Watching Greg Carvel and his players celebrate UMass’s first Hockey East tournament championship on Saturday night, I thought of a conversation with associate head coach Ben Barr in March 2017.
It was near the end of Carvel’s first season in Amherst. When I say the Minutemen were bad that year, I’m being charitable. They lost their last 17 games, finishing with a record of 5-29-2.
But on that night at Providence College’s Schneider Arena, as Barr and I chatted during the pregame warmup, he exuded a quiet confidence and determination that UMass would be on the way up in short order.