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 loses 7-2 to Michigan

Minutemen give up three goals on the penalty kill
Kayla Wong
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts hockey team fell to the Michigan Wolverines 7-2 in the first of a two-game set. The Minutemen defense struggled to keep the Wolverines off the board throughout all three periods.

A big part of the offense for Michigan came from special teams, with three goals coming on its powerplay. UMass struggled to stay out of the penalty box, making the trip to the sin-bin on five separate occasions.

“The discipline, to me, is an issue,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “We’ve taken five penalties every game we’ve played now if you include [Dartmouth]. It’s a big part of the game. We have to stay out of the penalty box.”

The Minutemen got off to a fast start at the beginning of the first period, dominating possession and creating multiple scoring opportunities. The first frame also included a huge discrepancy of hits favoring UMass.

“We were flying around, playing in [Michigan’s] face,” Aaron Bohlinger said. “We played well [in the first period] and five on five we played well.”

The aggressive play for the Minutemen backfired after getting a penalty that gave the Wolverines man advantage an opportunity. T.J. Hughes received a pass near the left faceoff dot, one-timing a shot into the twine to give Michigan a 1-0 lead.

Less than one minute after surrendering its first goal, UMass saw another Wolverine take a chance from the same left faceoff dot. This time, Dylan Duke wristed one top-shelf to the wide side extending the lead to two.

Besides the 60 seconds that saw the Minutemen give up two goals, the first period went their way.

“[UMass] probably took it to us in the majority of the first period and they probably deserved more,” Michigan head coach Brandon Naurato said. “It wasn’t a 2-0 first period. We got a little lucky and got some bounces there.”

The second period brought some offense for UMass, with Bohlinger playing give-and-go with Jack Musa down the ice. Bohlinger put the Minutemen on the board on with a tap-in after Musa fed him in front of the net. Musa finished the night with two points, both by way of an assist.

The other goal for UMass came in the third period on the powerplay, with Scott Morrow centering a puck wide from the left side. The puck bounced off a Wolverine stick and dribbled into the back of the net.

Michigan had a big offensive second period, after surviving past the early push from the Minutemen. Three goals got past UMass goalie Cole Brady within the 20 minutes, pushing the Wolverines over the top.

“We started the second [period] really hot,” Carvel said. “We had two or three really good scoring chances … [then] we had some breakdowns, way too many.”

Aydar Suniev got his first point as a Minutemen on Friday, tallying an assist on the power play goal by Morrow.

“[Suniev’s] a talented kid, he’s big, he can skate,” Carvel said. “… but he’s got a lot there to work with … He’s very good.”

Michigan scored two goals or more in each period, keeping pressure on UMass all night. The Minutemen couldn’t keep up with the pressure, but there were some things that made Carvel hopeful for a bright future for his team.

UMass looks to bounce back when it takes on Michigan again in game two of the weekend on Saturday, Oct. 14. Puck drop at the Mullins Center is set for 7 p.m., and the game can be watched on ESPN+.

“It’s a quick turnaround, it’s less than 24 hours that we’re playing them again in a 0-0 game,” Ryan Ufko said. “[We’re] expressing the message that we had a bad night tonight, we know our mistakes, we’ll be better, but just focus on tomorrow.”

“There was a lot of the game that I liked,” Carvel said. “There’s a lot there that makes me want to believe in this team. The score looks ugly, but I didn’t think the game was that lopsided.”

Mike Maynard can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @mikecmaynard.

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