First Ever No. 1 Team in Program History Has Tough Challenge Ahead
By Tyler Movsessian
For the first time ever, there will be a No. 1 team playing in the Mullins Center this Saturday night and it will be your Massachusetts hockey team! The 12-1 Minutemen will be playing host to the No. 8 Quinnipiac Bobcats after playing at their place in Hamden, Connecticut the night before. Last time out for the Minutemen, they had a come from behind win against Connecticut in a high scoring, 7-4 showdown. This win made it nine in a row for the good guys in Maroon, and they will be hopefully going for 10 come Saturday night.
Last Friday night, the Minutemen piled on seven goals against the Huskies, with sophomore Mitchell Chaffee and freshman Bobby Trivigno netting two apiece. Sophomores Cale Makar, John Leonard, Mario Ferraro and senior Jacob Pritchard also added multi-point nights for the Minutemen. Meanwhile, sophomore Matt Murray had a busy night in net, stopping 29 of 33 shots that came his way.
Quinnipiac will be one of the toughest opponents the Minutemen will be facing in the 2018-2019 season. The Bobcats are boasting a 13-2 record with losses only to Dartmouth and Union. They are also entering Friday night on a six-game winning streak. They have two skaters in senior Chase Priskie and junior Odeen Tufto with double-digit goals in just 15 games for the Bobcats. Meanwhile, they have two goalies who have split playing time, but sophmore Keith Petruzzelli has seen a majority of the time in net, and he holds a solid .911 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average through ten starts. In one of the matchups in this home-and-away series, the Minutemen could also see freshman Andrew Shortridge who has an impressive .956 save percentage and 1.00 goals against average in five starts for Quinnipiac.
The action begins at the People’s United Center in Hamden, Connecticut at 7 p.m. where the Bobcats first play host to the Minutemen. Then the home ice shifts to the rocking Mullins Center at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday where UMass students will get to see the first No. 1 team in program history take home ice. There’s also a teddy bear toss promotion slated for the game and the game will be a whiteout for all in attendance so wear your white, bring your teddy bear, and #FillTheBill!
You can catch both contests on the radio on 101.5 and 107.5 FM and Saturday’s tilt on Eleven Sports as well as NESN Plus.