This historic 2018–2019 season isn’t over yet for coach Greg Carvel’s squad.
Although the team looked a little shaky down the stretch of the end of the regular season, UMass left no doubt they belong at the top of college hockey after two consecutive 4-0 wins over perennial powers Harvard and Notre Dame, advancing to their first ever Frozen Four.
After an NCAA high twelve-win improvement from 2016–17 to 2017–18, expectations were high on day one for this young team. No one saw an additional thirteen-win improvement coming this year, but that’s exactly what happened.
In two years head coach Greg Carvel took a 5-29-2 team and turned them into a top-ranked team week in and week out, that tore through the rest of the country, won the most competitive conference in college hockey, set a record for most wins in a season, and just utterly embarrassed two top-sixteen tournament teams.
Defenseman Cale Makar looks well on his way to capturing the Hobey Baker (the top player in college hockey) award, Carvel won the Spencer Penrose (best coach) award, and if there were an award for the top student section, “The Militia” would certainly be the front runner.
No matter what day of the week, the student-run group, similar to the Cameron Crazies at Duke basketball games, came out in force this season, creating one of the loudest atmospheres in the country and helping the team go 17-1 at home this year, and packing the Hockey East semifinals in the Boston Garden and the NCAA tournament games in Manchester, New Hampshire.
It’s rare to be able to hear chants break out through the TV for one team or another in a small, neutral site venue, but that’s exactly the kind of energy the UMass student section brings.
Listen to hear “Let’s Go UMass” when the Minutemen square off against Denver in the national semifinal game on Thursday, April 11, at 4 p.m. on ESPN at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
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