April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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

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

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

UMass looks for elusive first win in pre-Thanksgiving matchup

With more than a week past its last game, the Massachusetts hockey team will suit up on Tuesday night for a pre-Thanksgiving matchup against Vermont.

Both teams are coming off wild finishes in their previous contests. The Minutemen (0-6-3, 0-3-3 Hockey East) scored the go-ahead goal on New Hampshire with just one minute and two seconds left in the third period of the Nov. 13th meeting in Durham. UNH, however, answered just 20 seconds later to cement a 3-3 draw.

That same day, the Catamounts (1-4-3, 1-3-2 HEA) earned their first win of the year against No. 7 Boston College. The two teams combined to score five goals in the final period en route to a 5-3 victory for Vermont.

Vermont’s win against BC left UMass as the lone team in the Hockey East without a win. The Catamounts are tied for eighth place in the standings with UMass-Lowell, while UMass is in 10th. However, only five points separate the league’s third and 10th place teams.

With the current standings shaped the way they are, UMass coach Don Cahoon knows that a change in attitude is needed from the players after their time off in order to get the elusive first victory of the season.

“We need to if we want to get ‘W’s,” Cahoon said. “We’ve got to be a little bit more sure of ourselves, a little more committed to what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. If we can get that competitiveness and execution in tune with one another, it will lend itself to getting better results.”

The Catamounts feature senior forward Wahsontiio Stacey as their leading goal scorer. Stacey’s six goals are twice the amount of the next Catamount player and are well on pace to break his personal total of nine goals tallied last year. Only three other players in the conference have more goals than Stacey.

UMass is not sure yet which specific players are going to matchup against Stacey, only that the top defensemen will be on the ice at the same time as him. Cahoon, however, is keen on other areas of Vermont’s game that need to be addressed.

“Their goaltender [junior Rob Madore] has been a consistent performer,” Cahoon said. “They traditionally are a real good defensive team. They defend grade A and it’s really tough to get second chance opportunities against them. Their special teams have always been pretty good and they play at a pace.”

So far this season, Madore has a .917 save percentage and a 2.68 goals-against average in almost 500 minutes of play. He’s manned the goal for 99.1 percent of the Catamounts’ time on the ice.

The Minutemen hope to feel reenergized after the brief time off, using the brief stretch to regroup both physically and mentally.

“It allowed us to work a little bit more diligently on some of the areas we know we’re deficient in, special teams being our primary concern,” Cahoon said. “It allowed us to attack those areas, amend a few bodies and clear our heads.”

The break also presented the unique opportunity to approach practice with two individual weeks of preparation, using three-day cycles from Tuesday to Thursday, as well as from Saturday to Monday. Cahoon figures this approach will benefit the players by keeping things fresh and interesting.

Since 2002, UMass is 4-4-0 against Vermont in the pre-Thanksgiving game with both teams going 2-2-0 at home. Last year’s game was on Nov. 24th, with the Minutemen winning 6-2 in Burlington. UMass went 2-1 overall against Vermont last season with its two wins coming courtesy of a 9-3 advantage in goals.

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

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