Prior to last weekend, UMass hockey coach Greg Carvel’s media persona has been a mix of Clint Eastwood and Jack Webb: tough in the face of adversity, a “just the facts” demeanor and a submerged Mona Lisa smile.
Prior to his club’s COVID news bomb — no Carson Gicewicz, Filip Lindberg, Jerry Harding and Henry Graham — Carvel had been dealing with standard tourney fare — major penalties, an overtime thriller, and a disappointing 2019 finals loss. He entered the 2021 Frozen Four media day with a preposterous set of circumstances — the loss of two goalies and his leading goal scorer due to a pandemic. He used all his gruff charm and dry comedy to carry the day, as is becoming habit for the fifth-year coach.
He led led off with some vintage John Wayne: “I know people are thinking we are short handed, we’ve lost a couple of good players, but that’s all right, we like our depth. Just another obstacle. Every team has had to deal with obstacles along the way. Now we’re at a slight disadvantage. We’re not looking at it as big deal. Matt Murray is a very good goalie.”