Makar’s Late Game Heroics Helps Minutemen Past Huskies
The Massachusetts Minutemen were at Connecticut on Thursday night for their final road contest of the season. It was a pivotal game for UMass, as it needed a win to give the team a much greater chance of hosting a first round Hockey East playoff series. This game also ends a seven-game winning streak for UConn and it is a huge momentum boost headed into their final regular season game against Providence.
It was freshman Cale Makar with the late game heroics, scoring the game winning goal with just 1 minute, 8 seconds left on the clock. It was a tight contest throughout, with a 2-1 battle for about a period and a half. After UConn’s Jesse Schwartz scored with just 1:20 left, the Minutemen answered back thanks to Makar. It was otherwise a very clean even game. UConn had a 24-19 shot advantage. Each team committed one roughing penalty when freshman Mitchell Chaffee and the Huskies Adam Karashik were caught in an altercation half way through the first period.
As of Friday morning, the Minutemen sit in eighth place in the conference with one game (Providence) remaining in their schedule. Eighth place is good enough to host a first round playoff series, and UMass currently sits one point ahead of Vermont, but Vermont still has two games against Boston University on Friday and Saturday. If BU wins tonight, UMass will need a win or another BU win on Saturday to clinch at least eighth in the conference. If BU loses tonight, the Minutemen need both a win and help from BU on Saturday to get playoff hockey in the Mullins Center. While there are a couple of other scenarios that could change things for the Minutemen, including some action from UMass Lowell, (seventh seed) but a battle for eighth is the most likely scenario this weekend.
With so much at stake, the team needs you this weekend more than ever. The win at UConn gave UMass its 14th win of the season, the most since 2009-2010. The game at Providence is a must win, and it all goes down at 7 p.m. on Saturday.