Scrolling Headlines:

Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

March 23, 2017

‘Do You Have The Right To Do Drugs?’ debate held in Bowker Auditorium -

March 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to build on three-game winning streak against Brown -

March 23, 2017

UMass softball riding five-game win streak into first Atlantic 10 showdown -

March 23, 2017

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball -

March 23, 2017

Hannah Murphy scores 100th career goal in UMass women’s lacrosse 16-9 win over Harvard -

March 23, 2017

Old age does no harm to indie rock legends The Feelies -

March 23, 2017

A track-by-track breakdown of Drake’s new project -

March 23, 2017

When a president lies -

March 23, 2017

Let them eat steak, and other gender norms I hate -

March 23, 2017

Dissecting Science: Episode Two -

March 22, 2017

Holy Cross 10-run eighth inning sinks UMass baseball -

March 22, 2017

UMass students react to Spring Concert lineup -

March 22, 2017

Letter: Vote yes for Amherst -

March 22, 2017

You don’t have to walk alone -

March 22, 2017

Tyler Bogart and D.J. Smith lead UMass men’s lacrosse during three game win streak -

March 22, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse emphasizes defense in approaching games as its key to gaining momentum for conference play -

March 22, 2017

Not much is new in ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ though it might not be a bad thing -

March 22, 2017

‘Get Out’ is a satirical horror for the post-Obama generation -

March 22, 2017

UPC releases spring concert lineup -

March 21, 2017

Rising Minutemen look to take down Catamounts

Coming off of its overtime win against then-No. 9 Yale, the Massachusetts hockey team looks to continue its hot streak and close the two-point lead held by New Hampshire and Boston College atop the Hockey East standings.

The No. 11 Minutemen (8-2-0, 6-2-0 HEA) enter the matchup against the No. 18 Catamounts, who dropped in the USCHO national rankings this week after splitting last weekend’s series with Boston College, winning four out of their last five games and climbing in the rankings.

However, for UMass coach Don Cahoon, rankings are not a big factor heading into Tuesday’s game or any matchup.

“Every team we play is capable of beating us and we’re capable of beating anybody we play,” Cahoon said. “Rankings don’t really have a lot to do with how the game is played out. [Vermont] is a good team, but so is every team we play.” 

Statistically, the Catamounts (4-4-1, 3-3-1 HEA) are far from the most dazzling team on UMass’ schedule. Vermont currently ranks seventh in the conference in scoring offense (3.00) and eighth in scoring defense (3.44), scoring 0.70 less goals per game than the Minutemen while giving up almost over a goal more per game.

What the statistics fail to show, though, is the grueling schedule that Vermont has played up until this point. After opening up the season with back-to-back games against then-No. 1 Denver and splitting the series, the Catamounts notched a win over then-No. 14 Boston College to start off a string of seven-straight conference games in which they went 3-3-1.

Six of Vermont’s nine games this season have been against ranked opponents, including three games against BC and a tie against then-No. 8 UMass-Lowell. UMass, on the other hand, has played just two ranked opponents so far this season, winning games against then-No. 2 BU and last week’s win against Yale.

Cahoon isn’t letting his team get complacent with the recent wins, though, as he and the Minutemen focus on the Catamounts.

“Last game is last game,” Cahoon said. “It’s nice that we played as hard as we did and determined as we did, and hopefully it carries over to define who we are. We just have to be able to stay ready for whatever is thrown our way over the course of the evening.”

Like the team’s recently lowered rankings, the Catamounts’ low standings in Hockey East statistics aren’t something that gives pause to Cahoon, who is preparing for a team that has been consistently competitive in the conference in recent years.

“Vermont is a very disciplined team and they stick to a game plan,” Cahoon said. “They play start to finish. If you don’t break that rhythm they get into, then they can really shut an opponent down. Very defensive oriented, they manage to work real hard to score their goals. They have great goaltending and they’re particularly tough to play at home.”

Where the Minutemen appear to have a legitimate advantage, though, is on the power play.

The man advantage has been the weapon of choice for the UMass offense so far this season, with the Minutemen converting 26.5 percent of the time.

Though not as potent as earlier in the season when it was scoring upwards of 30 percent of the time, the UMass power play will be a major factor against a Vermont team that ranks dead last in the conference in power play scoring and net goals with its special teams. In the season, the Catamounts have scored only five goals in 41 power-play chances.

The Vermont penalty kill has also been suspect, surrendering goals on 23.5 percent of opportunities. UMass, meanwhile, has killed 82.4 percent of penalties this season, including 17 of the last 18.

Nick O’Malley can be reached at nomalley@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment