2022 23 um HCKY denver 0176 ko2D5

AMHERST, Mass. – Sophomore Luke Pavicich turned aside all 30 shots he faced on Saturday night as No. 13/14 Massachusetts hockey completed its weekend sweep of Denver with a 3-0 victory over the Pioneers at the Mullins Center. The win, UMass’ first blanking of a No. 1-ranked opponent and Pavicich’s first shutout of his career, moves the Minutemen to 2-0-1 on the year while Denver falls to 2-2-0.

“Last night was a pretty disjointed game and I came away just happy to win the game,” said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. “Tonight, I was very happy with the way we played. I’m very proud of this group. I’m sure everyone will say ‘the team made a statement’, but most importantly we made a statement to ourselves. I think this group created an identity this weekend, very similar to our teams in the last couple years. I saw so many positives tonight and, of course, it starts with the goaltender. I thought our defense played way better tonight. To shut out that team, that’s quite a feat. I thought we got a little lucky at times. We had some puck luck this weekend for sure, but I walk away tonight feeling like we earned the victory tonight for sure.”

For a second straight night, the Minutemen jumped out to an early lead. Kiefiuk fed sophomore Scott Morrow at the right point and Morrow threaded a shot through traffic along the ice for his second of the weekend at the 37 seconds into the game.

With the second period winding down, graduate student Matt Koopman doubled the lead for UMass, putting back his own rebound from the slot 16:52 into the stanza for his first tally as a Minuteman. Senior Jerry Harding and senior Eric Faith earned assists on the play.

Kiefiuk later cemented the victory with an empty netter off a blocked shot by sophomore Ryan Ufko 18:08 into the third.

Denver finished the night with a 30-24 shot advantage and both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play for the evening. Magnus Chrona had 21 saves in net for the Pioneers.

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