Scrolling Headlines:

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

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

UMass looks to extend winning streak

The tough three-game losing streak experienced by the Massachusetts hockey team over winter break may have been the best thing to happen to it this season. 

With all its remaining games against conference opponents in a tight Hockey East race, the losing streak sent a wake-up call through UMass’ locker room just in time. 

“I think the three-game stretch was kind of a huge wake-up call, its not like we were losing those games 3-2 or in overtime, we got absolutely spanked,” UMass goaltender Paul Dainton said. “It was a huge wake-up call and the guys in there, their attitudes changed, it humbled our team a bit.” 

The humbling paid off as the No. 15 Minutemen (14-8-0, 9-6-0 HEA) had a newfound focus, and responded with a three-game winning streak that propelled them to third place in the conference standings, just three points behind first-place New Hampshire. 

UMass hopes to extend that streak this weekend when they host No. 17 Vermont for a two game set at the Mullins Center on Saturday and Sunday. 

“[Vermont is] a very skilled team and we’ve had success playing against them in the past so we’re looking forward to this weekend,” Dainton said. 

UMass’ most recent success against the Catamounts (11-7-2, 5-6-2 HEA) came back on Nov. 24 when the Minutemen pulled off a 6-2 victory thanks to a Casey Wellman hat trick and five assists by the nations leading scorer, James Marcou. 

While there is an opportunity for four points this weekend, UMass coach Don Cahoon is only concerned about the two points his team can earn on Saturday at this point. 

“In terms of the four points, I can’t be dealing with four points, I got to take care of the two on Saturday,” Cahoon said. “We’ll worry about Sunday when Sunday comes. Everything we’re gearing to is a good performance on Saturday night.” 

To prepare his team for Saturday’s contest, Cahoon is putting emphasis on a high level of execution in the team’s practices this week in hopes of building a strong focus and mindset. 

One aspect of this weekend’s series that benefits the Minutemen is how both games are played at home, a place UMass has played at just once in its last seven games. 

“We don’t have to worry about picking up and going anywhere,” Cahoon said about playing both games this weekend at the Mullins Center. “We’ve played one game back here since the break and it was nice to get home. We had been away for a long time, so knowing we’re going to be here the entire weekend I think it is a healthy thing for our team.” 

One aspect that has stood out in the Minutemen’s three-game winning streak is the ability for the offense to finish games that the defense and goaltending have kept close. 

“There have been games where the defense has stolen a couple of games but then there have been games when the forwards have put up 5 or 6 goals and the defense hasn’t been there and the goaltending hasn’t been there,” Dainton said. “We definitely complement each other pretty well but if we just go in with the game plan to give the team a chance to win every single game, they’ll take care of the rest.” 

Saturday’s contest against the Catamounts will take place at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a 3 p.m. game on Sunday and can be seen on ESPNU. 

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at jlarnard@dailycollegian.com.

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