Tyson Dyck gives UMass a boost of offense against Brown

Freshman nets two goals, both off deflections

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Dylan Nguyen/Daily Collegian (2023)

By Colin McCarthy, Video Editor

Kenny Connors’ absence from the Massachusetts hockey team’s lineup left a big void to fill offensively, and against Brown, an unlikely forward stepped up to fill it: Tyson Dyck.

Dyck scored a pair of goals on Tuesday night, and both came from his ability to get to the front of the net and finish off plays. The matchup against the Bears marked Dyck’s first career multi-goal game.

“It was awesome, I think I just found myself in the right place at the right time and was able to finish it off,” Dyck said.

In the first period of the game, the No. 15 Minutemen (9-7-3, 3-6-1 Hockey East) struggled to generate quality shots on the power play despite having two opportunities with the man advantage. Heading into the locker room, head coach Greg Carvel made an adjustment that worked to perfection.

“Brown was just doing things to take the bumper away so we’re like ‘okay, let’s shift a little and try to get the puck to [Dyck] on the back post,’ and the guys executed it really well,” Carvel said.

Dyck didn’t take his moment for granted. Cal Kiefiuk sent a perfect pass directly towards the Bears (4-10-2) goaltender and the forward poked it through to give the Minutemen a lead. The goal felt nice for the freshman, who hasn’t scored since Nov. 4 against Providence. But what felt even nicer was the trust Carvel put in him despite seeing less ice time in recent games.

“It’s pretty neat for a coach to trust a younger guy like myself to get the puck in that scoring area and it was nice for me to be able to finish it off,” Dyck said.

His second tally of the night came in similar fashion, being in the right place at the right time. Dyck was skating through the offensive zone as Cole O’Hara fired a shot from the point, and Dyck got just enough of a stick on the puck to send it flying past Mathieu Caron.

UMass’ offense is at its best when it establishes a strong net presence on opposing goaltenders, but this season there hasn’t been as much success in that area. Losing players like Garrett Wait and Josh Lopina played a role in that decline, and thus far Kenny Connors is the only Minuteman consistently scoring goals from the low slot. Without him, Carvel needed other players to step up, and Dyck did exactly that.

“Our young guys are really starting to come around, Tyson Dyck and Cole O’Hara I thought were really good tonight,” Carvel said.

Both Dyck’s goals were scored less than three minutes apart and only halfway through the second period, meaning the freshman had almost 30 minutes to search for a hat trick. When he came skating into the offensive zone on a breakaway, energy started to build within the small Mullins Center crowd. Dyck made a move and got the Bears goaltender to drop down, but his backhand shot sailed just wide of the right post.

The hat trick wasn’t meant to be, but Dyck’s offensive success can go a long way towards bringing him back into the UMass forward group permanently. Carvel trusted him to make plays, and as a result, his confidence soared.

Colin McCarthy can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @colinmccarth_DC.