Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hosts William A. Douglass for lecture and chair in Basque cultural studies -

September 27, 2016

Amherst Select Board discusses imposing fines on those who violate water usage ban -

September 27, 2016

UMass tennis opens season on high note with performance at Brown Invitational -

September 27, 2016

UMass women’s soccer using long break to prepare for Atlantic 10 play -

September 27, 2016

Notebook: Ford ‘takes step forward,’ Williams appears on SportsCenter -

September 27, 2016

UMass cross country and track and field coach Ken O’Brien hits half century mark with program -

September 27, 2016

A-10 soccer notebook: Duquesne shuts out Robert Morris 1-0 to win fourth straight -

September 27, 2016

The blue light situation: When is enough, enough? -

September 27, 2016

Survivor; awesome yet evil -

September 27, 2016

A ‘Mirror’ into Clinton’s campaign -

September 27, 2016

UMass a cappella groups S#arp Attitude and The Hexachord’s on ‘Sing It On’ television series -

September 27, 2016

‘Through the Photographer’s Eyes’ exhibit highlights photojournalism in today’s media -

September 27, 2016

Designer collaborations steal the show at New York Fashion Week SS17 -

September 27, 2016

Massachusetts drought heavily impacts local agriculture -

September 26, 2016

UMass Soccer earns second win of season in 3-2 victory over Hartford -

September 26, 2016

‘Morris from America’ explores teen angst and the struggles of growing up -

September 26, 2016

‘Hell or High Water’ an intense, morally ambiguous modern Western -

September 26, 2016

Read: You won’t regret it -

September 26, 2016

UMass field hockey hangs tough, falls to No. 18 Stanford -

September 26, 2016

Racism in the LGBTQ community -

September 26, 2016

Minutemen improving on both ends of the ice

In last year’s home-opener against Boston University, the Massachusetts hockey team drew a home-opening record of 7,021 fans. It ultimately fell to the Terriers, 4-3, marking the first of many one-goal, heartbreaking losses.

The Minutemen hope they can draw a similar, if not larger, crowd for this year’s home-opener against Bentley, which is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

Known for its traditional chants and intense atmosphere, the crowd at the Mullins Center is not like any other.

“I got the jitters again,” said senior forward T.J. Syner, who scored a goal in UMass’ 3-3 season-opening tie against Northeastern last week. “It’s kind of sad because you realize you don’t get to [open the season at Mullins again]. But I’m more excited than anything. It’s always good playing in front of the home crowd, especially here.”

Put the puck on net

Throughout his 11-year tenure, UMass coach Don Cahoon has preached about the importance of getting the puck to the net and scoring ugly goals.

When the Minutemen stray from that philosophy, they tend to force the issue and limit their own scoring opportunities.

“Coach was yelling at us a little bit at one point during the game [against Northeastern] when we were trying to make some fancy plays,” Syner said. “We just have to deliver the puck to the net [and] get rebound opportunities. Every goal we score is not going to be a pretty one. So we definitely want to get some shots off the rush and create opportunities whenever we can.”

UMass certainly did that in its first game, outshooting the Huskies, 39-32, in regulation and 5-1 in overtime.

Bentley played Michigan twice to open its season, registering 19 shots and 22 shots, respectively and it lost both games to the Wolverines.

Power play unit returns

Although the power play unit was shoddy last year, converting on 22-of-177 chances (12 percent), Cahoon is excited for this year’s power play, which will feature many of the same players.

With a full year of experience, Cahoon believes that the power play has nowhere to go but up. Against Bentley, the Minutemen went 1-for-6 on power play opportunities, registering nine shots on goal.

The penalty kill was another weak spot for UMass last year, allowing opponents a 23 percent conversion rate. However, the kill looked good against Bentley, killing off two 5-on-3 power plays.

CBS 3 to broadcast game

For the second-straight year, the UMass Sports Network will air live game broadcasts for the UMass football, hockey, basketball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and softball teams.

Friday’s home opener is scheduled to be broadcasted on Comcast Cable channel 293 and Charter channel 230 in western Mass., in addition to the campus cable channel 79.

The broadcasts will come from the newly-built UMass Athletic Video Department, which will employ upgrades that improved the video and audio qualities of production.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time and energy improving upon the television product we started with last year,” said Josh Maurer, the assistant athletic director for broadcasting in a umassathletics.com interview. “I think fans who watch the games on CBS 3 Now will enjoy the upgrades in production and transmission quality. We’re happy to continue providing this service to UMass fans in the Pioneer Valley.”

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu.

 

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