Bridgeport notebook: Greg Carvel’s icy sprint ‘like a roller coaster’

  • UMass’ Marc Del Gaizo and Anthony Del Gaizo pose on the ice as their parents take photos after the Minutemen defeated Bemidji State 4-0 on Saturday in the NCAA East Regional Final to return to the Frozen Four. THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

  • The Minutemen defeated Bemidji State 4-0 on Saturday in the East Regional Final to return to the Frozen Four. THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 3/28/2021 12:33:18 PM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Greg Carvel couldn’t rip the headset off or take the mic battery pack off his belt faster. He didn’t want to miss a moment with his team celebrating another Frozen Four berth.

After completing his postgame interview with ESPN’s John Buccigross, the UMass coach sprinted across the ice to join his team and staff huddled around the center ice face off circle. He pumped his arms like he was running on a track then slid the final few feet as Bobby Trivigno and Zac Jones grabbed him.

They held a brief team meeting and all chanted “UMass” simultaneously. The Minutemen are headed to their second consecutive Frozen Four on April 8 in Pittsburgh after defeating Bemidji State 4-0 in the NCAA East Regional championship Saturday.

“I was going too fast for a man my age, but I knew they were going to catch me. It’s kind of like being on a roller coaster. It’s a little scary, but you’re going to be alright,” Carvel said. “But they were about to do something without me. I wasn’t going to have that. It’s called unity. We do everything together.”

After the game, Carvel tweeted a video of him running on the ice captioned “How far is it to Pittsburgh?”

ICE, ICE BABY – The ice surface held up noticeably better for Saturday’s regional final than during Friday’s opening-round games. When Wisconsin played Bemidji and UMass faced Lake Superior State, there were puddles on the ice, and players regularly lost edges and fell on a 70-degree day in Bridgeport.

Cooler temperatures and less traffic on the ice made fore a smoother rink.

“The ice was a lot better (Saturday). It’s definitely something we think about,” Chau said. “We try and keep it simple when we know the ice conditions aren’t great. We try to get pucks deep and earn every goal.”

FAMILY SALUTE – The Minutemen skated over to the corner where their fans were seated after the final buzzer and raised their sticks in recognition and salute. Each player was given two tickets for close friends and family to each regional game.

It was the first time UMass played in front of fans all season and for many players, it was the first time they’d seen their parents since leaving for campus at the beginning of the year. They chatted through the glass and took photos.

The Del Gaizos waved brothers Marc and Anthony together for a photo as they raised their iPhones.

Hat trick hero Carson Gicewicz posed for a photo with linemate Jake Gaudet after taking one with his older brother R.J. Gicewicz (assistant coach and director of scouting for the USHL’s Fargo Force), who was leaning on the other side of the glass.

MARATHON MEN – Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota played the longest game in NCAA Tournament history to determine UMass’ opponent in the Frozen Four.

Luke Mylymok won it for the Bulldogs on a wrist shot through a North Dakota players’ legs 2:13 into the fifth overtime early Sunday morning in Fargo, N.D. The game lasted 142 minutes, 13 seconds.

UMass retained the title of longest game in NCAA history for its victory at Notre Dame in the 2015 Hockey East quarterfinals. That game took 151 minutes, 42 seconds.

Saturday night’s (and Sunday morning’s) contest finished as the third longest NCAA men’s hockey game in history.

It surpassed St. Lawrence and Boston College’s 2000 regional final for the longest men’s NCAA Tournament game when it crossed the 123:53 threshold. Wisconsin beat Harvard in a 4OT women’s NCAA Tournament opening round game in 2007. That lasted 127:09.

The Bulldogs, two-time defending national champions who beat UMass in the 2019 title game, took a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the third period on goals by Jackson Cates and Colin Koepke.

Then North Dakota, the No. 1 overall seed, responded with an Adam Collins goal with 1:11 left, and Jordan Kawaguchi tied it with 57 seconds left.

Minnesota-Duluth had a goal called back in the first overtime after an offsides review. Bulldogs starting goalkeeper, freshman Zach Stejskal, left in the fourth extra frame with cramps after making 57 saves.


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