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 hockey has record breaking night in 11-2 win over Alaska Anchorage

The Minutemen score 11 goals for the first time
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts hockey team’s five unanswered goals in the first period sent them to an 11-2 win over Alaska Anchorage on Friday night. With the offense at its best, UMass (10-4-1, 4-3-1 Hockey East) had a record-breaking night, scoring 11 goals for the first time in its Division I era.

Michael Cameron opened up scoring for the Minutemen after missing two games due to an injury he suffered during the Providence series. Ryan Ufko skated around the net and passed to Ryan Lautenbach. Lautenbach sent a stretch pass to Cameron who was in the neutral zone. Cameron shot a wrist shot past goaltender Jared Whale to bring UMass up 1-0 less than three minutes into the game.

“When [Cameron] is in the lineup I feel really good, when he’s not I feel like we’re not the same team,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “That speed that he provides is a difference maker.”

Cameron’s goal started five unanswered goals by the Minutemen, forcing Anchorage (6-12-1) to fall behind early in the game. Ufko led the scoring in the period with three points on a goal and two assists.

After Aydar Suniev’s first goal of the night, UMass went on the power play for a chance to add another goal on the board. Scott Morrow passed to Suniev who quickly passed to the hot Ufko. The captain slapped the puck from the point past the Anchorage goaltender to bring the Minutemen up 3-0.

“We’ve got a lot of talent in the front and the back,” Carvel said. “We’re deep offensively, I’ve been saying that all year.”

Goals from freshmen Cam O’Neill and Dans Locmelis allowed UMass to go into the second period up 5-0. O’Neill added another point on Scott Morrow’s first goal of the night, along with Sebastian Törnqvist’s first point of his collegiate career. Nick VanTassell also took home his first collegiate point on O’Neill’s goal.

In the second period, though, less than 30 seconds in, Anchorage answered with a goal of its own.

“We’re ahead five goals and we stop playing the game,” Carvel said.

Despite the goal, goaltender Cole Brady stood tall in net for most of the night. The netminder was challenged multiple times and made easy saves to keep UMass’ big lead. Brady made 18 saves on 20 shots faced.

With the large lead, the Minutemen got out to, freshman goaltender Jackson Irving made his collegiate start with 8:50 left in the third period. Irving was challenged right away, killing off a 5-on-3 after VanTassell and Elliott McDermott were sent to the penalty box. The freshman stayed composed in net and made six saves.

“It was great to see Jackson Irving get a chance, he’s a great kid, good young goalie,” Carvel said. “I just told him, I don’t think any young goalie has had their first minutes in the net be a 5-on-3 power play against and he made some huge saves.”

Taylor Makar after not netting a goal since Oct. 27 against Boston University found his way onto the scoresheet. On a turnover, Makar caught the puck and skated toward goaltender Greg Ososz. Shooting it glove side, the junior sent the Minutemen into the third period 7-2.

The goal almost did not happen for Makar, almost getting short-shifted by Carvel.

“His first goal, he almost didn’t get that shift,” Carvel said. “His two linemates, he almost got short-shifted and I said ‘Just go’ and he scored instantly came back and thanked me for it.”

Makar followed it up with another goal in the third period after catching a puck in front of the blue line. Makar skated up in front of the goaltender and shot the puck for his second of the night.

“It’s good to contribute to the team, so it feels good to do that alongside my teammates and linemates that have helped me along the way and push through some adversity,” Makar said.

Morrow topped off his big night with a second goal just over a minute left in the game. With the goal, the junior defensemen came away with three points.

UMass will look to continue in the second game of the series on Saturday, Dec. 9 against Anchorage. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

“What happened in the second period today, I guess and hope we’ll be ready to go tomorrow and play a good solid 60 [minutes],” Carvel said.

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

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