From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
By Mike Maynard
The Massachusetts club hockey team played a physically tough game and dominated the goal scoring in its 5-1 win over RPI on Friday night.
An offensive explosion came from the Minutemen (8-3), putting up five goals on a struggling Engineers team. The win did not come without their strong defensive effort as well, only allowing a single goal through 60 minutes of play.
UMass opened the scoring in the first period with a low wrister from the point by defenseman Michael Dunning. The deep shot snuck its way through traffic and past the Engineers goaltender.
The second period was where the dominance shifted in favor of UMass. The first goal of the period came on a breakaway for forward JD Anderson. A swift chip past a defenseman at the blue line freed up the opening. The five-hole burial gave Massachusetts a two-goal lead.
RPI would attempt to lessen the lead with multiple scoring opportunities occurring shortly after. Goaltender Trey Peterson made hard saves and got help from the post when he needed it.
Just before the end of the second, sophomore Ryan Concannon got in on the scoring. He would find himself in the right place at the right time, finishing off a nice pass by captain Scott Shorrock.
With a 3-0 lead heading into the third period, UMass would be looking to hold on to the lead and come out with the win. RPI had other plans though and opened the third with a tough goal from the slot.
Concannon’s night was not finished with one goal, however, he was able to net his second of the game on the powerplay. It was another instance of cleaning up as he retrieved a rebound and got help by forward Mitchell Rickert.
“I played with two great players Scott Schorrock and Mitchell Rickert, two of the best guys on our team,” Concannon said. “It definitely paid off playing with those two.”
With a three-goal lead, UMass wanted to put this one away and senior Zachary Reiser decided he would be the one to do it. A nice move was put on to fool the RPI defense. Using the fooled defender as a screen he lit the lamp to make the Minutemen’s lead four.
UMass would continue the pressure on the power play and have two goals get called back from early whistles. Frustration was evident and big hits began to become a common occurrence.
Penalties were happening at an increasing pace and the Minutemen relied heavily on its penalty kill unit. Defense and goaltending while shorthanded were strong and multiple kills back-to-back kept the Minutemen on top.
“Luckily for this team, we have a bunch of guys that can kill penalties,” head coach Mike DeFazio said. “Being able to throw in just about anybody that’s still fresh and be able to kill penalties is huge.”
The end of the game was also filled with physicality and frustration out of the Engineers. The Minutemen did not back down from the challenge and there were a multitude of fights after the whistle.
“They were playing a little scrappy, little physical and it was good to just kind of hit them back,” DeFazio said. “I appreciate them sticking up for each other when they had to at the end of the game.”
Low-quality shots by the Engineers and great goaltending for the Minutemen kept the 5-1 lead through the end of the game.
UMass put the puck in the net, but also kept it out of its own throughout the game. The dominant performance was a great way to return home after a weekend out of town.
The Minutemen will be back in action and look to keep their win streak alive on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. against Vermont.
(Originally published at https://dailycollegian.com/2022/10/umass-shows-strong-offense-in-5-1-victory-over-rpi/)