Amherst, MA– Saturday, October 6th brought college hockey back to the ice. Regulation and exhibition games filled the schedule across the nation. Among the exhibition games was a matchup in western Massachusetts between the Royal Military College of Canada and UMass Amherst. The Minutemen walked in expected to dominate, and while they did, Head Coach Greg Carvel still didn’t have a clear sense of his team after the contest.
UMass put up 56 shots in the whole game and only surrendered 15 to the Paladins, who only recorded five shots on goal per period. UMass played all three goaltenders, Matt Murray, Brad Arvanitas, and Fillip Lindberg, and they each only faced five shots. Lindberg surrendered the only RMC goal of the night, with 7:02 left in the game. Still, the goalies handled their business well, however little they received.
The defense held their own and never let the Paladisn possess the puck for long. Carvel split Cale Makar and Mario Ferraro, pairing them with Marc Del Gaizo and Ty Farmer respectively. Both of UMass’s top pairings moved the puck well and gave pressure to the Paladin’s defense. The power play was overwhelming, with 21 shots resulting from eight trips to the man advantage. Makar and Del Gaizo were terrors with the puck on the man advantage.
UMass landed two goals in each of the periods. Del Gaizo opened the scoring in the first and transfer arrival Jacob Pritchard made it 2-0 11 minutes into proceedings. John Leonard showed his skill on the first goal of the second and Captain Niko Hildenbrand netted the first power play goal. John Leonard scored his second of the game 34 seconds into the third and Bobby Kaiser landed the final blow of the game with 4:46 left in the night.
Despite the strong showing, Greg Carvel was dissatisfied. Not with his team, but with the lack of opportunity to distinguish themselves.
“You go into these exhibition games, you’re not exactly sure what the competition’s going to be. We thought it was going to be a little stronger tonight. Credit to our guys for a dominating performance. We didn’t have to do much defensively. I wanted to see more from the goalies, but they didn’t get tested too much.”
UMass begins regular play with their home opener on Friday night against the RPI Engineers. Puck drops at 7 pm at the Mullins Center.