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 defeats Lake Superior State 4-1 in Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off

Henry Graham grabs first collegiate start in net
Colin McCarthy/Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts hockey team bounced back from a gutting loss, defeating the Lake Superior State Lakers (3-15-1, 2-9-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) 4-1 in the Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off consolation game.

Just a night removed from arguably its worst loss of the season, UMass (8-7-3, 3-6-1 Hockey East) was able to gain and sustain a lead behind strong performances from Aaron Bohlinger, Cole O’Hara and Henry Graham. The win marks the Minutemen’s first victory since Nov. 25 when they defeated UMass Lowell in Belfast.

For the second night in a row, the Minutemen were led by Bohlinger and O’Hara who played their roles to perfection Thursday night. Without Ryan Ufko, Kenny Connors and Reed Lebster, Bohlinger and O’Hara brought what the absent Minutemen typically bring to the lineup both in production and team play.

The Lakers, however, would find the back of the net roughly six minutes after Bohlinger’s first goal of the game. Less than a minute after what would be the Lakers only goal of the night, Bohlinger assured UMass fans that there would be no lapse on play Thursday night with a second goal.

“We need our back end to defend and to give us a little offense, for years it’s what we’ve gotten,” head coach Greg Carvel said.

After an abysmal third period against Clarkson, UMass was looking for energy from the start against Lake Superior State but wouldn’t get it in the first frame. The Minutemen played slow, uninspired hockey for the majority of the opening 20 minutes, getting outshot 14-10 and were outplayed overall by Lake Superior State.

The trend would not continue as they played arguably their best offensive period in the second.

Henry Graham looked comfortable in the first start of his career, stopping all but one of the 32 shots he faced.

“Henry’s attitude is outstanding,” Carvel said. “He’s a big part of our culture, and I was happy to turn to him. He earned it. I wouldn’t put him in there if I didn’t think he could play well, and I thought he played well. I knew the team would play hard in front of him.”

Graham’s highlight of the game came in the second period when he made an impressive sequence of saves from a seated position after being knocked down. The sequence kept the score at 3-1, an important mark as the Minutemen blew the same lead just one night ago.

The Minutemen also got offense from Michael Cameron who scored the game opening goal to go alongside his assist on Bohlinger’s first, as well as Taylor Makar who scored his seventh goal of the season in the third period. Both Cameron and Makar seem to be acclimated to the pace of college hockey, as Cameron is now up to six points on the season and Makar is tied for the team lead in goals.

The Minutemen will be back in Amherst Tuesday, Jan.3 when they take on Brown University. Puck drop will be at 7 p.m.

“When we get healthy and we get our full team back, I like the way we’re trending,” Carvel said. “I know we haven’t won a lot of games lately, but the group is figuring it out.”

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

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    Michael CrawfordDec 29, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Fun article. Thanks!