RPI drops season opener to UMass

RPI drops season opener to UMass

AMHERST, Mass. – Sophomore Cale Makar recorded two goals and two assists to lead the University of Massachusetts men's hockey team to a 6-1 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Friday night at Mullins Center, in the season-opener for both teams.

The Minutemen opened the scoring at 11:03 of the first period, when Makar (Calgary, AB/Brooks Bandits) found senior Jacob Prichard (Macomb, MI/St. Lawrence) all alone in the middle of the right circle for a one-time blast and a 1-0 lead. The 5-on-3 power play tally also drew an assist from freshman Marc Del Gaizo (Basking Ridge, NJ/Muskegon Lumberjacks).

Del Gaizo made it 2-0, less than two minutes later, on another power play goal. Assists went to Prichard and Makar on the marker, which came at 12:10.

RPI pulled to within 2-1 on a power play goal of its own at 15:14, when freshman Jakub Lacka (Bratislava, Slovakia/Central Illinois Flying Aces) jammed home a rebound at the right side of the cage. A shot from the left circle by classmate Kyle Hallbauer (Howell, NJ/Lone Star Brahmas) was turned aside by UMass sophomore goaltender Matt Murray (St. Albert, AB/Fargo Force), but he wasn't able to contain the rebound, which was finished off by Lacka. The secondary helper went to junior Jacob Hayhurst(Mississauga, ON/Cedar Rapids Roughriders).

Sophomore Michell Chaffee (Rockford, MI/Fargo Force) made it a 3-1 game at 19:04 of the first, burying his first of the year from classmate John Leonard (Amherst, MA/Green Bay Gamblers) and Prichard.

Makar then potted a fourth goal for the hosts, 29 seconds later, when he swooped in and scored on a breakaway.

A man advantage tally from freshman blueliner Ty Farmer (O'Fallon, MO/Fargo Force) pushed the hosts' lead to 5-1 at 14:15 of the second, before Makar capped the scoring with even strength tally at 12:21 of the third. A point shot from senior Brett Boeing (Barrington, IL/Dubuque Fighting Saints) was stopped by RPI freshman Owen Savory (Guelph, ON/St. Catharines Falcons), but the rebound fell to Makar for the close range tap in.

Engineers sophomore Linden Marshall (Victoria, BC/Trail Smoke Eaters) finished with 23 saves through the first two periods, before Savory made eight in the third. Murray wound up with 27 at the other end of the ice.

Both teams are back in action tomorrow night for the Troy half of the home-and-home series, with puck drop scheduled for 7pm at the Houston Field House.