I am sure everyone felt the tension when they sat down to watch the start of the game. You didn’t even need to be at Mullins to feel the determination of the Militia’s crowd around you. The fans felt it, the team felt it, UMass felt it.
The game started off with a leading 1-0 goal by Garrett Wait off a pass from Bobby Trivigno. Trivigno was an absolute force against the Huskies on Sunday afternoon as he recorded three points off of two assists and a goal, having a hand in three out of four of the goals. He also contributed much more than these stats suggest as he continuously created chances on net that remarkably did not get past Northeastern’s goaltender Connor Murphy.
On Trivigno’s goal, he made this excellent play with Wait as they had a 2-on-1 against Murphy. Knowing that he could pass to Wait, Trivigno took his time and used the opportunity to make it seem as if he would. With anticipation, Murphy waited for the pass to come so he could slide across and cover the right side of the net, but that never came. With a quick snap, Trivigno launched the puck right underneath Murphy and through the five hole causing the game to go up 3-1 as they went into the third.
With a score of 4-1, you would think that UMass had absolute control over the Northeastern Huskies throughout the matchup. Breaking it down, the two teams were close in their shots on goal opportunities with UMass finishing with 28 and Northeastern 26. In fact, the period that the Minutemen had the larger advantage in was the first, with twelve shots to Northeastern’s seven. This would make sense with their score as well, since the Minutemen converted on two goals in the first and one more in each of the two other periods.
Northeastern’s only goal came from sophomore defenseman Jeremie Buchele who brought the game within one. Buchele took the far shot from the top of the zone in the middle of the second. The puck managed to get past Lindberg as Gianfranco Cassaro and Jake Gaudet tried to block the shot with their bodies in front. Nonetheless, the Minutemen held onto the one-goal lead with a goal majority until Trivigno got his ninth goal of the season.
Regarding the other three games happening that night, Boston University fell to UMass Lowell 1-2, Providence College beat UConn by an outstanding 6-1, and lastly Boston College took down New Hampshire 3-2. Moving forward, UMass will face Providence College on Wednesday March 17 at 7 pm. So far this season UMass has had two overtime games against the Friars with both going into a shootout. One resulted in a win and one a loss. The third and most recent matchup was an 8-1 win on February 23 as the Minutemen were coming off of their two week break. I suspect Wednesday’s matchup will be more of the first two games as Providence has more riding for them on this win than just some standing number. Providence’s top players, such as Patrick Moynihan, Brett Berard and Jaxson Stauber will definitely put pressure on UMass. This being said, if the Minutemen can shut them down and add some pressure of their own, I see no problem with them coming out with a win. It may not be 8-1, but a 3-2 or 4-2 game is a good guess. Watch this Wednesday to see which team moves onto the finals for a chance to be Hockey East Champions.