April 25, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Bowl Weekend set to be ‘very successful’ -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Win-and-in situation looms for UMass men’s lacrosse against Delaware -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brewed of the Gods – Dogfish Head Theobroma -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Never again, never forget: Remembering the Armenian genocide -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse prepares for final two regular season games -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Food of the World: Vietnam -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Indie duo The Both to perform at Pearl Street -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

USDA grants awarded to UMass faculty -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

UMass baseball team heads to Bronx for three-game set vs. Fordham -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Workout on the Quad comes to UMass -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Time to reconsider ‘war on terror’ -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

UMass men’s lacrosse has received solid play from freshmen all year -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Renowned rabbi discusses the role of religion in American policy -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UMass baseball haunted by missed opportunities in 8-5 loss -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Transcendence’ a fumbling cautionary tale -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Freedom of speech for campus employees -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Veep’ continues to be one of the smartest comedies around -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘Noah’ a sinking ship -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter: A response to ‘There is nothing to debate about global warming’ -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Push for punishment equality -

Wednesday, April 23, 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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