4 first-period goals ignite UMass hockey rout at Northeastern

  • UMass forward Bobby Trivigno, shown Friday against Northeastern, had two goals and an assist Saturday against the Huskies in Boston. UMass won 6-0. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS—

Staff Writer
Published: 1/22/2022 10:48:34 PM

The ingredients are blending.

The UMass hockey team defeated Northeastern 6-0 on Saturday night in Matthews Arena, sweeping the Huskies for the second year in a row.

“It's been a very hard year because you don't know how hard it is to defend that title until you win one,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “We’re getting to a point now where we understand that. It was about this time last year that our team started to come together, started to find its identity, started to find chemistry. We’re seeing things we didn’t see the first half of the year.”

Ten Minutemen were involved in the scoring.

Bobby Trivigno (two goals) and Garrett Wait (three assists) each notched three points in a dominant showing for the Minutemen’s top line. Josh Lopina also added a goal.

Matt Murray secured his program-record 14th shutout with 27 saves.

Slava Demin contributed two assists, and Lucas Mercuri had a goal and an assist.

UMass (12-6-2, 9-2-2 Hockey East) put away four goals in the first period that all but secured the final outcome.

Cam Donaldson scored his first goal as a Minuteman 1 minute, 22 seconds in from Demin and Eric Faith. He picked up a loose rebound off Demin’s shot and beat Northeastern goalie Devon Levi with a backhand shot in close.

“It’s been shocking to me and a real project for me to figure out how to help him get going. Since we returned from break he’s finally found his confidence,” Carvel said. “I have not heard cheering from a team like that ever when we gave him the puck for scoring his first goal at UMass.”

Trivigno made it 2-0 less than a minute later after shrugging off a Northestern defender at the blue line then deceiving Levi at the crease. Wait picked up an assist.

The UMass captain, a Hobey Baker candidate, added a second goal halfway through the period standing on the porch step. Wait and Scott Morrow delivered assists.

“That was his best game all year. He out willed the other team’s players. That’s his trademark. It had gotten away from him a little bit this year,” Carvel said. “When he leads us the way he played (Saturday), it makes us a really good team.”

Ryan Lautenbach tacked on the fourth with 6:38 remaining in the first. Mercuri slid him an entry pass, and Lautenbach ripped a shot by Levi beyond the left circle. Demin was also credited with an assist.

“They won a couple one-on-one battles early in the game, and I thought that set the stage for the game,” Northeastern coach Jerry Keefe said. “That’s something you want to learn from. You never want to go through it, but it is what it is

Four of UMass’ first eight attempts went in against Levi, on the Richter award watch list, and he was benched for Evan Fear. He didn’t scare the Minutemen.

 

Mercuri added No. 5 at the 13:49 mark in the second period, poking the puck into an empty side of the net after passes from Cal Kiefiuk and Reed Lebster.

Then Lopina put the bow on the scoring how he always scores, standing in front of the net. He converted on the power play with 8:17 remaining in the second from Wait and Trivigno.

The victory moved UMass within a point of the Hockey East lead after UMass Lowell fell to Merrimack for a second consecutive evening.

The Minutemen will return to home ice Tuesday to face Boston University at 7 p.m. in a “Chill the Bill” whiteout game.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.


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