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

Minutemen look to take advantage of home ice this weekend

The Massachusetts hockey team is flying high after its most recent victory over No. 1 Boston College on Saturday at the Mullins Center.

Michael Wood/Collegian

Michael Wood/Collegian

The Minutemen skated to a 4-2 victory over the Eagles, marking the first time UMass beat a No. 1 ranked team since Nov. 14, 2008 when it defeated Boston University, 5-1, at the Mullins Center.

The win was particularly big for the Minutemen as they avenged last year’s failures against the Eagles, who won all three regular season matchups before knocking UMass out of the Hockey East playoffs with two straight wins.

With their first conference victory out of the way, the Minutemen (2-4-2 overall, 1-4-2 HEA) can shift their attention to this weekend, when they host Holy Cross (3-3) on Friday and conference rival Northeastern (1-5-2 overall, 1-5-2 HEA) on Saturday.

UMass has averaged 3.4 goals-per-game behind four players who are averaging at least one point-per-game. Leading the way is senior captain T.J. Syner, who has a team-high 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and 27 shots in eight games. Behind Syner are sophomore forwards Conor Sheary (four goals, five assists) and leading goal-scorer Michael Pereira (five goals, three assists). Senior co-captain Danny Hobbs rounds out the four with seven points in as many games (three goals, four assists)

It remains to be seen who UMass coach Don Cahoon will start in goal for the weekend games, but for now it appears that freshman Kevin Boyle has the starting job. Boyle has started five of the Minutemen’s eight games, registering a 2-2-2 record to go along with an .866 save percentage and a 3.44 goals-against-average. Boyle was solid in net against BC, allowing two goals on 24 shots.

UMass must be disciplined against Holy Cross as the Crusaders power play has accounted for nine of their 18 goals this season and has converted at a 32 percent clip. By comparison, the Minutemen’s penalty kill ranks second-to-last in the conference with a 73.7 percent success rate. The key will be to stay out of the box, something UMass has gotten better with as the season has progressed.

In goal for the Crusaders will likely be Matt Ginn, who has an .887 save percentage and a 3.22 goals-against-average in five starts.

On Saturday, Northeastern will come into the Mullins Center looking to add to last year’s success against the Minutemen when the Huskies won the season series, 2-0-1.

The contest has the potential to be very low scoring, as the Huskies average just 2.4 goals-per-game. Their lack of scoring is made up for by their goaltender, junior Chris Rawlings.

Rawlings, a 6-foot-5 native of British Columbia, ranks third in the conference with a .918 save percentage. Rawlings is picking up right where he left off last season, when he started 35 games recording a .920 save percentage and five shutouts, good for fourth in the nation.

While no Northeastern player averages a point-per-game, it does have five players with at least five points. The biggest threat to score is junior forward Justin Daniels, who has a team-leading five goals.

Cahoon understands that this weekend is a glowing opportunity for the Minutemen to improve their record and take advantage of skating on home ice, as they are currently undefeated at the Mullins Center with a 2-0-1 record.

“Preparation is everything and then the commitment to the follow through” said Cahoon following UMass’ win against Boston College. “We’ll get back to work on Monday morning and hopefully work towards [being] prepared and [being] ready to follow through with [the details].”

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Levine.

 

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