In a bizarre quote to the Daily Hampshire Gazette on Tuesday evening, #13 UMass-Amherst head hockey coach Greg Carvel told the Gazette’s Kyle Grabowski, “Home ice should be an advantage. Denver traveling from long distance. Hopefully, they have some delays in their flights,” offering the top-ranked Pioneers some bulletin-board material ahead of their Wednesday flight to Boston.
Maybe it was an attempted moment of levity offered by the Minutemen head coach or maybe it was a calculated jab at the country’s top-ranked program. Either way, we don’t know the exact context of the quote and Carvel went on to say of his own program, “I think it’s good again with as many new players as we have playing on our ice and just getting more reps in game situations and a comfortable environment, I think is important. We’ve got to keep taking steps forward.”
Regardless of the context, though, at best, it’s just an odd statement to make when he already has his work cut out for himself playing the #1 team and defending national champions. At worst, he’s offering an already elite team even more motivation to beat his team in his own barn.
"Hopefully they have some delays in their flights" might be the strangest thing I've ever heard a player or coach say about another team
— Henry Hargrave (@hargravehenry) October 12, 2022
hopefully they figure out which UMass he coaches
— Connor Willingham (@INTLMAV) October 12, 2022
That is some strong bulletin board material! https://t.co/r6GXQNufJP
— Rodney H. (@RDHThree) October 12, 2022
The trash talk will be great.
"Yeah our flights we're on time! We even got Sky Miles points!"
— Biddy 📐 🐶 (@Biddco) October 12, 2022
The Pioneers will practice in Boston, where they won their 9th championship just six months ago, this evening before making the roughly two-hour drive to Amherst tomorrow. Then, the puck drops on the matchup between the last two men’s NCAA champions Friday and Saturday nights at 5:00 and 5:30, respectively, and, according to Carvel, Friday night’s game at Mullins Center is already close to sold out. Both games will be televised/streamed on ESPN+.
Top photo of Greg Carvel credit: Thom Kendall for UMass(-Amherst) Athletics