AMHERST, Mass. - After UConn tied the score at 3-3 in the opening minute of the third period, No. 3 University of Massachusetts hockey netted four in the final stanza to skate to a 7-4 victory over the Huskies at the Mullins Center on Friday night. The win marked the Minutemen's ninth in a row, the nation's longest active winning streak and a program record, moving the squad to 12-1-0 overall and 7-0-0 in Hockey East action. UConn falls to 5-9-1 and 2-7-1 in league play following the loss.
"I never worry about the offense of our team, we have a lot of gifted offensive players," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "But our play without the puck tonight was inconsistent, I thought UConn did a really good job of preventing us from being effective on the cycle. They did a good job of getting pucks and bodies to the net. We had to see what we are made up in a different way, and some gifted players elevated and helped us to get the lead. Obviously, we scored seven goals, we are a very good offensive team, but we need to be a better defensive team if we want to be the best we can be."
Ten Minutemen registered points in the contest, including five with multi-point efforts, led by sophomore Mitchell Chaffee's career-best, four-point performance on two goals and two assists. Freshman Bobby Trivigno logged his second multi-goal game of the season, while senior Jacob Pritchard added a goal and an assist and sophomores Cale Makar and Mario Ferraro had two helpers apiece.
Trivigno's first of the night opened the scoring just 1:34 into the contest, but UConn created traffic in front of UMass goaltender Matt Murray to generate a pair of tallies and took a 2-1 lead into the locker room at the intermission, the first time the Minutemen have trailed coming out of the first period this season.
UMass responded by out-scoring the Huskies 2-0 in the second to regain the lead, 3-2. Freshman Marc DelGaizo's highlight reel goal 5:05 into the frame leveled things at 2-2, while Chaffee's power-play strike from the slot at the 14:29 mark put the Minutemen on top.
Just 34 seconds into the third period, though, the Huskies used power-play goal of their own from Karl El-Mir to knot the score at 3-3.
Chaffee countered with his second of the night to give UMass back the advantage, 4-3, curling off the wall and beating UConn goaltender Adam Huska with the odd-angle shot at 5:24.
The Minutemen then built a three-goal cushion courtesy of Pritchard's sixth of the season at 6:34 and a penalty shot converted by Trivigno 7:33 into the period.
Kale Howarth closed the gap to two with his second of the evening for the Huskies at 16:25 into the third before junior Niko Hildenbrand capped the scoring with an empty net goal for his first tally of the season at the 18:36 mark.
UMass edged UConn in shots, 38-33, and went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Huskies were 1-for-4. Murray made 29 saves for the Minutemen as he moved to 9-0-0 on the year and Huska finished with 31 stops for UConn.
UMass will return to action next Friday, Dec. 7, when the squad will open a home-and-home against No. 9 Quinnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut at 7 p.m.