April 17, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

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

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

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

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Penalty kill solid, power play another story

Alex Mojcher/Collegian

Alex Mojcher/Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team’s weekend series against Northeastern ended in a 2-2 stalemate on Saturday, with the Minutemen special teams playing with varying results.

It would be misleading for UMass, which is 3-3-1 in its last seven games, to lump their power play and penalty kill into the tidy category of special teams. Their efficiency on the power play and penalty kill has been a stark contrast of late.

Entering last weekend’s series against the Huskies,, the Minutemen had given up one power play goal since a debacle at the Mullins Center on Jan. 7 that ended in a 5-3 come-from-behind win for the Huskies. UMass coach Don Cahoon pointed to that game as a marker for his team’s lack of discipline, which resulted in six penalties and a comeback win for Northeastern.

Two of those six penalties came about halfway through the second period, set up a five-on-three, and led to the Huskies etching their names in the UMass record books with the fastest three goals ever given up by the Minutemen against a Division 1 opponent.

UMass took eight penalties at the Mullins Center last Saturday, which didn’t necessarily irk Cahoon.

“Tonight’s penalties were more a part of the fabric of the game,” Cahoon said after the game. “I think penalties went both ways today and both teams went at it.”

Northeastern had five power play opportunities, but UMass’ penalty kill unit staved off every attempt and all nine shots. This was a far cry from three weeks ago, when Northeastern went 3-for-6 on the man advantage.

For the weekend, the Huskies finished 0-10 on the power play, a result indicative of the Minutemen’s shorthanded success of late. In six games prior to this weekend, UMass allowed one goal on 19 chances.

If one considers special teams play to be one category, then Saturday’s game was not a total success. Although the Minutemen played well with a man down, they missed on all seven power play opportunities of its own. For the weekend, UMass finished 0-11 on the man advantage.

 “[Northeastern’s] penalty kill, at the end of the day, they’re probably pretty happy with [how they played],” Cahoon said. “I thought we had some pretty good looks on our power play. I thought we possessed the puck and had some pretty good chances, finishing is another story altogether.”

UMass has scored one power play goal in its last four games (1-23) and is tied for seventh in Hockey East in power play scoring percentage (14 percent).

The Minutemen scored eight power play goals in their first 13 games (12 percent) before a stretch of games between Dec. 30 to Jan. 15 in which they converted on the man advantage in five straight games (7-for-24, 29 percent).

UMass’ last ten games will be against all but one ranked opponent. It is likely that the results of these contests will be decided by the Minutemen’s special teams units.  

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at dgigliot@student.umass.edu.

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