UMass sweeps weekend Hockey East series with Vermont

  • UMass center Jake Guadet leaps to avoid a hit by Vermont’s Bryce Misley, Saturday at the Mullins Center. UMass won 4-0. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

Sports Editor
Published: 12/20/2020 9:16:16 PM

UMass forward Carson Gicewicz crashed the net and fought for the puck.

The senior saw it loose after Vermont goalie Tyler Harmon couldn’t handle a shot. Gicewicz kept it alive and got the 10th-ranked Minutemen on the board in the second game of their weekend series.

Gicewicz’s effort 6 minutes, 39 seconds into the game paved the way as the Minutemen beat the Catamounts, 4-1, Sunday at the Mullins Center.

“That’s what we were expecting out of Carson, that he was going to score greasy goals like that, getting around the net, owning space around the net,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “The first goal is exactly that type of goal.”

The Minutemen (4-3-1, 4-3-1 Hockey East) added two more goals in the final two minutes of the first period behind extra effort. Josh Lopina added one on a two-man advantage, putting home his own rebound at 18:16. With 35 seconds left, a scrum in front of the net resulted in Harmon losing his stick. The Minutemen gained control and Matthew Kessel’s wrister from in front found the net.

“This team, especially, we need our bigger body guys to have an effect on the game,” Carvel said.

The first goal set the tone. Bobby Travigno (three assists) took a shot from just outside the faceoff circle with Cal Kiefiuk skating between him and Harmon. Harmon bobbled the save as Gicewicz crashed from the weak side.

Gicewicz poked at the puck and it slipped away from Harmon. With an open net Gicewicz jabbed it in for a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second, Vermont (0-2-0, 0-2-0) got one back on the power play early in the third. The Minutemen iced the game with less than three minutes remaining. Aaron Bohlinger skated through the defense and crossed to Gicewicz on the weak side for the goal. Gicewicz now has six points (three goals, three assists) over the last five games.

“He’s quickly starting to put points up, scoring goals and putting points up,” Carvel said of the transfer from St. Lawrence. “He’s been a real nice addition to the team.”

UMass goalie Matt Murray made 17 saves in the win. Murray is now second all time with 46 victories, breaking a tie with Paul Dainton (2007-11). Murray has made four straight starts.

“He’s a consistent goalie,” Carvel said. “I know what I’m going to get from him. He’s going to make the saves he’s supposed to make and that’s all I can every ask for the goalie.”

GAME ONE — A short-handed goal during a five-minute major gave the Minutemen a two-goal lead en route to a 4-0 victory over the Catamounts, Saturday night.

UMass scored twice in the second and twice in the third, including a short-handed empty-net tally to cap the scoring.

Kiefiuk gave UMass a 1-0 lead 2:05 into the second. His shot deflected off a Catamounts’ defenseman and past Harmon.

The first short-handed goal came on a 2-1 break as Jake Gaudet fed Oliver Chau for a 2-0 lead at the 15:17 mark.

UMass scored its third goal 5:18 into the third. Kessel forced a turnover in the offensive zone. Kiefiuk collected the loose puck and passed back to Kessel for a backhander in the slot.

Vermont had a 6-on-4 advantage late, but Trivigno chased down a pass at center ice and went in alone on the empty net. Trivigno was hit from behind and fell to the ice. As the puck drifted away, he slapped at it and scored with 1:20 remaining. Vermont was called for a penalty on the play.

Murray made 15 stops in net for his ninth career shutout.

Mike Moran can be reached at Follow on Twitter @mikemoranDHG.

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