After another disappointing hockey weekend, the Minutemen will look to turn their season on its head at Granite State.
After two disappointing games against the Providence Friars two weeks ago, last weekend’s series was no different for UMass on the ice. Boston University outplayed the Minutemen in the two games combined 12-3, giving UMass their fourth and fifth straight losses. The games were not close. The terriers completely outplayed the men in chestnut.
UMass doesn’t look anywhere like they want to win. They don’t play the full 60 minutes and have lost five games in a row. UMass is taking bad penalties, not putting enough shots into the net, not creating enough scoring chances and making turnovers left and right, I could go on. Simply put, Coach Greg Carvel really needs to get his roster on track and get this team playing good, physical hockey again. That’s exactly what they can do tonight in Durham. But before that, one particular goal, scored last weekend, is simply unmissable.
That particular goal wasn’t just any goal, it was a highlight reel goal for the ages, scored by Terriers forward Wilmer Skoog and garnering national attention. “Call it the Skoog,” said the NESN commentator Tyler Murray after No. 32 scored another lacrosse-style goal. This was Skoog’s fourth train from Michigan to net. Whether it’s called the lacrosse move or “Michigan,” the move is a fan favorite popularized by NHL players Andrei Shchnikov and Trevor Zegras. Now Anaheim Ducks player Trevor Zegras was playing college hockey at Boston University and perhaps inspired Skoog to hit those highlight reel lacrosse move goals.
Now to the New Hampshire Wildcats. Today’s odds are looking good for the Minutemen because it’s the Wildcats at the moment ranked all the way down at No. 48 on Pairwise with UMass at No. 16. UNH has lost six in a row; This is the perfect matchup for the Minutemen to get back into the Victory Column before heading to Ireland over Thanksgiving weekend for the Friendship Four tournament in Belfast. UMass will seek to take home the program’s first Belpot Trophy in its first tournament since 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19.
After a COVID-enforced hiatus, the @Friendship_Fourice ice hockey tournament returns this November. The competition brings together four top US collegiate hockey teams battling for the coveted Belpot trophy over Thanksgiving weekend. Learn more >> https://t.co/qT655NMaOa pic.twitter.com/9RP7qdqm5D
— NI Connections (@ConnectNI) November 17, 2022
In the thirteen games the Wildcats have played, they have two players at the top with just seven players in the points category. Those players are defenseman Colton Huard and sophomore Liam Devlin. Devlin, the Needham, Mass. forward, has not scored in six straight games. So maybe UNH lost all six of those games. Between the whistles, senior David Fessenden has seen the most minutes with a 2.68 GAA and 0.910 SV%. However, in New Hampshire’s last game last Tuesday, freshman Tyler Muszelik had to concede just three goals against 10th-ranked Harvard.
Despite all this, UNH, like any other team, should not be taken lightly. Yes, they might have 3-9-1 on a six-game losing streak, but this is a team that almost upset the Providence Friars in October by forcing a tie but ultimately lost on penalties. This is a must for UMass and after losing five straight runs they need to be on their toes and pick up a powerful win against the Wildcats later tonight in Durham.