Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

Minutemen face stiff competition over break

The month of January, and more importantly its play over winter break, can be a vital for the Massachusetts hockey team.

Just take a look at the records down the stretch of the No. 15 Massachusetts hockey team the past two seasons. In the 2008-09 season, the Minutemen entered January with a 9-7-1 record. After playing to a 2-4-2 record in the month of January, UMass continued to slide, going 4-7-0 for the remainder of the regular season and finishing with a 15-18-3 record.

The 2007-09 season was no better, as the Minutemen had a strong start to the season, a 9-3-5 record. But a 0-5-1 January sent UMass in a downward spiral that continued into February (2-6-2), ending the season at 15-18-3.

Over winter break, it will be a priority for UMass to build some momentum during the month of January to carry them through the stretch run of the season. Here is a look at the schedule they will face in between semesters.

Dec. 29 vs. Union

The second to last non-conference game for the Minutemen and the opening round of the UConn Tournament. UMass will take on the No. 20 Dutchmen – the first top 20 ranking for UC in nine years – that has played well early this year. UC (7-3-5, 3-0-3 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) has a 3-3 tie with No. 8 Yale and most recently a 2-2 with No. 5 Cornell on its resume.

Dec. 30 vs. UConn/Bentley

Host UConn will square off with Bentley, with the winner advancing to the finals of the UConn Tournament and the other to the consolation game. If UMass comes out on top of Union, they’ll face the winner between the two in its final non-conference game. Taking the tournament would give the Minutemen some momentum heading into January and the remainder of its Hockey East Schedule.

Jan. 2 at Boston University

The Terriers don’t have the No. 2 ranking they had when UMass beat them 3-2 earlier this season, and few expected them to be in second-to-last place in the Hockey East at this point in the season. But they still can’t be overlooked, because they are the defending national champions.

BU has dropped from the rankings, but it has played strong at times –  a 5-4 overtime victory at UMass Lowell and a 3-3 tie to New Hampshire. UMass coach Don Cahoon will not let the Minutemen look past this team, especially with it being the middle game of a five game road trip.

Jan. 9 at New Hampshire

The Minutemen split with UNH in the middle of November at home, but the No. 19 Wildcats have become a new team since then. Going 4-0-1 since then has propelled UNH into the national rankings and to the top of the Hockey East standings. The Wildcats have also protected their home ice well this season, going 4-1-2 in Durham with wins over UMass Lowell and BU and ties against Miami (Ohio) and Boston College.

Jan. 10 at Northeastern

This will be the first meeting of the year for these two squads, and the final game of UMass five-game road trip. While the Huskies have a sub-.500 record overall and in Hockey East, they currently sit just one point behind UMass in the conference standings, but have played two more games.

Despite the long road trip, finishing strong against the Wildcats and Huskies will allow the Minutemen to pull closer or further away from some teams, as they push to finish in the top four spots in the standings to host the first round of the Hockey East Tournament.

Jan. 15/16 vs. UMass Lowell

When UMass traveled to Lowell last weekend to face No. 9 UMass Lowell, it didn’t go as planned. Despite tying the game up in the third period, two late goals by the River Hawks put the game out of reach.

With the schools only separated by one point in the standings – with UML having played an additional game so far – it would not come as a surprise if these games play a large role in the standings.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at

Leave A Comment