Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

UM to face national champs

In only its second game of the season, the Massachusetts hockey team will get a crack at the defending national champion and No. 2 ranked Boston University this Friday at the Mullins Center.

After a 5-2 win over Rensselaer last Thursday, UMass is searching for a 2-0-0 start and a second straight season with a victory against a defending national champion. Last season, the Minutemen defeated Boston College, 4-3 in overtime after dropping a 2-0 loss to the Eagles the previous night.

UMass coach Don Cahoon realizes this game is considered significant, but is treating it as if the Minutemen are playing any other opponent.

“Regardless of what this game means, the two points count, and count as much as any other two points, so for that reason alone, it’s an important game,” he said. “If you look at our schedule, there’re just a lot of big games. Sure, the fact that they won the national championship last year heightens everybody’s awareness of what this game’s all about, but there are a number of good teams on our schedule, and we’re going to play them multiple times.”

Cahoon’s players, however, realize what this game means, and are excited for the chance to play an opponent as high a caliber as the Eagles.

“When you get an opportunity to play the defending national champions in your own building, it’s definitely something everyone looks forward [to],” UMass’ leading scorer, Matt Irwin said. “It’s an opportunity to hopefully knock them down one game, and get off to a good start in the first two games of the season.”

BU meanwhile will open up regular season play after two exhibition games, in which the Terriers tied 2-2 and won 3-2 against St. Francis Xavier and the U.S. Under-18 Team, respectively.

In the all-time series, BU has dominated UMass with a 45-8-3 record dating back to 1919-20, when the Minutemen overpowered the Terries for a 10-2 victory in their first ever meeting.

The last three seasons have been much more evenly matched, with BU holding a slight edge of 4-3-2 over that span. UMass took the season series two years ago with two wins in three games, while the Terries reversed the series last season with two wins of their own.

In their first game in 2008-09, the Minutemen were able to defeat then No. 1 ranked BU, 5-1, for the Minutemen’s first win over a No. 1 team since bringing down Maine, 4-2 in 1995.

However, following the first matchup, the next two meetings were a different story. The Terriers controlled UMass, and decisively won on back-to-back days, 6-3 and 7-2.

“We played an excellent game the first game, and I don’t know if they took us lightly, but we knew what they were capable of doing,” Irwin said. “The following games, we got off to good starts, but with a team like that, you can’t let off.”

Cahoon has history with Terriers, having served as an assistant coach under BU coach Jack Parker in three different stints during 1974-79, 1987-88, and 1990-91. In his time as a player, Cahoon helped the Terriers win two national titles, though as a coach against BU, he hasn’t had much success, holding a 9-24-3 record against BU.

Nonetheless, Cahoon won’t be feeling many emotions when the Minutemen take on his alma mater.

“I’ve [played the Terriers] so many times. Maybe the first time at Princeton and the first time at UMass were unique experiences,” he said. “I’d like to play them for a Hockey East championship someday, or play them for a national championship someday, that would be a dream come true. Then, I might have some feelings.”

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “UM to face national champs”
  1. Scientific Nature of the Whammy says:

    My prediction for tonight’s game: UMass 3, BU 2.

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