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

Michael Cameron finding his place at UMass

The freshman records fifth straight game with a point
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts hockey team was dominant to start the game but found itself down by a goal in the second period. Michael Cameron stepped on the ice and provided much needed scoring in the same period for the Minutemen (9-10-3, 3-8-1 Hockey East).

Scott Morrow skated down the ice, creating space in the offensive zone as he made his way towards net. Morrow from the left side of the net found Cameron as he skated to the front of the crease. The freshmen wasted no time ripping the puck past goaltender David Fessenden.

Cameron tied the game and helped UMass get its feet under it in the second period. The Minutemen started to lose momentum in the period after Cy Leclerc scored for the Wildcats (7-16-1, 2-11-1 HEA). Cameron ignited UMass again, giving a much needed second wind.

Cameron found himself shaken up in the first period after being thrown into the boards. He held his shoulder as he skated to the bench. Despite being shaken up, Cameron was back on the ice for the second line’s next shift.

Cameron’s goal marks his fifth straight game recording a point. It’s also his third straight game with a goal. In the game against Lake Superior State, Cameron had two points off a goal and an assist.

“He’s found a way to get points,” head coach Greg Carvel said of Cameron. “He’s kind of a Swiss army knife player. Wherever I have a hole in the lineup I put him in, and he usually makes that line better.”

The freshman has started to become a key piece in the Minutemen’s lineup after starting his season slow.

“[Cameron] has gotten more comfortable with the game,” Eric Faith said. “He’s really starting to get his feet under him. He knows how to use body and put himself in advantageous positions and it shows he’s been playing solid hockey and taking advantage of his chances.”

He’s had a different path than many of the freshmen forwards. Kenny Connors, Cole O’Hara and Tyson Dyck for most of the season have been placed on a line together, allowing themselves to grow as a line. Cameron has bounced around the lineup, being placed throughout the lines.

Cameron has embraced wherever he is placed in the lineup, quickly gelling with the linemates he is placed with. On Sunday, he was a left wing with Ryan Sullivan as the center and Ryan Lautenbach at right wing.

“Practicing against guys like [Faith] and going to battle everyday has really helped me develop my game,” Cameron said. “I’m still making mistakes and I’ve still got to learn so I’ve got a long way to go, but I feel like I’ve gotten more comfortable.”

With Cameron bouncing around the lineup, he’s has seen time as a center in the bottom six, in addition to his regular spot on the wing. He has not shown up in the dot but has had good offensive performances as a center.

Penalties have been a problem for UMass, but Cameron has not been a part of that. In 18 games played, Cameron has not been in the penalty box once. Against the Wildcats, when the Minutemen did find themselves in the box, the freshman was put on one of the penalty killing units.

An area of Cameron’s game that has always been prevalent is his speed. The freshman can effortlessly beat players to the puck to create plays. With his speed he also eliminates chances for the other team to make their way to the Minutemen’s net.

“[Cameron is] probably the biggest, pleasant surprise this year,” Carvel said. “He’s a great kid and I knew he had speed, but I didn’t think he would score as consistently as he has. That’s good for us going forward.”

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

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