Scrolling Headlines:

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March 23, 2017

Past and present UMass football players participate in 2017 Pro Day Thursday -

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Pat Kelsey reportedly backs down from UMass men’s basketball coaching position -

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Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

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

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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 -

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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 -

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

March 23, 2017

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

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When a president lies -

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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

Special teams playing a big factor

After struggling on the power play in losses during winter break, the Massachusetts hockey team has played consistently on special teams in the past week and a half, resulting in three consecutive wins. 

In their three losses over winter recess, the No. 15 Minutemen (14-8-0, 9-6-0 Hockey East) were outscored on the power play, 3-6. Despite having six more man advantage opportunities than its opponents, UMass went 3 for 19 on offense while the penalty kill allowed six goals in 13 attempts. 

During their current three-game winning streak, the Minutemen have outscored opponents, 5-0. 

UMass coach Don Cahoon knows that playing well on both the offensive and defensive side of the puck during penalties is important. 

“Special teams and goaltending are critical factors, and will continue to be,” he said. 

For the season, the Minutemen are 27 for 109 on the power play with a 24.8 percent conversion rate, ranking them third in the Hockey East behind Maine and Merrimack. 

On the penalty kill, however, UMass sits seventh in the conference just ahead of New Hampshire, Maine, and Northeastern with an 80.7 success rate. The Minutemen have killed off 71-of-88 chances, tying them with the Wildcats for the least amount of power play opportunities given up. 

“We have the talent to be able to execute in those situations,” Cahoon said. “We do pretty well on the penalty kill and certainly the power play has been one of the tops in the country all year long.” 

This weekend, UMass will face a test in No. 17 Vermont (11-7-2, 5-6-2 HEA), which has had a near-automatic penalty kill as of late, wasting the last 40-of-42 opponent chances. 

“Some teams play us real tough and if we’re not totally focused and we’re not executing the way we’re capable of, it can be neutralized and be the difference in the game,” Cahoon said. 

Dainton rebounding 

In UMass’ second loss during its losing streak, which came at the hands of Boston University, goaltender Paul Dainton statistically had one of the worst games of his career. 

Dainton, who previously made 39 saves while allowing two goals in a 3-2 win over then-No. 2 BU, struggled against the Terriers the second time around. BU pelted 29 shots on goal, scoring six times on Dainton with two goals coming in each period. 

“With the BU game we kind of went in there and were just fighting the puck and just the team overall, we weren’t playing that great,” Dainton said. 

Following that game, Dainton was given a day off as Dan Meyers faced similar difficulties in allowing seven goals in his start between the pipes against New Hampshire. 

Dainton, though, rebounded well after his poor performance, leading the Minutemen to three straight victories. In the wins, he allowed a total of four goals while making 71 saves, with his best game coming at the Tsongas Arena in the second night of a home-and-home against then-No. 15 UMass Lowell. 

As a junior, Dainton is still getting better, and knows he still has room for improvement. 

“I’ve been working with my goalie coach, just a lot of mental work to work on different things and I can see a tremendous difference in it already.” 

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

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