pcloudy.png
Monday October 21st, 2019 7:23PM

Del Gaizo seals UMass' 4-3 OT win over Denver

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Marc Del Gaizo thought maybe he was dreaming.

There was no other way the freshman defenseman could put into perspective the role he played in helping Massachusetts advance to college hockey's Frozen Four championship game for the first time in school history.

"It's probably the coolest moment of my life," Del Gaizo said. "Right now it seems like I'm dreaming, but we're off to the national championship and that's all that matters."

Del Gaizo scored 15:18 into overtime to seal a 4-3 victory over Denver in a semifinal game that ended just after midnight Friday.

The Minutemen (31-9), making just their second NCAA Tournament appearance, rebounded after squandering a 3-1, third-period lead and overcame having two forwards — including captain Niko Hildenbrand — ejected for illegal hits to the head.

The victory continued turning around a Hockey East program that hadn't previously won more than 21 games and was two years removed from a 5-29-2 finish in its first year under coach Greg Carvel.

"That five-win season is still pretty fresh," Carvel said. "The pain from that season has sunk in. The glory of this season hasn't sunk in yet."

That's, in part, because the Minutemen's ride from obscurity to the national spotlight isn't over.

UMass now prepares for its most daunting test in facing defending champion Minnesota Duluth on Saturday. The Bulldogs (28-11-2) advanced to their third consecutive championship game with a 4-1 win over Providence.

Star defenseman and Hobey Baker award finalist Cale Makar can appreciate how big this moment is for the Minutemen.

"It's definitely special for this school," Makar said. "And I think the thing we're going to be stressing tomorrow especially is we're not done yet."

Mitchell Chaffee, John Leonard and Bobby Trivigno also scored and Jacob Pritchard had two assists.

Filip Lindberg, coming off consecutive shutouts in the first two rounds, stopped 37 shots. His best save of overtime came a little over eight minutes in when he got across to his left to stop Tyson McLellan, who got off a backhander from in close.

The Pioneers (24-12-5) were denied an opportunity to make their 11th championship game appearance and a shot to win their ninth title, and second since 2017.

Freshman forward Cole Guttman scored twice in less than six minutes in the third period to force overtime. Colin Staub also scored for Denver. Filip Larsson, who was also coming off consecutive shutouts, finished with 23 saves.

"We thought we were winning the game," Staub said. "We though we battled back, we were resilient, and there was no doubt in our minds going into that overtime."

UMass refused to wilt.

Del Gaizo scored when Oliver Chau dug out a loose puck behind Denver's net and fed a pass into the left circle. Del Gaizo one-timed the shot that beat Larsson inside the far post.

"I'm not a guy known for my one-timer, but 'Chausy' just put it on a tee with me there," he said. "It was a perfect pass, right in my wheelhouse, perfect speed, so I just got a hold of it and it went in."

The game was marred by questionable checks, which resulted in Chaffee, Hildenbrand, and Denver's Ryan Barrow being ejected for illegal hits.

The Minutemen were running out of gas in missing two top forwards as the game progressed. They were outshot 15-4 in the third period and 35-21 before overtime.

Guttman scored goals less than six minutes apart, and tied the game with 3:46 left, when he was alone in front to tap in McLellan's pass from the right corner.

Carvel could see the Minutemen's momentum sag entering the locker room after the third period.

"The body language and the hanging and that mopiness, I said, 'Fellas, done. Change. One goal. Next goal wins," Carvel said.

"And I give them credit," he added. "They've done things all year long that have impressed people, impressed me. I guess at some point, I think tonight in overtime, I felt they were going to find a way. And they did."

Staub opened the scoring a little over two minutes after Hildenbrand was ejected 6:24 into the game, when he went high in checking McLellan.

The Minutemen responded by scoring three power-play goals in a span of 2:31.

After Trivigno tied it, Chaffee and Leonard scored 18 seconds apart during a 5-minute power-play after Barrow was ejected for hitting Del Gaizo in the head during a mid-ice collision.

NOTES: Chaffee was ejected with 3:48 left in the second period. Denver's Ian Mitchell was cutting through the neutral zone when he was struck in the side of the head by Chaffee's right shoulder. ... Makar's assist upped his season total to 49 points, one short of the nation's leaders, Penn State's Alex Limoges and Michigan State's Taro Hirose. No defenseman has ever led the NCAA in points. ... The Pioneers had six players left from their 2017 championship team.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, College Sports
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'I know nothing' - Trump changes his tune on WikiLeaks
Assange arrest stands in stark contrast to the praise President Donald Trump showered on his shadowy hacking organization, WikiLeaks, in the stretch run of the 2016 presidential campaign
12:45AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Minnesota Duluth beats Providence 4-1 in NCAA semifinals
Billy Exell scored the go-ahead goal with 9:53 remaining and defending champion Minnesota Duluth beat Providence 4-1 to advance to the final in college hockey's Frozen Four
12:27AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Del Gaizo seals UMass' 4-3 OT win over Denver
Marc Del Gaizo scored 15:18 into overtime to give Massachusetts a 4-3 victory over Denver in a college hockey Frozen Four semifinal that ended in just after midnight
12:23AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Capitals survive surge from Hurricanes to win Game 1
Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin combined to score three goals on the first eight shots, and the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals survived a surge from the Carolina Hurricanes to win Game 1 of their first-round series 4-2
11:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Marner has 2 goals, including penalty shot, Leafs top Bruins
Mitch Marner scored twice, the second on a short-handed penalty shot to give Toronto the lead for good, and the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in the opener of their first-round playoff series
11:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
Woman who alleged rape by ex-MSU players speaks publicly
A Michigan State University student is speaking publicly a year after filing a lawsuit against the school that alleges three former men's basketball players raped her in 2015 and that she was discouraged from reporting what happened
8:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Mick Cronin honored to be coaching 'John Wooden's program'
Mick Cronin was introduced as UCLA's basketball coach and took just a few seconds to utter John Wooden's name for the first of several times
6:45PM ( 1 day ago )
Mick Cronin takes over as UCLA basketball coach
Mick Cronin was introduced as UCLA's basketball coach and took just a few seconds to utter John Wooden's name for the first of several times
4:48PM ( 1 day ago )
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has book coming in the fall
Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor, has a book deal
1:00PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
'I know nothing' - Trump changes his tune on WikiLeaks
Assange arrest stands in stark contrast to the praise President Donald Trump showered on his shadowy hacking organization, WikiLeaks, in the stretch run of the 2016 presidential campaign
12:45AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Minnesota Duluth beats Providence 4-1 in NCAA semifinals
Billy Exell scored the go-ahead goal with 9:53 remaining and defending champion Minnesota Duluth beat Providence 4-1 to advance to the final in college hockey's Frozen Four
12:27AM ( 27 minutes ago )
The Latest: Friends say detained Swede unfairly accused
Friends of a Swedish software developer arrested in Ecuador as part of a probe into Julian Assange's alleged efforts to stave off his eviction from the country's embassy are describing him as a soft-spoken geek
12:14AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Dalai Lama says he feels almost normal as he leaves hospital
The Dalai Lama said he felt "normal, almost normal" as he left the New Delhi hospital where he had been treated for a chest infection
12:13AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed Wall Street day
Asian stock markets higher after mixed Wall Street close on listless trading
11:44PM ( 1 hour ago )