BRIDGEPORT, CONN. – Take Carson Gicewicz away from Massachusetts, and it might have been a different story.
But No. 11 was a major pest to Bemidji State. The 6-3, 213-pound redshirt senior forward scored the first three goals to lead the Minutemen to a 4-0 victory over the Beavers in the championship game of the East Regional.
His first goal for UMass (18-5-4) came shorthanded at 14 minutes, 24 seconds of the opening period. His second was in the last minute of the same period, with 51 seconds left.
And Gicewicz, of Orchard Park, N.Y., and a first-year transfer from St. Lawrence, completed his hat trick at 6:34 of the middle period. He has 17 goals this season.
Oliver Chau, who had an assist on Gicewicz's first goal, got UMass's fourth goal with just over three minutes left. It was an empty-netter.
Filip Lindberg had 18 saves for Massachusetts, Zach Driscoll 24 for Bemidji State (16-10-3).
The Minutemen were 0-for-3 on the power play but did have that one shorthanded goal. The Beavers were 0-5 on the power play.
UMass outshot Bemidji State every period: 9-5 in the first, 10-6 in the second and 9-7 in the third.
Gicewicz scored his three goals on five shots, which tied him for the team lead. He came to UMass after two tough seasons at St. Lawrence. Last season he only played two games before a season-ending injury. The season before that, he had four goals.
Alex Ierullo led the Beavers with three shots.
The day before, Bemidji State, the fourth seed, had won 6-3 over Wisconsin, the Big Ten regular-season champion and top seed. The Beavers had won seven of their past nine games.
UMass has beaten Lake Superior State, another WCHA team like Bemidji State, 5-1 in its regional semifinal.