DURHAM, N.H. –
No. 11 University of Massachusetts hockey kept things rolling on Saturday night, taking a 2-0 lead in the first period and not looking back on the way to a 5-1 win at New Hampshire, the squad's first road victory over the Wildcats since 2006. The Minutemen remain perfect in league play following the win at 3-0-0 and move to 6-1-0 overall, the best start for the program since 2009-10.
"I really like my hockey club," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel
. "I think we came in here tonight and we wanted to try and frustrate UNH and I thought, through the first period, we were doing a real good job of that. It's tough to win on the road this league and UNH is a skilled team with speed. I thought we did a good job limiting their skill and their speed and their power play was something else I was worried about, our kill did a good job tonight."
Sophomore Mitchell Chaffee
opened the scoring 7:19 into the first period, tapping home a between the legs, backhand pass from Oliver Chau
for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Freshman Marc Del Gaizo
earned an assist on the play, as well.
The Minutemen then pushed the lead to 2-0 at the 14:08 mark as senior Jacob Pritchard
received the puck from sophomore John Leonard
and sent a pass into the slot for a quick strike from sophomore Philip Lagunov
UMass preserved its two-goal cushion by killing off a lengthy 5-on-3 to end the period and held UNH to an 0-for-3 night on the power play, extending the Minutemen's streak to 16 straight successful kills.
Sophomore Cale Makar
added to the UMass advantage with his fourth of the season, picking a corner for the only goal of the second period at the 13:09 mark off a feed from Chaffee and sophomore Jake Gaudet
Leonard made quick work of a Minutemen power play at 12:22 into the third, firing home a pass from Makar and Chaffee for UMass' fourth goal of the night.
Kohei Sato spoiled the shutout bid, netting the lone tally of the evening for the Wildcats at the 18:56 mark of the third period. Pritchard quickly answered for the Minutemen at 19:31 off a feed from Leonard and senior Ivan Chukarov
Sophomore Matt Murray
made 19 saves in net for UMass and improved to 4-0-0 on the year, while Mike Robinson had 17 stops for the Wildcats.
The Minutemen finished with a 22-20 shot advantage and went 1-for-4 on the power play. UMass once again scored goals in all three periods and now has at least one goal in 20 of 22 periods of play to start the year.
Several Minutemen continued their torrid scoring paces to begin the 2018-19 season. Chaffee set a new single-game career high with three points (1g, 2a), which marked his third straight multi point effort, his fourth in seven games, and extended his point-scoring streak to four consecutive contests.
Leonard had his third-straight three-point night with a goal and two assists and Pritchard posted a goal and an assist for a second straight game, his third with multiple points in a UMass uniform.
Makar's goal and assist extended his point streak to five straight games and was his fourth multi-point game of the year.
The Minutemen will be back in action next Thursday, Nov. 8, for a pivotal Hockey East matchup at the Mullins Center, hosting No. 3 Providence in a 7 p.m. contest.