No. 14 UMass hockey holds off No. 15 UMass Lowell at Mullins Center

  • UMass freshman defenseman Scott Morrow scored in the second period after a series of fakes and feints to put the Minutemen up 2-0 on UMass Lowell on Saturday at the Mullins Center. UMass won 3-2. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

  • UMass freshman defenseman Scott Morrow scored in the second period after a series of fakes and feints to put the Minutemen up 2-0 on UMass Lowell on Saturday at the Mullins Center. UMass won 3-2. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

  • UMass forward Anthony Del Gaizo celebrates scoring the game-winning goal 23 seconds into the third period against UMass Lowell on Saturday at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen prevailed 3-2. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

  • UMass forward Anthony Del Gaizo celebrates scoring the game-winning goal 23 seconds into the third period against UMass Lowell on Saturday at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen prevailed 3-2. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/4/2021 11:42:57 PM

AMHERST – Anthony Del Gaizo slammed his glove against the glass as the UMass student section rose to pound the other side.

He’d just slammed home a Colin Felix rebound for the Minutemen’s third goal Saturday against No. 15 UMass Lowell 23 seconds into the third period. At the time it put UMass up two goals for the second time against their university system rivals, but after a frantic third period it became the game winner.

“It’s fun to score goals,” Del Gaizo said. “I usually get pretty animated.”

UMass prevailed 3-2 over the River Hawks to take three points from their weekend series and hold onto second place in the Hockey East standings. The Minutemen fell in a shootout Friday but earned a point then picked up two from Saturday’s win to sit at 22 points. Northeastern swept Providence, the previous king of the hill, to take over the top spot.

Del Gaizo also had an assist in the first period and put away two goals Friday for a four-point weekend. He’s on a four-game point streak.

“He’s one of the guys that I really lean on right now, and I can’t say that going into the year I thought that was going to be the case,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “I love it when guys prove me wrong.”

No. 14 UMass lit the lamp first when Reed Lebster slammed home a power play goal from Del Gaizo and freshman defenseman Ryan Ufko 2:01 into the game. Lowell’s Blake Wells was whistled for holding 1:51 into the game, and it only took the Minutemen nine seconds to capitalize with a man advantage.

Freshman Scott Morrow extended the lead to 2-0 3:30 into the second with skill approaching sorcery. He wheeled around the right circle to lose Lowell’s Matt Allen then turned Wells around with a crossover between the circles to open a clear line to River Hawks goalie Henry Welsch. UMass freshman Lucas Mercuri screened the front of the net while Morrow faked a shot to his right, forcing Welsch to shoot to his left, transferred the puck to his backhand and slid it into the open net as Welsch whipped his head back around and fell to one knee twisted in knots.

“I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t even imagine doing that,” Carvel said. “Scotty has an unbelievable ability to use his edges and separate in the offensive zone, and his hands are great and his hockey sense is terrific. He’s very capable of doing that. He keeps find more and more what he’s capable of doing.”

The two-goal lead lasted a little over 10 minutes until Lowell’s Ryan Brushett cut it in half with a power play goal from Reid Stefanson and Carl Berglund at 14:42. The River Hawks were playing in the tail end of a 4-on-3 and scored right after the dual penalties against UMass’ Matthew Kessel (interference) and Wells (embellishment) expired, clearing the holding the stick infraction that also sent UMass captain Bobby Trivigno to the penalty box.

UMass (8-4-2) committed five penalties against Lowell on Saturday, following another five-infraction game Friday.

“I’m a little frustrated with the type of penalties we’re taking right now,” Carvel said. “But I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that we’ve been short handed for a long time here, and we continue to find ways to scratch and claw.”

The Minutemen are without five forwards at the moment, and Del Gaizo has seized the opportunity created by their absence.

“He’s a UMass guy. He’s not pretty, he’s effective,” Carvel said. “He’s not looking for accolades. He’s wanting to be a good teammate, he’s willing to sacrifice. He’s tough as nails. Not many kids like that anymore.”

Del Gaizo’s second goal of the game gave the Minutemen their second two-goal advantage. It lasted 13 minutes until the River Hawks converted another power play to tighten the final 6:30. Andre Lee found the net from Berglund and Nick Austin. 

Lowell converted four of its nine power play chances in the series.

“You get a two-goal lead, it’s kind of human nature to fall back and defend,” Carvel said.

The River Hawks attacked. They outshot UMass 15-3 in the third period. Matt Murray made 14 of his 30 saves in the frame, as the Minutemen held on for their first regulation win in their past three games.

“Murr’s the man. Every single night, he’s giving us a chance to win,” Del Gaizo said. “He’s completely putting the game into the forwards hands to score enough goals because he's gonna make the saves that you have to make. It gives the team so much confidence moving forward that we have a true No. 1 and one of the best goalies in the country.”

The Minutemen won’t see the friendly confines of the Mullins Center again for more than a month. Their next game is Wednesday at Merrimack, then they don’t hit the ice again until New Year’s Eve at Union College.

“It’s kind of nice because none of the students will be here, so I guess we’re saving our home games for when the students are here,” Del Gaizo said. “It’ll be fun.”


Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy