November 29, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass looks ahead to 2015, for better or for worse -

Friday, November 28, 2014

UMass football falls 41-21 in season finale against Buffalo -

Friday, November 28, 2014

Minutemen defense comes up short in 41-21 loss to Buffalo -

Friday, November 28, 2014

UMass formally cuts ties with alumnus Bill Cosby -

Friday, November 28, 2014

Stanley Andre reflects on his career as Senior Day approaches -

Thursday, November 27, 2014

UMass tight end Jean Sifrin mulls future, potential NFL career -

Thursday, November 27, 2014

UMass basketball trounces Northeastern 79-54 -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Students and staff discuss racial and social inequality following Ferguson decision -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

UMass hockey falls to Vermont, 3-1 -

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

No indictment for Ferguson cop -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chancellor addresses campus regarding grand jury decision in death of Michael Brown -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Northern Illinois hangs on against Ohio, Hunt carries Toledo to victory -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SGA passes 10 motions at meeting Monday night -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Students and UMPD work together during the annual ‘Walk for Light’ -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

‘Conscious Consumer’ talk promotes business sustainability -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass hockey looks to rebound against Vermont following Saturday’s blowout at home -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass women’s soccer’s Sverrisdóttir balances a soccer career between two different countries -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

‘First Demo’ provides a fascinating glimpse of Fugazi in its infancy -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My mental illness does define me (to an extent) -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to master multitasking -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UMass hockey to close out season against Providence

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Saturday night is set up to be an important and emotional night for the Massachusetts hockey team.

On the important end, it will be the final chance for the Minutemen to make a dent in the Hockey East standings as they step onto the ice for their final regular season game.

But UMass (8-19-4, 4-11-3 Hockey East) will have to do this with the emotions of Senior Night swirling around.

The Minutemen will honor their nine seniors – Branden Gracel, Peter DeAngelo, Conor Sheary, Patrick Kiley, Adam Phillips, Colin Shea, Michael Pereira, Joel Hanley and Anthony Raiola – with a ceremony before they take on No. 12 Providence.

For UMass coach John Micheletto, this will be a great opportunity to honor this group of nine seniors, which includes two 100-point getters in Pereira and Sheary.

“They’ve put a lot of work into trying to build the program and helping us create a legacy with what they’ve done,” Micheletto said. “To have two 100-point guys in this class is a great thing. I’m certainly looking forward to honoring them for all they’ve done up until now for this program.”

But before the Minutemen can look ahead to Senior Night, they have to take care of the Friars at Schneider Arena in an equally important game on Friday night.

With only two weekends left in Hockey East play before the playoffs, the Minutemen sit in ninth place, three points out of a home playoff game in the first round. And while most of the other teams will have next weekend to try and scrap up some last second points, UMass will have to watch the action from home with an off weekend, a consequence of having an odd number of teams in the league this season.

As for whether the extra week off will be a good thing or a bad thing, Micheletto said it will be what his team makes of it.

“I think it’s a lot like your college education,” he said. “You can glide through and not take advantage of all of the opportunities that are there for you and not get what’s available to you, or you can take attack it and take every opportunity you have to get better.

“I think that’s the way that after this weekend we are gonna look at it.”

What it does mean, though, is that the Minutemen will need to pick up any points they can in a home-and-home series against the Friars (15-9-6, 7-7-2 HEA) this weekend.

But that certainly won’t be easy. PC is winless in its last five games, but it has a big advantage in net in Jon Gillies.

As a freshman last season Gillies won multiple awards for his play in net including Hockey East Rookie of the Year. This year he has a 2.25 goals against average and a .926 save percentage.

“(Gillies) gets a lot of publicity and rightfully so,” Micheletto said. “He’s been an excellent goalie for two years and someone they’ve built their team around.”

But the good news for UMass, according to Micheletto, is that it continues to play its best hockey in the second half of the season.

“You look statistically at it from the turn of the New Year, I think our power play is at 25 percent, I think our penalty kill is at 92 percent and we’re scoring over three goals a game, which means our 5-on-5 goal production has been better,” he said. “All these numbers are an improvement from 2013.”

Friday’s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Providence and can be seen on Cox Sports. Saturday’s game is also scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Cameron McDonough can be reached at cameronm@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Cam_McDonough. 

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