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 Maine 5-2 on the road Friday

Cole Brady makes 29 saves in net for Minutemen
Colin McCarthy/ Daily Collegian (2023)

ORONO, MAINE — The Massachusetts hockey team got back in the win column Friday night in Orono, taking down Maine 5-2. The Minutemen walked into a hostile Alfond Arena and brought their A-game into a raucous setting. With Hockey East seeding and momentum at stake, Friday’s game had the feel of a playoff game.

After two physical periods, the Minutemen (12-16-5, 6-14-3 Hockey East) and Black Bears (15-14-5, 9-10-4 HEA) skated into the third locked in a 1-1 tie. Neither team was able to take an edge in the first two frames, but the third was all UMass.

The offense stole the show in the third period, scoring four goals in the final 20 minutes to nail down the victory. Taylor Makar was the star of the frame, scoring two goals including the tiebreaking tally.

Makar’s first goal of the night broke the stalemate just under 2 and a half minutes into third. His first goal since Dec. 29th, the goal was an elite goal scorer’s goal, a show of speed and finesse that he has flashed at times this season. The sophomore gained control of the puck in the neutral zone from a chip from linemate Lucas Mercuri, and accelerated through the puck towards the net. Makar beat the defender protecting the puck on his backhand, and proceeded to tuck the puck through netminder Victor Ostman’s five-hole.

“The other team plays exactly how our line likes to play, chippy bodies, speed, a gritty game,” Makar said. “So I think in the third period we talked amongst each other, said ‘hey lets take this game over’, and we haven’t done too much lately so we wanted to help out the team here.”

UMass would add two more unanswered goals, Makar’s second and Owen Murray’s first of his college career.

Murray’s goal, which went on to be the game winner, was a snipe from the right faceoff dot that beat Ostman glove side, top corner. Murray used his feet to get open and take the space he was given to enter the offensive zone, and from there it was all about his hands. Murray has showed that he is an above average skater this season, but his goal showed that he has a rocket of a shot, an asset that hasn’t been on display as much this season.

“It’s great to see,” head coach Greg Carvel said of Murray’s confidence after the game. “Didn’t know what he was going to be for a long time. The last month he’s just taken off.”

Scott Morrow opened the scoring for the Minutemen less than a minute into the game. Morrow and Reed Lebster reversed roles on this tally, as Lebster fired a shot from the point where a defenseman would typically be, and Morrow found the loose change in front of the net as he came flying through the zone.

“I had a guy covering for me up top, I think it was [Lebster],” Morrow said of his goal. “Just tried to beat my guy to the net when I realized he was going to shoot, and got a fortunate bounce. It was good to get our team started off that way.”

The Black Bears would counter with a goal of their own in the final five minutes of the opening frame. Maine forward Thomas Freel entered the offensive zone with speed and the puck on his stick as the clock ticked past three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the period. His linemate Lynden Breen entered the zone with him to create a 2-on-2, where Freel would make a skilled backhand pass to Breen who was able to elude Scott Morrow’s stick and slap in the game tying goal.

Outside of the first period goal and a late tally in the final minutes that didn’t affect the outcome, Cole Brady was strong in net, posting his second win in three starts. Brady stopped 29 of 31 shots and kept the Minutemen in the game when defensive blunders could’ve cost UMass the lead in the first two periods.

“Most of their shots tonight, he saw them and he had a good chance to make save,” Carvel said. “It’s nice to get some consistency. We feel like we know what we’re going to get from Cole every night.”

The Minutemen will look to finish the sweep of Maine tomorrow night when they take on the Black Bears once again in Alfond Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

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

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *