April 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

VIDEO: UMass United Ralley in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cahoon and Co. prepare for new, unique season

Collegian Staff, Maxwell Sparr

Every season is unique and withstanding from past seasons. Don Cahoon, coach of the Massachusetts men’s hockey team, understands this concept. As the Cahoon Era enters its 11th campaign, the UMass coach looks at his group of 30 Minutemen and sees the difference this season will bring.         

“I don’t think that I’ve ever had more fun coaching a group of [players] than I’m having right now,” Cahoon said.         

Although the Minutemen (0-2-1, 0-0-1 Hockey East) saw two of the best offensive players in the country graduate last May in Casey Wellman and James Marcou, Cahoon has his players believing in a team first concept this year, in which contributions will come from everyone.         

“I’ve got everyone’s interest,” Cahoon said. “People aren’t thinking ‘my role is less significant than someone else’s role.’ We don’t have that star quality. We have some really good players. It’s more of a group theme than it is individual.”         

Right now, the group is still working on getting its 13 new freshmen into the mix. The Minutemen have had to mesh on the road for their first three games. It’s the first time in the history of UMass hockey that a team has started its first three games away from home.         

While UMass was swept during a two-game opening weekend trip to No. 15 Minnesota, the Minutemen showed resilience in their next game at No. 10 Boston University, after trailing 2-0 and coming back to salvage a tie.         

“I’m happy with the way the team battled and preserved,” Cahoon said. “They’re passionate about what they’re doing and that suggests that they’re gritty. I like that competitiveness.”         

The competitiveness of the Minutemen makes their goals for the season no different than any other, despite the influx of youth into their system.         

“Our goal, as any team’s goal, is to go all the way,” junior T.J. Syner said. “Once we find our team concept and everyone buys into it, we’re really going to be a great team that can do special things. Making it to the Garden is one of [our goals], then go from there; hopefully win a Hockey East championship. They’re all steps that you work towards and it starts with identifying ourselves with our team concept.”         

The concept of team will be the blanketing motif around this season. There could be struggles as well as triumphs this season, but Cahoon believes in his players and knows no matter how far down his roster he goes, he will be able to depend on men with strong character and concentration.         

“At any given time I’m going to be able to find 20 guys out of those 30 where the net result can be high level of energy and good level of focus and a team that’s really eager to play,” Cahoon said. “I don’t care which 20 I play, I just want to play the right 20 that night.”         

The schedule offers plenty of tests for the Minutemen. They will face the top four teams in the Hockey East, according to the preseason coaches’ polls, a total of 12 times. Those four teams include Boston College, Maine, New Hampshire, and BU respectively.         

Most of those matches are sprinkled evenly around the schedule, except at the end of the regular season. From Feb. 25 to March 5, UMass will play a home-and-home against BC and then host the Black Bears for two games the following weekend.         

The Minutemen host Army on Nov. 5 for one game before squaring off against the Swedish National Under-20 team in an exhibition game the next day at the Mullins Center.         

Other non-conference games include a home game against Quinnipiac on Nov. 27 and a two-game road trip to Wisconsin just before New Year’s on Dec. 30 and 31.         

UMass will take it all in stride, with the traditional one-game approach. However, there’s still a certain amount of development that needs to happen before the team seriously threatens for the conference and national title.         

“It’s the constant grind of getting through a season and trying to get your team to be perfect,” Cahoon said. “There’s only one perfect team at the end of the year and that’s the one that’s still standing in April.”

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

Comments
One Response to “Cahoon and Co. prepare for new, unique season”
  1. Tiffany says:

    I’m just going to throw out there that neither Wellman nor Marcou graduated. They both left as underclassmen. Otherwise, not bad.

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