Matt Murray #31
Freshman Goaltender Matt Murray hails from St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. The 6-1, 195 pound Canadian was ranked 29th by NHL Central Scouting for North American goaltenders. Murray enjoyed great success before coming to UMass, as he went 37-5-3 over 51 career regular season games in two seasons (2014-16) with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
Last year Murray posted a 2.36 goals-against average and .910 save percentage over 52 regular season games for the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 2016-17.
Murray began this season in a platoon with sophomore incumbent goaltender Ryan Wischow. Murray impressed early on, recording his first career shutout vs Merrimack on October 27th, lowering his goals allowed per game average to 1.81 at the time.
You may remember Murray from chants such as “sexy goalie.” He has lived up to his acclaim, time and time again, recording his 4th shutout of the season this past Saturday vs #7 Providence, ending the regular season with .913 save percentage.
We had the pleasure of interviewing the freshman net-minder to better get to know him:
Q: Outside of the Hockey program, what has made UMass a great choice for you as a student athlete?
A: “Campus is fantastic, such a great place to be. The atmosphere all around is just amazing.”
Q: Do you have any career aspirations after you leave UMass? Any passions outside of hockey? If so, what are they?
A: “I’d like to stay in the Sports Industry and make good use of my Sport Management degree.”
Q: What is the best advise a coach, family member, or close friend/mentor ever gave you?
A: “Back when I was 12 years old, my coach came into the dressing room after one period and asked us a simple question. Do you want to be good or do you want to be great? Ever since then, that’s really stuck with me.”
Q: Do you have any game day rituals you like to follow? Any specific songs you must listen to before tip-off?
A: “I have a pre-game playlist that I always listen to. I go through similar routines, working with racquetballs, doing hand-eye coordination before the game. Other than that, I like to keep it fairly loose.”
Q: What is your favorite TV show or movie? Do you have a favorite food?
A: “When it comes to food, I guess you can’t go wrong with steak. Favorite movie or TV show? It varies. I binge a lot so then they all become my favorite after a point in time.”
Q: Who is your favorite professional athlete of all-time?
A: “Carey Price. He’s just a great model on and off the ice. As a player he shows up at the rink, and he’s also a great person to model yourself off the ice as well.”
Q: Do you have any messages/comments for the student section or student community?
A: “Keep doing what you’re doing and let’s get loud!”
Murray has helped lead UMass to home ice advantage in the first round of the Hockey East Playoffs, as UMass takes on Vermont this today, Friday, and Sunday if necessary.
UMass enters the playoffs with the most productive freshman class in the nation, scoring a total of 144 points on the season, astonishingly 33 more than next next closest team, Bowling Green (111), and 35 more points than the next closest Hockey East team, Boston University (109).
If UMass defeats Vermont in the 1st round of the playoffs, they will travel to take on Boston College with a record of 18-13-3 (18-6-0). The Minutemen lost both contests to the Eagles this season, 2-1 on the road and 5-2 at home respectively. The potential quarter final best of 3 matchup would take place next Friday through Sunday (3/9- 3/11).
Thursday 3/1: Home vs Vermont @7pm (Game 1)
Friday 3/2: Home vs Vermont @7pm (Game 2)
Sunday 3/4: *Home vs Vermont @3pm (Game 3)