October 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer controls its own destiny as conference tournament approaches -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass soccer deploys new formation with Keys, Jess -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass calling on young swimmers to continue strong start to the year -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WMU, Ohio, NIU pick up wins in busy MAC weekend -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A comprehensive guide to the Ebola virus -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trio of freshmen leading UMass hockey’s offense early in the season -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A guide to comic collecting in the Pioneer Valley -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Letter: What’s behind the curtains on Birthright trips? -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FBI director’s fear-mongering view of data encryption is off the mark -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass Permaculture Initiative to add three new programs -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick visits Amherst, awards $1.5 million grant for downtown development -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UHS offers more accessible vaccination clinics as flu season nears -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gamard: Is gluten really bad or just a fad? -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three new students appointed as SGA special assistants -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Allymohamed scores game winner after suffering facial injury against Boston University -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Loaded weekend against Marist, Keene State challenges UMass club hockey -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UMass football seeing improvement on both the offensive and defensive lines -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Remembering Derek Jeter: an appraisal -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yellowcard switches things up on “Lift a Sail” -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Campus Sustainability Day to take place Wednesday -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UMass looks for first win against Black Knights Friday

Maxwell Sparr/Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team will receive a break from conference play this weekend when it hosts Army and the Under-20 Swedish National Team.

After going 0-2-2 in four consecutive conference matchups, the Minutemen hope to collect their first win of the season against Army (1-4-0) when they host the Black Knights for a 7 p.m. drop on Friday.

Last weekend, Army split its weekend series with Canisius, 1-1. After losing Friday’s contest, 4-0, the Black Knights responded on Saturday with a 2-1win. Their grit and mental strength is something UMass coach Don Cahoon expects to see a lot of this Friday.

“They’re going to be exactly what we pride ourselves of being – a hardworking team that has no quit,” Cahoon said. “That’s just the way that whole institution is built. I’ve been in enough games against that team to know that they’ll overachieve simply because of their mentality. They have a few good players mixed in there and if we’re not careful, they’ll create a lot of problems for us.”

Those players include Andy Starczewski, who leads the team with four points in five games. Bryant Skarda, Marcel Alvarez and Danny Colvin are tied for second with three points. Army also boasts a strong goaltender in Jay Clark, who has started all five games to go along with a .911 save percentage.

Despite its non-conference nature, Friday’s game is a perfect opportunity for UMass to put one in the win column. Cahoon says his players are anxious for a win, which stems from last week’s 3-2 loss against Providence when UMass had many more scoring opportunities than the Friars. Cahoon attributed that loss to special teams woes and defensive breakdowns.

“[I’m] not frustrated, just disappointed,” Cahoon said about the abundance of one-goal losses. “I’m also hardened by the fact that we have some ability and we’ve got really good players that just need to mature a little bit. We’re playing too hard and there’s too much ability within that locker room to not look forward to what this could become if we right ourselves sooner rather than later.”

Two young players that are finding the stat sheet often are sophomore Darren Rowe and freshman Michael Pereira.

Like the rest of the UMass defenseman, Rowe came into this season expected to fill the shoes of Justin Braun and Matt Irwin, who both signed entry-level contracts with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Without them, Cahoon was afraid his team lacked effective power play blue-liners. Rowe, however, leads the team with five goals, three of which have come on the power play.

Cahoon is also impressed with Pereira, whose collegiate career is off to a flying start with three goals and two assists in six games.

Despite their youth and inexperience, Rowe and Pereira are becoming integral pieces to the team and are expected to contribute.

Following Friday’s match, the Minutemen will welcome the Swedish Under-20 National Team for an exhibition at noon on Saturday. Cahoon will use the exhibition to evaluate more of his players and to scout some of Sweden’s players who are college eligible.

“We want to win on Friday night, it’s an NCAA game and we need to get in the win column,” Cahoon said. “Saturday will be used as a tool to evaluate and we’ll probably use a non-traditional lineup. Some of our better players may be out of the lineup and many of the players we’re trying to develop will be in the lineup. Saturday is what it is. Friday’s [game] is definitely a game that we’ll play to win.”

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu.

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