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 men’s club hockey bulldozes Norwich Cadets in 8-1 victory

Minutemen power through physical opponent in first of three-game weekend series
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts men’s club hockey team vanquished the Norwich University Cadets in a physical 8-1 victory on Friday night. The Minutemen (10-5-1) began on the front foot from the outset and never let up.

The game’s scoring was opened up by Ethan Porter, who netted his second goal on the season after receiving the puck in the slot and taking a wrist shot over the glove of the sliding Norwich (1-5-0) goaltender Jake Becker. Leading goal scorers JD Anderson and Will Trischitta each bagged a goal in Friday’s game as well. Dylan LaMonica got the last touch on the puck in a scrum near the net to score his fifth goal of the season.

Halfway into the third period, Dominic Boccelli got his stick on a rebound and scored goal number seven for the Minutemen. Exactly nine seconds later, he found the back of the net again after dispossessing a falling Norwich defender. Boccelli’s goals in quick succession marked the final two tallies of the night, as UMass capped off an 8-1 victory at home.

The defense aided goaltender Sam York in his first career win, who racked up 15 saves of a possible 16 for a save percentage of 0.937. Their smart play was a major reason that the Minutemen were able to not only control possession but also place their names on the scoresheet.

“We’ve been big on our defensemen jumping up in the play. They’re all big, they’re all skilled, they all can move,” head coach Mike DeFazio said. “But you know, be quick on the transition like there’s no need to go D-to-D every time, get the puck, move it up, dump it down, make them go to work.”

Not only did the defense protect their own end, but defenseman Ellis Vish also scored on a four versus three power play and Joey LeBlanc added a one-time bomb past Becker. Although captain Peirce Kenney and assistant captain Chris Roy did not light the lamp, their presence was certainly seen in their calmness on the puck and strong defensive performances.

The matchup between the two aggressive sides produced a total of 30 penalty minutes. UMass went to the box on eight occasions, while the Cadets earned themselves four penalties.

“It’s always chippy with [Norwich], they’re physical,” DeFazio said. “They’re a bunch of cadets, so it’s kind of expected. It’s something we knew was going to happen, it happened the last time up at their place, but for us, we have three games this weekend. We just tried to stay out of this stuff. Keep your head on straight and live to play again tomorrow.”

The game went without a single penalty in the first period, a surprising feat considering the physical battle that ensued. A pair of matching roughing penalties kicked off the second period of play. The penalty box became a turnstile from that point on, with players from both teams constantly entering and exiting. Each team also earned a five-minute major penalty before time ran out. Despite the extended amount of special teams opportunities, only one goal was scored on a man advantage.

UMass outshot its opponent 48-16 including a 20-shot second period. Five minutes into the second period, the shot counter read 22-6. Puck possession had a major impact on the chances in the game.

“The more we possess the puck now is a big thing. Let’s not force passes. Let’s not get too cute, no bad habits. Just hold on to the puck, wait for the right play.” DeFazio said. “We possessed the puck with these guys, we were just going to wear them down, I think it worked perfectly.”

The Minutemen will waste no time getting back on the ice. They will finish up a triple-game weekend with away clashes against Boston College and the University of New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. A pair of matchups with Florida Gulf Coast University later on will close out the first semester’s slate of games. The #4 ranked team in the Northeast Conference of the ACHA’s Division II will get a much-deserved seven-week break before returning to action in late January.

Cameron Pellegrino can be contacted at [email protected]. Dylan Shalom can be contacted at [email protected]. Myles Donato can be contacted at [email protected].

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