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

Seniors provide much needed scoring for UMass in win over Providence

The seniors netted the Minutemen’s three goals
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2023)

PROVIDENCE, R.I — After taking an injury, Reed Lebster did not comeback himself for the Massachusetts hockey team. With him being one of the senior forwards who has needed to produce offense, Lebster found himself against Providence on Friday.

Lebster’s last point came on Dec. 7 against Merrimack where he registered an assist on a Taylor Makar goal. His most recent goal was on Nov. 18 against New Hampshire after Lebster had led the Minutemen (10-13-3, 4-11-1 Hockey East) in points to start the season.

Under six minutes into the first period, Ryan Ufko passed to Kenny Connors who shot the puck into goaltender Philip Svedback’s chest. After the puck bounced off the goaltender’s chest, Lebster took the rebound for his 50th career point.

“Been trying to stick to my process away from the rink,” Lebster said. “It’s huge for anyone’s confidence so that was really big for me.”

Later in the frame, Cal Kiefiuk skated on an odd man rush through the neutral zone and collided with two Friars players. As he collided with the Providence (12-10-6, 7-6-5 HEA) players, he managed to pass the puck to Lebster. Lebster skated to the top of the circle and ripped the puck pass the goaltender. The goal gave the Minutemen its first two goal lead in multiple games.

Head Coach Greg Carvel has voiced the need to have the seniors score with Lebster specifically being of the players to produce the most offense. Lebster scoring two goals allowed him to get back on the scoresheet and gain back more confidence.

“We need them to score,” Carvel said of the seniors. “[Kiefiuk and Lebster] were huge tonight. Not just that they scored, they played well.”

Kiefiuk’s assist was also important after he also has not shown up on the scoresheet in recent games. Due to Kiefiuk not being able to produce, Carvel took him out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.

Ufko passed the puck to Scott Morrow with the game tied 2-2. With UMass desperately needing a win, Morrow took a shot with Kiefiuk in front of the net. As the puck passed by the senior, he tipped the puck for a 3-2 lead.

The last time Kiefiuk netted a goal was at Providence on Nov. 4. The senior has been able to produce assists but faltered after UMass’ game against Brown at the start of January.

The freshmen and sophomores have been the leaders on offense in most recent games. Without the production of Lebster, UMass has not been able to find ways to win and put-up multiple goals. Most losses the Minutemen have been able to put up just one or two goals.

“[Carvel] has been on us seniors to be better today and for the seniors to step up today and score some goals,” Lebster said.

Lebster has not only been leaned on for offense but also his defense in games. The senior is on UMass’ top penalty killing unit and despite being on the ice for one of the Friars’ goals, has been a help for the Minutemen. Kieifuk has also been a key to special teams throughout the season.

“We need the seniors to lead and tonight they led for sure,” Carvel said.

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

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