Scrolling Headlines:

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UMass football fall camp day four: Veteran offensive line boasts chemistry, looks to improve run blocking -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A colorful UMass homecoming -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potential nighttime and weekend parking fee at UMass tabled -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

GetWellMeals_WebBanners

GetWellMeals_WebBanners

Mass Attack faces two top-ranked teams

Alex Mojcher/Collegian

The Massachusetts hockey team will go on the road this weekend to face No. 1 Boston College and No. 12 Merrimack as it begins its most rigorous stretch of the closing season.

It will be the first meetings of the year with both teams for the Minutemen, who are coming off a gritty 2-2 tie versus Northeastern on Saturday night.

“[Saturday] was a test for us,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said after some pivotal players had to watch from the bench with injuries. “Our team was fighting for survival. That was as good an effort from a group of players to just say ‘Hey, it doesn’t make any difference. We’re going to find a way to compete and put pressure on the other team.’”

UMass posted a season-high 41 shots in the tie against the Huskies, including a season-high 20 first period shots. The high number of shots seems to be a good omen for the Minutemen this season, who average 4.8 goals per game in wins and 1.7 goals in losses.

BC is tied for first place in the conference with New Hampshire while Merrimack is positioned in fourth. UMass comes into the weekend in seventh place.

The Eagles come into Friday’s game with a three-game winning streak. BC is also the owner of a 10-1 record since Nov. 28th with its sole loss coming at Maine, 4-1, on Jan. 16th.

“This is our league and that’s just the way it is,” Cahoon said. “It seems like every year we face No. 1. It’s an opportunity, but we’ve expected this to happen. We get the chance to make the most of it. We’re as prepared as we can be right now and we’re going to have to bring a high-level performance to get it done, there’s no doubt about that.

“When you play a team that’s this skilled and talented as BC is, nothing short of that will allow you to succeed,” Cahoon continued.

Merrimack has also been on a tear for the latter part of the season as it has jumped into the upper echelon of the Hockey East standings. After beginning the season with a 3-2-4 record, the Warriors have gone 13-3 since. However, two of those losses came at home, where Merrimack has been a typically strong 8-2-1.

The Warriors feature sophomore forward Stephane Da Costa, who is tied for third in Hockey East in power play points.

Senior Chase Langeraap has carried his load and more for the Mass Attack recently, picking up six goals and three assists in the last nine games.

Assistant captain Danny Hobbs has also played well, tallying six goals and nine assists in the last 12 games played before suffering an injury against the Huskies. He’s produced three multi-point games in the last four outings.

However, Friday’s prominent matchup will feature two of the best goalies in the conference as UMass captain Paul Dainton tries to best BC goalie John Muse, two goalies whose careers have told two different stories.

“[Their] experiences have been a little bit different in that Muse has had one of the top teams in the country in front of him each and every year,” Cahoon said. “[Dainton’s] gone through a whole different sequence of having teams that have played up at a real high level in the national standings, and teams that have disappeared from the national standings. [He’s gone] from having experienced people playing in front of him to a lot of inexperienced people in front of him.

“I can’t believe that John Muse is any better a leader or more important to his team than Paul Dainton is to ours,” Cahoon continued. “You’re talking about two players who are central to their team’s success.”

For UMass to have success on the road this weekend, it will have to draw from its latest performance.

“That was will over skill,” Cahoon said. “Will over skill is an important feature for any team. We’ve got a pretty good skill level, but we have got unbelievable will. That usually results in some pretty good play.”

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

Leave A Comment