UMass Hockey scores three huge points this weekend
The Massachusetts hockey team was in action again this weekend for their final back-to-back series of the season. It was their fifth game in just eight days and after losing five of the last six, the Minutemen needed at least one win to stay relevant in the Hockey East.
Well, they did just that. After faltering against Boston University on February 2nd at home, they went into Agganis Arena last Friday and came away with a tie, which counts for one point in the Hockey East standings. In the game, despite Shane Bowers finding the back of the net twice, and falling 3-1 early, the Minutemen found a way to crawl back into the game. Ultimately it was freshman Mitchell Chafee who scored the game-tying goal for his team-leading 12th goal of the season. Meanwhile in net, Matt Murray had a very busy night but once again stood tall, making 38 saves on 41 shots.
After an earning a critical point in Boston, the Minutemen returned home to take on the UMass Lowell Riverhawks. Thanks to sophomore Niko Hildenbrand’s early tally just seven minutes into the game, the Minutemen came away with a 3-0 win over UMass Lowell after scoring two empty net goals to finish the job. While Hildenbrand had an incredible performance with two goals, it was Matt Murray again who was a key factor in the game, making 30 saves for his third shutout of the season. Murray finished the weekend with an amazing .958 save percentage on 71 shots.
These three points lead to great news for UMass. This bumps the Minutemen up to ninth place with three games to go, and they are in sight of the next two teams in Vermont and UMass Lowell. This weekend also now marks a three-game unbeaten streak for UMass following a tough five-game skid before that. They will attempt to keep the momentum against a very difficult opponent on Thursday, February 15, as the Hockey East leading Boston College Eagles come to the Mullins Center.
2/15: Home vs #18 Boston College