SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Led by freshman Marc Del Gaizo's four-point performance, 11 different Minutemen found their way onto the scoresheet in No. 2 University of Massachusetts hockey's 6-1 triumph over American International College at the MassMutual Center on Saturday afternoon. The victory marks UMass' 15th of the season (15-3-0), while the Yellow Jackets fall to 8-9-1.
"I thought we were outstanding today-the whole game, our compete level, our game plan," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "I was very fearful coming in here, AIC has played very well this year. I watched them on tape-a very offensive-minded team. I've said this before, I think they're a very similar team to what we are, a team that likes to be offensive and creative and do a lot in the offensive zone. Our game plan was to own the puck in the offensive zone so they couldn't own it in our zone and I thought we did that in spades tonight."
Sophomore George Mika gave UMass an early 1-0 lead in the first period, backhanding a centering pass from senior Kurt Keats into the top right corner of the net at the 5:51 mark of the opening frame. Marc Del Gaizo earned an assist on the play, as well.
Anthony Del Gaizo then upped the score to 2-0 at 13:29 as Bobby Trivigno found him alone in the slot after receiving the puck from Marc Del Gaizo.
Pushing the margin to 3-0, sophomore Mitchell Chaffee rocketed home his team-leading 12th goal of the year off a feed from Jake Gaudet and Marc Del Gaizo, 5:54 into the second period.
AIC took one of the goals back when Shawn McBride tipped the puck past Matt Murray at the 11:01 mark, trimming their deficit to 3-1.
However, UMass regained its three-goal lead before the close of the stanza. Marc Del Gaizo earned his fourth point of the day with a power-play goal at 19:21 as he finished off a pass from sophomore John Leonard and Chaffee at the far post.
In the opening moments of the third, sophomore Cale Makar and sophomore Philip Lagunov connected with senior Jacob Pritchard for the Minutemen's fifth tally of the contest. The senior completed the play for his eighth of the season, tucking a crisp pass from Makar behind the leg of goaltender Zackarias Skog 3:53 into the period.
Leonard then capped the scoring moments later at 4:59, tapping home a feed from Lagunov and Pritchard for UMass' sixth and final goal.
The Minutemen ended the afternoon with a 39-21 shot advantage and went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Yellow Jackets were 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Murray totaled 20 saves for UMass to improve to 12-1-0 on the season and his counterpart, Skog, stopped 33 shots for AIC.
In addition to Marc Del Gaizo's career day (1g, 3a), four more Minutemen had multi-point performances with Leonard, Pritchard and Chaffee adding a goal and an assist apiece. Lagunov had two helpers, as well.
UMass returns to action on Fri., Jan. 11 when the squad will open up a two-game home set against Hockey East foe Vermont at the Mullins Center at 7 p.m.