Carson Gicewicz hat trick sends UMass hockey back to Frozen Four

  • UMass senior Carson Gicewicz netted his first career hat trick in the NCAA Tournament regional final Saturday against Bemidji State. He also scored in the first round against Lake Superior State. THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 3/27/2021 7:53:53 PM
Modified: 3/27/2021 7:53:50 PM

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Carson Gicewicz netted a natural hat trick, and the UMass hockey team punched a return ticket to the Frozen Four thanks to a 4-0 victory over Bemidji State in Saturday’s NCAA East Regional final.

It was the NCAA Tournament’s first hat trick since Denver’s Jarid Lukosevicius put away three goals in the 2017 national championship game. Gicewicz had never scored three goals in his college career, and no UMass player had ever scored a hat trick in the NCAA Tournament. John Leonard had UMass’ last hat trick in Feb. 2020 against UMass Lowell.

Gicewicz put away two goals in the first period to stake the Minutemen an early advantage.

Oliver Chau committed a hooking infraction 11:24 in that became a 5 on 3 after 50 seconds when Jake Gaudet was whistled for tripping. UMass managed the two-man disadvantage then turned the second penalty into a lead.

Bemidji dumped the puck in, and UMass controlled it behind its goal. Freshman Aaron Bohlinger found Gicewicz with a stretch pass up the middle. Gicewicz centered the puck to Chau, who returned it back to Gicewicz across the ice. He buried a one-timer for the second consecutive postseason game, his first career shorthanded goal. It was Chau’s third assist in two regional games.

Four minutes, 44 seconds later, Gicewicz doubled the lead. He parked himself right outside the Bemidji crease then redirected a Matthew Kessel blast into the net in the period’s final minute.

The graduate transfer from St. Lawrence completed the hat trick 6:34 into the second period. Gaudet carried the puck from the blue line and attacked the net before finding Gicewicz across the crease. He went five-hole to give UMass a 3-0 lead. Marc Del Gaizo added an assist, as well.

UMass didn’t clean up its penalty issues from the opener against Lake Superior. The Minutemen sent the Beavers to the power play six times but didn’t allow any man-advantage goals. Philip Lagunov was whistled for a five-minute major for contact to the head and game misconduct at 17:22 of the third period. That penalty disqualified him.

After setting up goals all weekend, Chau put a bow on UMass’ second consecutive Frozen Four trip with 3:04 left. He chased down a puck that could have been icing if he didn’t get there and slipped it into an open net.

Filip Lindberg notched his third NCAA Tournament shutout with 18 saves. He’s only allowed one goal in four regional games.

UMass will play the winner of the Fargo Regional final between North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth in the national semifinals on April 8 in Pittsburgh.

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