World news – UMass Twitter helps fans visit Frozen Four in person


UMass student Quinn McCarron wears a reindeer costume to UMass hockey games. He made it to the Frozen Four thanks to the generosity of the UMass Twitter community. GAZETTE STAFF / KYLE GRABOWSKI

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PITTSBURGH – UMass Twitter takes care of itself. When the Minutmen qualified for their second Frozen Four @curryhickssage, one of UMass’ most prominent supporters tweeted on the platform: « Okay #UMassTwitter. It’s time to open your checkbooks to take @UmassReindeer and a friend to Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four. He quoted me a budget for two tickets to both games plus a hotel and some gasoline money. It is reasonable. « 

He then added a Venmo link and contributed $ 50. @CurryHicksSage, a 35-year-old New York City resident who prefers to bear his name, is a longtime fan and is original from Pioneer Valley.

@UMassReindeer is sophomore Quinn McCarron from Worcester. McCarron wears reindeer costume at Mullins Center and sits – more like booths – with the militia in the student department. At least he did when the fans were still could attend UMass hockey games.

The reindeer costume was born out of necessity and happy accidents. McCarron lost a Chewbacca costume in his freshman year and needed something to wear for Halloween in his freshman year. His mother came over Goodwill stop by and bought the reindeer costume, which is too small to fit properly but big enough to still wear.

McCarron then wore the reindeer outfit to a pre-Halloween hockey game where he roofed te, other students would dress up. He was the only one. UMass won handily so he kept going to the games and the Minutemen kept winning.

UMass did not allow fans to stay at the Mullins Center all season due to COVID-19 protocols. A limited number of family members and friends were admitted to the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Frozen Four are the first time that UMass fans have seen their team in person.

« It’s definitely something I’ve missed. It used to be a routine every weekend, » McCarron said before the Frozen Four semi-finals on Thursday against Minnesota Duluth. « It feels so good to be watching UMass Hockey in person again. Cant wait to sing the finish song. Cant wait to start chants. Cant wait to get my head shouting. « 

On Twitter, @curryhickssage wanted to make sure at least some UMass students were among the 4,000 or so fans in the PPG Paints Arena to see the Miutemen’s chance for revenge against the Bulldogs.

 » His passion is so obvious, and that’s what college sports fandom is all about. And college kids are generally broke so it was a no-brainer, « @curryhickssage wrote on a Twitter direct message. » Anyone who’s a passionate fan can one little of yourself in Reindeer. « 

 » I’m very grateful to UMass Twitter, « he said. « I thought we might just get me and one other person. The fact that we could raise enough money to send four people really says a lot about the community. I’ll be 100 percent sure that I am Pay forward the day. ”

McCarron drove out with Nathan Strauss, while Samantha Andrade and one of her friends, Elizabeth McNamara, arrived separately. Strauss, a junior from Newton, did the trip planning as he had experience planning trips for his job at WMUA, UMass’s student radio station.

The ride in Strauss’ Honda Accord Hybrid – he calls it Oslo – went smoothly outside of a flock of birds that decided to attack the windshield somewhere in rural Pennsylvania.

They visited some of the city’s attractions and played a Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on Thursday afternoon.

« It was a great experience. It’s a beautiful park, ”said Strauss. « It’s a shame about the team. »

« I’m a Cubs fan so I’m glad I’ve seen some home runs, » said McCarron.

They’ll stay until the weekend regardless of the UMass result Game on Thursday evening. A visit to a famous Primanti Bros. sandwich shop is on the agenda.

Neither attended the Frozen Four in 2019 because McCarron was in high school and Strauss was off for a year. UMass newcomer Eli Slovin was with the Minutemen in Buffalo during his junior year at Amherst Regional. Both parents visited UMass, as did a couple of uncles. His grandparents both work there and he has participated in games all his life. He was always the UMass fan in high school while his friends supported teams like Michigan and Notre Dame. Then Slovin found the message board in eighth grade.

« I was like, ‘Oh wow, there are a lot of people who watch out and actually take care of it, » Slovin said.

« Me It became clear, « Holy crap, there are people who love this as much as I do, » Slovin said.

He and his mother Diana Demers-Slovin are in Pittsburgh to watch the games. Slovin played hockey for Amherst Regional and his mother noted that it was the first hockey game she had personally attended since his last night in 2020.

“I would go no matter what. I would find a way, ”said Eli Slovin. “But my mother really wanted to go. Who knows how many more trips we will make with just me and her like this? I’m getting older, I’m in college now. It’s always been a team effort. « 

Some fans weren’t born into the UMass family, but found their own way there. Don Golden is from Tampa Bay and has participated in all Frozen Four since 2012. He and his son Andrew Golden sat in UMass in 2019 Section and enjoyed the energy so much that they started supporting the program. Andrew Golden applied to UMass and is a newcomer this year.

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