Wischow, Minutemen look to keep rolling

  • UMass goalie Ryan Wischow will look to extend his three-game winning streak tonight at the Mullins Center when the Minutemen face UConn. Recorder File Photo

For The Recorder
Thursday, November 30, 2017

AMHERST — Ryan Wischow can’t wait to get back on the ice.

UMass’ sophomore goalie is in the best stretch of his young college career and he’s eager to extend it.

“I’m just more confident and I’m making the saves I wasn’t earlier,” he said. “When things are going good you just want to keep playing. When you get on a roll you feel like you can’t be stopped.”

For a stretch, it looked like Wischow had been relegated to No. 2 goalie as freshman Matt Murray started strong for the Minutemen. But Murray hit a rough patch and Carvel turned to Wischow, who has rewarded the faith.

He’s allowed six combined goals during his three-game win streak that was capped by a 6-3 win over Quinnipiac Saturday.

“It’s not easy. It’s interesting to see how kids handle that, especially the goaltenders,” Carvel said. “Ryan has grinded his way to this level. He handled it pretty well. It’s great for me that I have two goalies that are now like, ‘You have to tear away the net from me.’ Last year we were like, ‘Let’s give this guy a chance and hope he can run with it for a while.”

Carvel thought competing with Murray raised Wischow’s level.

“He’s looked better than he has at any time since he’s been here,” Carvel said. “I think he had to elevate his game because Murray was playing well. His work ethic in practice became better. His mental preparation looks like he’s really dialed in. On (Nov. 23) in practice he was making ridiculous saves. Everyone was hooting and hollering. It carried into Friday.”

Many goalies, like football kickers, can be an odd quirky bunch. Wischow, a Green Bay Packers fan who has the Lombardi trophy painted on the back of his mask, is wired more like a linebacker.

“It’s never easy. You just try to keep doing what you’re doing and trust the process and do the little things every day. Even when things are going right, you have to do the little things every day,” he said. “Every time you get in there, it’s an opportunity to prove yourself. It’s fun. I’m just having fun right now.”

He was in net for both ends of last weekend’s sweep of Quinnipiac, the first time UMass took two games from the same team in a weekend since the start of last season.

“Getting a sweep was one of the milestones to get out of the way. Beating the win total from last year, getting a sweep, now we just have to tally up the Hockey East wins,” he said. “That’s big for a young group like us.”

UMass will try to keep the success going, Friday when UConn comes to the Mullins Center for a 7 p.m. game.

ELEVEN BROADCASTERS — UMass and Elevens Sports announced the broadcast teams for the UMass ice hockey games the network is carrying.

Tim Neverett, who does Red Sox games on the radio, is the play-by-play voice.

For hockey, he’ll be joined separately by former UMass All-American Thomas Pöck and former coach Toot Cahoon.

Pöck will do Friday’s game against UConn and Jan. 19 vs. Northeastern.

Cahoon will handle Jan. 26 vs. Maine, Feb. 2 vs. Boston University, Feb. 6 vs. Merrimack and Feb. 15 vs. Boston College.

NESN or NESNplus will carry the games locally.

SAAC TOYS — Friday’s hockey game marks the first night that members of UMass’ Student Athlete Advisory Council are collecting new, unwrapped toys to be donated to Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield. There will also be collections at the Dec. 9 men’s basketball game and the Dec. 10 women’s basketball game.