WORCESTER, Mass. - Freshman forward Bobby Kaiser's first collegiate goal broke a 1-1 tie in the third period as No. 4 University of Massachusetts hockey picked up its sixth straight win with a 3-1 victory at Holy Cross on Friday night. The win moves the Minutemen to 9-1-0 on the season, matching the best start in program history as the 1971-72 UMass squad also began the year 9-1-0. The loss drops the Crusaders to 1-7-1.
"There's no easy wins at this level and tonight I thought we played a great 60 minutes," said head coach Greg Carvel. "You want it to be easy, but it never is. Holy Cross played exactly as we thought they would, good speed up and down the ice and they competed hard. I was really happy with our effort tonight; 60 minutes, most guys competing, and we grinded out another road win."
UMass came out of the first period with a 1-0 lead after heavily out-shooting Holy Cross, 19-9. Sophomore Mitchell Chaffee picked off a Crusader pass out of the corner and skated in alone on netminder Erik Gordon to notch his team-leading seventh tally of the season at the 6:55 mark.
Holy Cross answered in the second period to level the score at 1-1. Will Brophy's shot off a Minutemen turnover was initially stopped by freshman Filip Lindberg, but Jack Surowiec was there to put in the rebound just 38 seconds into the stanza.
In the opening moments of the third, a Mario Ferraro outlet pass sent senior Kurt Keats and Kaiser on an odd-man rush. Keats fed Kaiser on the opposite wing for the strike at the 3:49 mark.
Sophomore Cale Makar later sealed the win for the Minutemen with an empty net goal from sophomore Jake Gaudet at 19:38, his fifth tally of the year to match his freshman year season total.
UMass doubled up the Crusaders in shots, 42-21, and went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Holy Cross was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Lindberg finished the night with 20 saves and improved to 3-1-0. Gordon totaled 39 stops for the Crusaders.
The Minutemen will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 18, playing host to New Hampshire in a matinee Hockey East matchup at 2 p.m. in the Mullins Center.