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Young UMass Fighting Through Adversity : College Hockey News

Not Enough : College Hockey News

November 18, 2022
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by Belle Fraser/CHN Reporter

After back-to-back conference titles and one NCAA championship within the last two years, Massachusetts is facing growing pains and working through some adversity a little over a month into the season. 

There’s always turnover, of course, in college hockey, but UMass appeared to have navigated through that beyond expectations early in the season. The group started off the 2022-23 campaign strong and made noise at the national level with their sweep of Denver, followed by a 14-goal series against Union. However, since splitting with Merrimack, UMass has now dropped five straight — most recently getting swept by Boston University. 

“We’re in a hole here for the first time in a long time and we’re going to have to find a way, as a group, to pull out of it,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “The worst thing that you can do is fall apart. We’ve got to lean hard on each other and get back to basics; the basics are just competing, winning some battles.”

The offseason saw some major changes to the Minutemen roster, most notably losing captain Bobby Trivigno, who led the team with 49 points (20g, 29a) in his senior run. Josh Lopina, another offensive force for UMass, inked a contract with the Anaheim Ducks after his sophomore season. The 27-point-scorer is one of nine players who did not return.

Now with eight freshmen, UMass is learning to utilize its youth instead of depending on a deep veteran core. That transition is never seamless, and the first-years have had to learn on the go while the squad deals with injuries. Last weekend, UMass skated without defensemen Noah Ellis, Mikey Adamson and Aaron Bohlinger.

“Right now we have to play a lot of freshmen and they make freshmen mistakes,” Carvel said. “The freshmen are getting minutes. It’s early in the year, we’re going to have to work hard, but that’s alright.”

Senior forward Reed Lebster has been a leader for UMass as it hits this rut, and despite the losses, has strung together a five-game point streak. Lebster tops the team with 12 points and said the locker room is trying to stick to their same brand of hockey. 

“It’s obviously a new team so we have to fill some of those voids,” Lebster said. “But in terms of our identity, we try to not change what we’re doing in that aspect. We want to be tough to play against and keep our…

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