Scrolling Headlines:

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UMass Board of Trustees approves rise in tuition, student fees -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Former Minutewoman Quianna Diaz-Patterson named to Puerto Rican national softball team -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UMass rowing’s Jim Dietz inducted into CRCA Hall of Fame -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jury selection begins Monday in second gang rape trial -

Monday, June 15, 2015

Students turn attention to state legislators as decision on UMass budget looms -

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alumna and next director of Brooklyn Museum Anne Pasternak ‘created her own path’ -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UMass graduate crowned head of 600-year-old Indian kingdom -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Committee recommends UMass increase tuition, student fees for in-state undergraduates -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Darrice Griffin named UMass’ senior associate athletic director for internal operations/senior woman administrator -

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Report: UMass football will host Mississippi State in 2016 -

Monday, June 8, 2015

Men’s hockey rebounding towards conference

Coming off its largest victory margin of the season and with the arrival of the last leg of the season, the Massachusetts hockey team is beginning to see marked improvement as it continues to grow.

The 6-0 win over Vermont on Jan. 22 was the first shutout of the season for the Minutemen (6-12-3, 5-7-3 Hockey East) and their third win in the past four games. The six goals is the largest margin of victory ever against Vermont and the most goals UMass has scored in a game all season.

“We were really happy with the effort and how we rebounded from Friday night’s tough [2-1] loss,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “We’re not naïve to think we’re six goals better than they are. We got off to a good start, put the pedal to the metal and they didn’t. We looked at our performance being a solid one.”

The speed of the Minutemen was also a great factor in that game, according to Cahoon, who is not used to conference matchups being so lopsided.

“You don’t have too many of those five or six-goal spreads [in this league],” Cahoon said. “It’s an anomaly.

“It was a great atmosphere on the bench,” he added. “That was fun to watch and good for the [players] to be a part of.”

Right now, UMass sits in seventh in the conference standings and is three points behind Northeastern, the next opponent in a home-and-home this weekend.

The players notice the steps they’ve taken since October, when it took the Minutemen 10 non-exhibition games to secure their first win. They’re starting to feel good as the rapidly approaching last third of the season features the upper tier of conference teams.

“There’s a level of confidence, which is good, but I don’t think we’re over confident or exuberant,” Cahoon said. “We’ve still got two [games] where the team that’s ahead of us is staring us right in the face. We’ve got to keep plugging away. We’ve got a young team that’s growing and they know they’re getting better. That’s a good thing.”

Three games against Boston College and Merrimack lie ahead, as well as two versus Maine and one against Boston University. These teams make up four of the top five spots in Hockey East and are all nationally ranked.

While the Minutemen took care of the Catamounts by utilizing impressive passing to score five goals in the first two periods and chasing Vermont goaltender Rob Madore from the game in the second period, they will have to sustain that high level of play in the coming weeks.

“Our heads are above water,” Cahoon said. “We’re not really where we need to be, but we’re hanging in there.

“We’ve got a huge undertaking staring us in the face, whether it be Northeastern this week or into the future with some of the opponents that we’ve got to play.”

Beginning Friday, UMass will have to contend with Northeastern’s physicality and attempt to evade it with speed.

Another fast start would be key for the Minutemen, as the Huskies have a minus-4 point differential in the first period against conference foes, compared to plus-2 and plus-5 in the second and third periods, respectively.

While UMass is not going to tout its decisive victory over Vermont, it can now look back at a night when it all fell into place. It was a night when all the gradual growth of the players showed its complete self on the ice.

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

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