Wagon Wednesday, Week 1: Three Stars of the Week

Neal Wood

It was an action-packed weekend for UMass with the football team on the road at Florida Atlantic University and the hockey team at home against UConn last Friday night, followed by an afternoon matinee at UConn on Saturday. Every Wednesday we’ll look to highlight the top three UMass individual player performances from the prior week. 

This week there were several standout individual efforts both on the ice and on the football field. Our first star of this edition of Wagon Wednesday is sophomore defensive back from Kingston, New York in Tanner Davis. Friday night, Davis was all over the field, and it showed on the score sheet. Recording numerous pressures on the FAU quarterback and six tackles on the night, Davis was a key piece in the success of the Minutemen defense. Davis’ shining moment came with just under two minutes remaining in the first half when he got home and blocked a FAU punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety. The defense would go on to hold the Florida Atlantic offense to just three points in the entire second half for their best performance of the season.

Our next star this week comes on the ice in Oliver Chau, the senior forward who had himself a three-point weekend. In Friday night’s home opener, Chau put home his first goal of the 2020-21 campaign and recorded an assist, as well. The following night, Chau added another assist on Matthew Kessel’s first period goal. Chau, like Davis, was all over the ice using his speed to generate scoring chances in both games for the Minutemen. Look for Chau to continue to make a big impact throughout the season.

Finally, our third star of this week’s Wagon Wednesday is a tough choice, as there are several Minutemen who put up exceptional performances this weekend. But senior goalie Matt Murray earns the honor for his dominant performance on Friday. Murray got the nod from Coach Carvel to open the season between the pipes and turned away 21 of 22 UConn shots, posting a stellar 95.5 save percentage. The only goal Murray allowed was the result of a misdirection caused by Husky forwards around the net in the first period. After that, Murray was perfect and kept the UConn powerplay off the board. That concludes this week’s edition of #WagonWednesday. We are looking forward to the start of the Women’s Basketball season and hopefully the Men’s season will shortly follow. Happy Thanksgiving and best of luck on final exams!

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