Scrolling Headlines:

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 -

May 15, 2017

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 -

May 14, 2017

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 -

May 5, 2017

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

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

Minutemen hope to avoid late game, late season falloffs

The “Cahoon Swoon,” as it’s been called by students, is a tendency for the Massachusetts hockey team to fade in the second half of the season after a quality start to the year.

For whatever reason, the Minutemen have a history of starting the season off quickly and efficiently, then losing winnable games later on in the year and dropping in the rankings.

Unfortunately for UMass, it has also applied to individual games from time-to-time.

Keeping a lead hasn’t been the Minutemen’s strongest suit in the past few years. When the team does score late in a match or hold a lead they’ve had throughout the game, it’s been more of the exception than the norm.

Last January, in a game against New Hampshire, UMass had fought its way to a tie but ultimately fell, 3-1, after giving up two goals in 45 seconds at the end of the third period.

That game, for some students, was just another example of the “Cahoon Swoon” taking its usual effect on the team in the second half of the season.

UMass coach Don Cahoon says that he believes this year is different. This season, the team is, “a year older, and a year wiser,” and knows how to live in the moment of each game and focus on the task at hand rather than the outcome.

“Last year, you could feel the tide swinging late in games because the team was so young and they were kind of paralyzed by the thought of the outcome instead of taking care of the process,” said Cahoon. “This year, we’ve got an understanding of what the process is, and we’ve handled that pressure fine.”

The team is aware of this recent trend, but tries instead to think about keeping the same mentality throughout the game’s entirety, rather than thinking about the outcome.

“I think it’s hard to keep a lead whenever [you have it],” said Pereira. “It’s just our mentality that has to stay where it is. We can’t change our game and we have to keep going and I think we learned that against Bentley and we didn’t pick it up against Providence.”

“Against Bentley, we really took it to them for every period and obviously we came out with a win,” he said.

Already this season, UMass had a lead with under a minute left in regulation and coughed it up just before the end of the period. Against Northeastern, the squad held a 3-2 advantage but allowed a goal with just two seconds left to play.

“Northeastern was a situation that was totally different than last year,” said Cahoon. “We had possession of the puck and all we had to do was clear the zone.  It was one player having a fluke play in the course of the game.”

His players agree, saying that the goal wasn’t one that came from lack of preparation or intensity, but was simply a stroke of bad luck.

“Northeastern just got a lucky bounce,” said Pereira. “We were about to get the puck out of the zone and it got crashed to the net. It’s unfortunate, but that wasn’t a mentality issue. We just have to bear down and just make sure we protect in that part of the game.”

“I don’t think anybody was expecting that we would lose that game,” added Cahoon.

The Minutemen are 1-1-1 overall and 0-1-1 in Hockey East thus far. While it’s definitely too early to draw any conclusions about the squad, UMass will certainly have to avoid its typical second half collapse and learn how to play with a lead if it has any hopes of advancing deep into conference playoffs.

Michael Wood can be reached at mcwood@student.umass.edu.

 

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