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 snaps winless streak with 3-2 win over Northeastern

Elliot McDermott scores first goal with the Minutemen
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts hockey team came into its first game against Northeastern as underdogs but did not stop that from routing to a 3-2 win on Friday.

As Cal Kiefiuk skated down the ice on a 2-on-1, Elliott McDermott skated with him the entire way down the ice. Kiefiuk made his way in front of goaltender Devon Levi and deked around Levi. Instead of tapping the puck in, the senior passed to McDermott who finished off the play with a goal.

McDermott’s goal marked his first as a Minuteman (11-15-5, 5-13-3 HEA) and his third point of the season.

“If [McDermott] didn’t score that one he was never going to score a goal,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “He was in the right spot and we need that. We need defenseman helping us create offense and I thought the group did a nice job tonight.”

The goal started after Northeastern (15-11-5, 12-6-3 Hockey East) was whistled for a trip on Lucas Mercuri. After the trip, Mercuri’s linemate Ryan Lautenbach knocked the Husky player down, giving himself a penalty for roughing.

Lautenbach’s penalty was not the only penalty of the first period, after three other Minutemen went to the box. The penalties allowed Northeastern to take 11 shots on goaltender Cole Brady who stood tall in net for most of the night.

“I’ve never seen a game with three penalties for interference because your stick was slashed,” Carvel said.

The Minutemen’s physicality was on display in all three periods and especially was shown on Scott Morrow’s goal. As Morrow gave UMass its second lead of the game, Harding was at center ice, pushing down a Northeastern player.

With players distracted from Harding, Morrow skated easily towards net for a 3-2 lead.

Heading into the second period, the Minutemen had one minute of a power play left. Reed Lebster took a wrist shot to give UMass its first lead of the game.

After proving himself in the Boston College series, Brady got the nod in net for the second night in a row. The goaltender kept the Minutemen in the game, making hard saves throughout the 60 minutes. His first goal allowed was after Justin Hryckowian slipped the puck between Brady’s leg on the power play.

With UMass having a lead in the second period, Matt Choupani took a shot in front of Brady. The goaltender stuck his leg out to make the save, but the puck took a rebound. Brady reacted quickly, though, and covered up the puck to eliminate a second chance.”

Defense was also playing at its best even with a younger group playing. Owen Murray has become one of the Minutemen’s best young defenseman. Murray made plays in front of the net to keep pucks of his goaltender, while also being able to move the puck in the neutral zone.

“One of the reasons we were good tonight was because of Owen Murray,” Carvel said. “He had a heck of a night in the backend. He helped us break the puck out.”

Brady’s matchup of Levi also caused the Minutemen to have to pressure him constantly on Friday. With a tough Northeastern defense, UMass struggled to put shots on Levi and when it did, Levi made easy saves. With a shaken-up Levi, though, the Minutemen got the puck past the goaltender three times.

When the Minutemen tapped the puck past Levi, they typically looked to have more energy in the game. With riding the confidence from goals, UMass added multiple shots on net quickly to keep the shots on goal even. Despite the Huskies dominating to start the game, the Minutemen found themselves even with 22 shots.

Carvel in the past has said that if UMass scored first then it can have a shot at winning games. By scoring first, the Minutemen took a win against a team that is number one in their conference. The Mullins Center sounded loud for the first time in a long time to cheer on UMass hockey.

UMass will go for a series sweep on Saturday, Feb. 25 against the Huskies with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.

“I think after the game the guys realized the same thing I’ve been thinking all year, just put it all together, it’s fun,” Carvel said. “Just playing UMass hockey. When you do it right good things happen.”

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

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