AMHERST, Mass. - No. 10/13 University of Massachusetts hockey scored twice in the second and twice more in the third, including two shorthanded tallies to blank Vermont, 4-0 on Saturday night at the Mullins Center. With the win, the Minutemen move to 3-3-1 (3-3-1 HE), while the Catamounts begin their season at 0-1-0 (0-1-0 HE).
"It was a pretty complete game for us tonight," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "I was happy with our start. There's some things we've been focusing on the last two weeks, how we wanted to play better defensively and I thought we took some steps forward. The shutout is nice, but we still gave up, to me, more chances than we should have. It was a solid effort up and down the lineup and a win that felt pretty secured for most of the game."
After a barrage of chances for the Minutemen in the first period, sophomore Cal Kiefiuk ultimately put UMass on the board just 2:05 into the second as his shot deflected off a Catamounts' defenseman and fluttered over the shoulder of Tyler Harmon with sophomore Eric Faith and freshman Oliver MacDonald picking up the assists.
While killing off a five-minute major, the Minutemen managed to extend their lead to 2-0. Colin Felix's outlet pass sprung seniors Jake Gaudet and Oliver Chau on a shorthanded 2-on-1 and Gaudet dished to Chau for the finish at the 15:17 mark of the second.
UMass added another 5:18 into the third with sophomore Matthew Kessel forcing a turnover in the offensive zone. Kiefiuk collected the loose puck and dished a no-look pass back to Kessel for the backhand score from the slot, Kessel's second of the season.
With a power-play opportunity late, UVM elected to pull Harmon for a 6-on-4 advantage. However, junior Bobby Trivigno held off a pair of Catamounts on the back check to deposit the empty net goal from junior Marc Del Gaizo at the 18:40 mark.
The Minutemen out-shot Vermont, 34-15, while both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play. Harmon made 30 saves for the Catamounts and senior Matt Murray had 15 stops en route to his ninth career shutout and 45th career win, pulling him into a tie for second all-time on the program's list for goaltender victories with Paul Dainton (2007-11).
UMass and UVM will be back in action tomorrow night, Dec. 20, at the Mullins Center in a matchup set for 6 p.m. that will air on NESN.