UMass hockey notebook: Weekend series with BU called off

  • Matt Murray became the winningest goalie in UMass history last week when he shut out New Hampshire to earn his 51st victory. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2021 6:28:09 PM
Modified: 1/14/2021 6:28:03 PM

At this point it would be stranger if the UMass hockey team played exactly who the schedule said they would when it said they would.

The Minutemen’s weekend series against Boston University was postponed Thursday. UMass’ Wednesday game at Providence was called off the day of after it was previously changed from a Tuesday matchup at UMass Lowell.

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Mark Divver reported on the College Hockey News Insiders podcast that someone involved with the UMass program, not a player or a coach, had close contact with COVID-19 after contact tracing, which led to the postponements. Had a Tier 1 member of the program tested positive, UMass would have to pause team activities.

Neither UMass or BU is on pause. The postponements are to wait for the contact tracing process to finish and ensure no one on the team or coaching staff has the virus and to prevent it from spreading if someone does.

“This year’s definitely crazy because of COVID and everything,” UMass freshman forward Josh Lopina said. “All we focus on really is ourselves. It doesn’t matter who we play, we’ll be ready.”

The Minutemen’s next scheduled game is Jan. 22 at Providence. They’ll turn around and host the 16th-ranked Friars at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Mullins Center.

UMass has played the second-most games in the country this season (13). Only two other Hockey East teams have reached double digits: Northeastern (11) and Providence (10),

MURRAY ALONE IN RECORD BOOK – Senior goalie Matt Murray set the program’s all-time wins record when the Minutemen beat New Hampshire 4-0 last week, earning his 51st career victory. It was his 11th career shutout, also the most for a Minuteman.

“That’s something that never really came into my head. I didn’t know what the record was until I was at 46 wins or something and I was getting kind of close to it,” Murray said. “It’s a nice feather in the cap, but at the end of the day, all my wins are team related I can’t score goals out there. It’s just as big of a team accolade to help me get there personally. I’m more focused on trying to win a championship.”

Murray has started the past nine games for UMass and allowed 1.44 goals per contest during that stretch. He’s averaging 1.81 goals against per game, a career low, and saving 92.1 percent of the shots he’s faced, a career high.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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