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UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

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Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

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Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

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UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

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May 4, 2017

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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