Marc Del Gaizo nets overtime winner, UMass hockey upends top-ranked Boston College

  • UMass’ Ty Farmer, right, and Boston College’s Drew Helleson collided Friday night at Conte Forum. JOHN QUACKENBOS/BC ATHLETICS

  • UMass junior Bobby Trivigno scored a goal in the second period, answering Boston College’s second goal in five seconds Friday at Conte Forum. JOHN QUACKENBOS/BC ATHLETICS

  • UMass goalie Filip Lindberg covers a puck against Boston College on Friday at Conte Forum. JOHN QUACKENBOS/BC ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 2/26/2021 10:20:07 PM

Marc Del Gaizo picked a perfect time for his first goal of the season.

UMass’ senior defenseman had a breakaway against Boston College goalie Spencer Knight with 3 minutes, 1 second left in overtime at Conte Forum on Friday. Eagles defenseman Drew Helleson took Del Gaizo down from behind, and the puck slid between Knight’s legs into the net as Helleson crashed into him.

Referees initially signaled a good goal, review confirmed it, and UMass claimed a 3-2 win.

“He hasn’t had any goals, but he’s one of our best – if not our best – players,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “That’s great for him, he’s very deserving. He’s outstanding every night.”

It was UMass’ first win in overtime this season. The Minutemen’s previous three games that were tied after regulation went to a shootout. Del Gaizo also potted UMass’ last overtime winner: his Frozen Four slapshot to drop Denver and send the Minutemen to the national championship game in 2019.

Friday’s winner snapped a four-game UMass losing streak against BC (15-3-2), completed a two-goal comeback and took down the No. 1 team in the nation. With the win, the Minutemen climbed into the No. 2 spot in the Hockey East standings after Boston University fell against Merrimack earlier in the game. That puts them in position to potentially host two Hockey East Tournament games at the Mullins Center instead of just the quarterfinals after a first-round bye.

“Home ice is such a huge advantage, and if you can get it for that one extra game, that means a lot,” Carvel said.

Carson Gicewicz sent the game to overtime with pure effort and grit with 5:49 left. Jake Gaudet fired a shot form the left side that Knight fought off, but the puck caromed off Gicewicz’s shoulder, skipped over Knight (36 saves) and landed in the net to tie the game at 2.

“The tying goal wasn’t pretty, but when you play well for long stretches, those pucks will go in for you,” Carvel said.

It was UMass’ second unanswered goal after the Eagles built a two-goal lead.

Jack McBain put the Eagles up 2-0 15:27 into the second period, firing a missile from the left circle after Nikita Nesterenko slid him a cross-ice pass. It only took five seconds for the Minutemen to respond.

Josh Lopina won the ensuing faceoff, and Garrett Wait carried the puck into the zone. He fed Bobby Trivigno streaking up the left  side. UMass’ leading scorer found a crack in Kni ght’s armor at the 15:32 mark.

“That was huge. I don’t know if we’ve had as big a goal in terms of the timing of a goal,” Carvel said. “It’s not easy to beat that goalie, especially from there.”

The goalies owned the first period. Knight stopped 15 shots, and Lindberg turned away 14 in the opening frame. 

UMass turned the puck over after Ty Farmer lost an edge early in the game, and BC gained possession behind the net with an option in the slot. Lindberg stopped the shot and a follow to keep the game scoreless.

He also stonewalled Alex Newhook on a breakaway with 54.1 seconds remaining to keep the game scoreless.

Lindberg finished with 29 saves.

“We didn’t deserve to be tied, and that’s all Fili,” Carvel said. “When you have goaltending like that to bail you out, it’s such a huge factor.” 

BC’s Mike Hardman finally broke the deadlock 7:28 into the second period. UMass turned the puck over in the defensive zone, and Hardman threw the puck toward the Minutemen’s net. It caromed off Gicewicz before sliding under Lindberg at full stretch. Matt Boldy was standing at the back step, and Gicewicz tried to intercept the pass before it reached him.

“We allowed way too much transition offense for them,” Carvel said.

UMass (13-5-3) has one week of games left before the Hockey East Tournament begins March 10. The conference sets the matchups on Tuesday of each week. Maine is the only team the Minutemen haven’t played.

“It’ll be quite interesting who the commissioner schedules,” Carvel said, laughing. “He can use some strategy here, I’m sure he may get some lobbying from certain teams.”

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


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