Matt Koopman found the back of the net for his second goal of the season when he capitalized on a rebound opportunity after a lengthy scrum in front of Murphy.

Outside of the goal, it was a relatively unhinged period for UMass, getting outshot 16-14 in the frame. Cole Brady was sturdy in net, saving every shot he faced. Despite a lack of quality scoring opportunities for the Dutchmen, Brady stood his ground on the shots he faced and kept the scoreboard clean for the Minutemen.

His save percentage would stay perfect for the rest of the night, making 32 saves. He proved that he can be a reliable option in the net moving forward.

“We’ve got a goalie dilemma again I guess, that’s a good thing,” Carvel said. “We’ve got depth at those positions, and that’s to me a positive.”

Taylor Makar added a highlight reel goal of his own in the third period, breaking away from the Union defense and adding the cherry on top for the night with a sweet finish over the blocker of Murphy. Makar now has goals in two straight.

“Taylor Makar had a big weekend,” Carvel said. “What he did on that goal is what I’ve known he’s been capable of. He uses his size and his speed, and I thought he did a lot this weekend.”

The Minutemen will look to continue their early season dominance next weekend as they begin Hockey East play against in-state foes, Merrimack College. Merrimack will enter next weekend’s home-and-home series with a record of 3-2. UMass will take the ice at the Mullins Center again next Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m.

Matt Skillings can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @matt_skillings.