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UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

UMass hockey dominates No. 11 Terriers to avoid season sweep

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

One of the biggest challenges Massachusetts hockey coach John Micheletto has had in his first year on the job has been finding consistency in his line combinations. But since the holiday break, Micheletto has found one that has clicked with Michael Pereira, Conor Sheary and Branden Gracel manning the first line.

Friday night was no different, as the trio accounted for four goals and eight points, including two goals and two assists from Pereira, in the Minutemen’s 5-1 win over No. 11 Boston University in front of 7,267 at the Mullins Center.

“Since they’ve been together, it’s been part of the natural maturation of individual components into a three-man unit,” Micheletto said. “Since Christmas time they’ve been fun to watch and fun to coach.”

Pereira, whose big night was highlighted by his two goals in the third period, has started to see the group come together, and considers his line to be one of the fastest in Hockey East, if not one of the fastest in the country.

“We’re starting to gel a bit and everyone brings something to the table. It’s good,” he said.

Gracel got the scoring started for UMass (10-12-2, 7-9-1 Hockey East Association) late in the first period after Pereira found him cutting back door, beating Terriers goalie Sean Maguire to give the Minutemen a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.

With momentum on its side, UMass continued to press on against BU (13-10-1, 10-7-1 HEA) in the second period.

The Minutemen outshot the Terriers 11-1 in the frame and added to their lead with one minute, 30 seconds remaining when Kevin Czepiel redirected a Mike Busillo shot past Maguire, giving UMass a 2-0 lead heading into the final frame.

“I think the better part of tonight’s game was the conversion that we had of that sort of pressure,” Micheletto said. “I think there have been other times, Providence here at the Mullins Center earlier in the season. There’s been bits and pieces at other spots that don’t come readily to mind, but sometimes we just haven’t been rewarded with goals coming off that sort of pressure.”

UMass continued its offensive assault in the third period with three goals in the first 11 minutes of the frame to put the game out of reach.

Sheary scored his sixth goal of the season 5:16 into the period to give the Minutemen a 3-0 advantage. Pereira then followed him up with back-to-back goals, the first on a turnaround shot that beat Maguire glove side, and then a shorthanded goal just under two minutes later that gave UMass a commanding 5-0 edge.

BU’s Ben Rosen spoiled UMass goaltender Kevin Boyle’s shutout, scoring a shorthanded goal with 4:22 remaining.

Despite losing the shutout, Boyle did record 19 saves on 20 shots in his first appearance in three weeks, earning his eighth win of the season.

“It’s been motivation, since I haven’t been playing, to work real hard during the week in practice just so I could be ready if and when I get the call,” Boyle said.

UMass played strong on the penalty kill Friday night as it killed off all six BU power plays in what was a very physical and chippy game. The two sides combined for 14 penalties and engaged in several dustups and shoving matches in front of the net throughout the game.

With the victory, the Minutemen recorded their fourth win over a ranked opponent this season.

UMass stayed in seventh place in the conference with the victory, but grabbed some much-needed breathing room after Vermont lost to Boston College. The Minutemen are now three points clear of the Catamounts.

UMass will host Northeastern Friday night at the Mullins Center before it heads back on the road for its first meeting of the season against Merrimack on Saturday night.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter at @MDC_Strohecker.

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