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

Freshmen line shines for UMass hockey in 11-2 victory

Minutemen’s young forwards score four times
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Freshmen line of Jack Musa, Dans Locmelis and Aydar Suniev had a huge performance for the Massachusetts hockey team against Alaska Anchorage Friday night. The three freshmen combined for nine points en route to an 11-2 victory over the Seawolves (6-12-1) for the Minutemen (10-4-1, 4-3-1 Hockey East).

Each one of the young freshmen found their way into the score column, while filling up the stat sheet with assists and shots as well.

“That’s what they are, they’re a talented group,” head coach Greg Carvel said.. “[They] could’ve scored a bunch more goals. They’re very good players.”

Musa set up one of the line’s goals with some razzle-dazzle with less than four minutes left in the first period. The freshman corralled a loose puck near the high slot and sent a no-look pass over to Locmelis who buried the feed near the right face off dot to light the lamp.

Locmelis wasn’t done there, coming fresh off the bench in the third period flying into the offensive zone. A wild rebound off Anchorage goaltender Greg Ososz was gloved down by the center and settled on the ice before being wristed glove side and into the net for his second time of the night.

“[The freshmen] are growing so much every single day,” Taylor Makar said. “… It’s great to see how much work they put in and how much time they’re willing to spend. It’s a good group.”

Suniev was the first member of the line to get on the scoresheet, roughly six minutes into the first period. Locmelis drew a delayed tripping penalty which began a rush for UMass. Suniev received a pass in the offensive zone and crossed from the left boards into the high slot before launching a wrist shot blocker side that went off the crossbar and in.

“I think we had a good practice on Thursday [and a] good morning skate, so we came out ready,” Locmelis said.

Musa added another assist on the Suniev goal, helping to create the opportunity by moving the puck out of the defensive zone. Musa didn’t go scoreless however, adding one of his own in the third period.

Suniev received a pass on the power play inside the right side of the blue line and wanted to repay the favor to his linemate. He faked a slapshot and instead sent a slap pass toward Musa who redirected the puck in between the pipes.

“[Musa] knows how to play and he has a touch for scoring,” Makar said. “… He really puts the time in and works hard, he’s one of those players kind of like a Bobby Trivigno, which is good praise, as long as he keeps working really well; but he’s a great player.”

The man advantage was where Suniev worked his magic two more times, tallying an assist on a first period power play goal scored by Ryan Ufko and a third period goal by Scott Morrow.

With the big night the freshmen had, Suniev and Musa went plus seven.

The Minutemen look to build momentum off their big win and freshmen breakout heading into a rematch against the Seawolves just 24 hours later on Saturday, Dec. 9. Puck drop at the Mullins Center is set for 7 p.m.

“Just go out, play hard. Understand that [Anchorage’s] going to come also play hard,” Locmelis said of the team’s mindset heading into Saturday. “Just keep to our standard, play hard, fast, prepared.”

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

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