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 sophomores dominate scoresheet in loss over Clarkson

Sophomores combine for four points
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2023)

LAKE PLACID, NY — The Massachusetts hockey team’s sophomore class led the effort in its 5-4 overtime loss to Clarkson on Saturday in the Adirondack Winter Invitational consolation game.

Michael Cameron continued his tear through the tournament, grabbing his second goal of the weekend. Cameron didn’t waste any time, giving the Minutemen (11-5-1, 4-3-1 Hockey East) a 1-0 lead five minutes into the first period. As Lucas Mercuri and Cameron fought for the puck along the boards, Mercuri popped the puck to Sebastian Törnqvist. The freshman threw the puck on net, allowing Cameron to retrieve the rebound. Cameron kept with the puck, shooting the puck twice before netting the goal.

After Clarkson (9-7-1, 4-1-1 ECAC) tied the game, UMass came out hungry to find a lead in the second period to keep momentum on its side. Kenny Connors skated through the zone and shot the puck on net, as it seemingly missed the goal. Although the game continued on, UMass players indicated that it looked like Connors had actually shot the puck through the net. While the sophomore thought he had a goal, he continued to play with no indication made by the refs that he had a goal.

The possible goal that was not called did not matter for Connors, as he scored in the same shift to put the Minutemen up. Taylor Makar caught a pass in the neutral zone from Ryan Ufko with Connors not far across the ice. Connors stayed with Makar, allowing the junior to quickly pass to him and finish the play.

“Kenny [Connors] had a good weekend,” Carvel said. “He’s a power forward and he looked like a power forward this weekend.”

The energy that Connors and Makar brought from that goal was passed on to Cole O’Hara.

“Good when you get that boost as a line,” O’Hara said.

UMass was put on a power play just three minutes after Connors gave the Minutemen a lead. O’Hara and Connors were both put on the special team’s unit and seemed to be carrying the energy from the goal. O’Hara and Owen Murray passed back-and-forth, attempting to find a hole in the Clarkson defense. O’Hara shot the puck past the goaltender and put UMass ahead 3-1.

While Carvel is still looking for more production from the line that consists of O’Hara, Connors and Makar, they were able to find offense on Saturday. O’Hara scored his first goal since the Minnesota State series on Oct. 20.

“Cole [O’Hara], we need him to wake up,” Carvel said. “He’s been quiet this year. We need [Connors and O’Hara] to give more production and it looks like it’s trending that way.”

O’Hara and Connors have echoed what Carvel has said throughout the season of needing more production. As the season has gone along they have become more confident as a line.

“I think we all have that seem feeling,” Connors said about production. “We all have been doing our best to get our production up. I feel like we’ve playing better hockey these past few games…There’s a lot of plays where we’re off by just a little bit and that’s something we’re going to work on.”

While sophomores thrived for most of the game, they also had their struggles as the game went along. O’Hara was whistled for a penalty that led to a goal in the second period that was costly for UMass. Murray struggled to keep with a defender on the goal later in the second period.

While the underclassmen had their struggles, they helped UMass stay in the game and have proved that they have grown.

The Minutemen will travel back home to Mullins Center to take on Connecticut on Friday, Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m. in hopes of a bounce back.

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

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