Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

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 hockey hosts No. 12 Notre Dame in Hockey East doubleheader

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

Last weekend the Massachusetts hockey team went 0-1-1 in the second annual Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

This week, UMass (3-7-2, 1-5-1 Hockey East) welcomes Notre Dame to Amherst for a back-to-back doubleheader and will be hoping to cash in on the luck of the Irish this time around.

The Minutemen square off against the Fighting Irish (7-5-2, 3-2-1 HE) for the first time this season with four critical points in Hockey East play up for grabs.

Mid-season tournaments on the road, or in UMass’ case, overseas, have a tendency to bring teams closer together, with the extended amount of time spent bonding with one another. Coach Greg Carvel feels the trip to Northern Ireland marked a turning point for his team.

“We raised our game to a completely new level which is what we need to do. I thought we were really competitive and really good in those two games,” Carvel said. “Some might give the trip the credit but I think these guys have been working hard and making big steps, just the timing of the trip kind of coincided with our group taking a step forward.”

Notre Dame is coming off of a Thanksgiving tournament of its own, with the Irish hosting the Shillelagh Tournament at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Notre Dame beat Holy Cross 5-3 in the first game, but lost in the championship game 2-0 to Clarkson.

In their prior two contests, the Minutemen held 2-0 leads early but ultimately went winless in Belfast. Carvel believes instead of changing its game while ahead, UMass has to focus on competing in these pair of impending games.

“Other teams have guys that they can rely on to finish, and this week we’re focusing on scoring some ugly goals around the net. If we can add an ugly goal where we battle to win a rebound in front of the net it’s going to be uplifting to help us get that next one,” Carvel said.

In 12 games so far this season, the Minutemen are averaging 2.4 goals per game along with 24.4 shots, but are allowing opponents 3.3 goals and 31.8 shots in those same games.

The Irish are almost the exact opposite of UMass as they put forth an average of 3.4 goals per game combined with 33.6 shots while only surrendering 2.4 goals and 26.5 shots in the same matchups.

One of the aspects the Minutemen will be looking to kick-start against Notre Dame is their power play, which only went 1-13 in the Belpot tournament.

“We had five-minute power plays in both games, especially in that St. Lawrence game in the last few minutes,” Carvel said. “It was a power play in the first minute of overtime so it could have been a way for us to win that game but unfortunately we didn’t and it’s definitely one of our areas of concern right now.”

Leading the charge for the Irish thus far has been junior forward Anders Bjork, who has recorded 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) to date. That’s almost triple the amount of points sophomores Austin Plevy and Kurt Keats have, who are UMass’ leading scorers with eight points each.

The Minutemen will be without Keats’ services for Friday night’s battle as he was handed a one-game suspension by Hockey East for a spearing incident against SLU earlier this week.

Carvel had no comment on the matter.

Sophomore Ryan Wischow started each of the previous two games in net for UMass however Carvel isn’t sure yet who’ll be between the pipes Friday night.

Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday night at the Mullins Center and will also be televised on NESN.

Ryan Ames can be reached at rames@umass.edu or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

Leave A Comment