December 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Minutemen open campaign at Minnesota over weekend

Maxwell Sparr/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s hockey team is eager to begin its 2010-11 season. The setting will be Minneapolis, Minn. as the Minutemen face No. 15 Minnesota on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We’re very anxious,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “We’ve got a tall order and that’s good because the whole league is a tall order. I remember an old Harvard coach saying years and years ago ‘Minnesota: the land of 10,000 lakes. It’s pretty cold out there; they probably have some pretty good hockey players.’ So they’re going to very good.”

UMass is coming off an 18-18-0 season, during which it went 9-8-0 versus ranked teams, the program’s best all-time record against ranked opponents. This is only the second and third time UMass will face Minnesota in program history, with the only other matchup against the Gophers coming in 2004 at the Nye Frontier Classic, in which the Gophers won, 1-0.

Cahoon has a career 1-1-0 record against the Gophers. However, he is still very aware of this weekend’s opponent.

“I know quite a bit about the building they play in, the types of teams they package,” Cahoon said. “They’re a great program and have been for many, many years. [Minnesota coach] Don Lucia is an excellent coach.”

The Gophers finished last season with an 18-19-2 mark, with their offense managing 2.72 goals per game last season, an average of about 0.5 less than the year before. However, the team expects the offense to perform better this season. They are counting on the return of redshirt senior and team captain Jay Barriball, who carries a team-high 102 career points with him.

UMass goalie Paul Dainton, the sole team captain for the Minutemen returns for his senior year in front of the net. He held a 3.08 goals against average last season with a .901 save percentage, and is one of the top returning goaltenders in Hockey East.

Dainton and Barriball have never faced each others’ teams. But while both teams do not have much experience against one another, Cahoon’s team will continue to work on its fundamentals.

“There’s a whole slew of things we need to get better at,” Cahoon said. “Whether it be holding opposition defensively, being a little more physically inclined in the goal area. We need to be a better shot-blocking team, more poised and collected. Our youthfulness shows itself. That comes with time and with 13 freshmen getting to be in the mix on a regular basis. And it will come, but there’s no shortage of areas to work on in practice.”

The youthful Minutemen will walk into a hostile environment at Mariucci Arena. The Gophers went 8-8-1 at their home rink last year.

“I’ve been there many times,” Cahoon said. “It’s 11,000 people just screaming their heads off. Big time gopher chants. It’s a Big Ten operation that functions at a high level. We go in and give it our best shot. We try to get places in a hurry and get there in ill humor, making it a real difficult proposition for them. Hopefully we can execute on special teams, get good goaltending and come out of there with a ‘W.’”

While Cahoon knows that every season is a unique season, over the last couple of years, UMass has gotten off to strong starts. The Minutemen started 7-1-0 last season, and began 6-2-1 in 2008-09.

In order to sustain that standard, UMass will have to play three-straight road games, something that has never been done to start a season. The road begins in Minnesota. The Minutemen will need to draw from Cahoon’s experience there to bring them their first victory of the season.

Pete Vasquez can be reached at pvasquez@student.umass.edu.

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