Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Hockey: UMass faces off with UNH

By Ryan Fleming, Collegian Staff

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Riding its two-game winning streak and a hot goaltender, the Massachusetts hockey team travels to Durham, N.H. on Friday to face off against No. 4 New Hampshire.

The annual Hockey East powerhouse has won three-straight games, which includes victories over former No. 14 Wisconsin, Rensselaer and most recently No. 6 Boston University.

The Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 HEA) came out on top in a highly contested game against the Terriers, 2-1, on Sunday. UNH goaltender Brian Foster was the star of the game stopping 31 BU shots, 17 in the second period alone. Because of the junior’s performance he was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the week.

Foster has started all three of the Wildcats games posting an amazing .975 save percentage, 0.67 goals against average and 78 saves. If the Minutemen (2-1) want any chance at winning this game they’re going to need to find a way to get the puck by the Florida Panthers’ draft pick.

“It’s someone who’ve we’ve seen a lot as a staff,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said referring to Foster. “Our concern is breaking UNH down so we can get good scoring attempts.”

The Wildcats’ penalty-killing unit has allowed one power play goal so far this season. New Hampshire opponents are 1-for-26, with a .038 percentage.

A rarity with the UNH is its struggles on the power play. UNH is 3-of-26 on the power play, good for a .115 percentage.

Offensively, the Wildcats haven’t done anything particularly impressive on offense. In their first three games, UNH has scored eight goals while allowing two.

The Minutemen are as close as they can get in mirroring on special teams. UMass is 3-for-14 on the power play (.214) and opponents are only 2-for-11 (.182)

Cahoon realizes that when it comes to special teams, it all depends on which team has better success executing the plays with the man advantage.

“It’s about execution,” Cahoon said. It’s about putting passes on sticks, if we’re really thinking clearly and not becoming paralyzed by our own inhibitions then I think we’ll have good chances.”

Minutemen goaltender Dan Meyers has put up impressive numbers as well. Meyers has currently registered two wins, 78 saves and a .940 GAA in three games this season.

In UMass’ last game, against Rensselaer, the Minutemen won 6-0, making few mistakes.

The Minutemen had 12 different players register points including a two-goal performance from Chris Davis. The win was also a game of firsts for a few of the other Minutemen. Doug Kublin, Danny Hobbs and Casey Wellman all scored their first collegiate goals.

UMass is charging into New Hampshire at the right time; it’s playing well as a cohesive unit and its players are getting healthy at the right time.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at [email protected]

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