Minutemen second in NECHA American East Standings

By Herb Scribner

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After suffering its first loss to C.W. Post nearly two weeks ago, the Massachusetts men’s club hockey team has found its winning ways once again with two straight victories, including one this past weekend.

The first came a day after the Minutemen’s first loss of the season, when they hit the road to take on New York University. Similar to the games of UMass’ past, the Minutemen (11-1-0) dominated, defeating the Violets 5-2.

Forward Reed Powers scored two goals and had one assist, as he sits right behind captain Alec Goolsby in goals scored this season. Powers has five goals on the season, while Goolsby is first in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association in points (12).

Forward Danny Arnao put in his fourth goal of the season and had an assist in the victory. Arnao, similar to Powers with goals, sits right behind Goolsby in assists on the team, but has seven assists in eight games played so far this season.

Goalie Joe Iadarola got the nod to start in goal, giving regular netminder Mark Leonard the night off.  Iadarola stopped twenty shots in the match, but allowed two goals to the Violets (2-5-0).

After beating NYU, the Minutemen went back home to face Keene State, and pulled out a 5-4 victory despite highly contested play.

Goolsby continued his scoring ways by netting a goal and an assist.

Forward Julian Maleski, who is a native of Keene, N.H. and played for the Owls for one season (3-5-0) prior to playing for UMass, also scored a goal against his former team. Forwards Michael Bartlett, Justin Gauvin and Craig Cardone also scored in the win against the Owls.

Defensively, the Minutemen were on top as well, with Leonard stopping 32 shots during the entire game, allowing four goals. Leonard is tied for first in the NECHA with eight wins in 540 minutes on the ice so far in 2009.

The Minutemen will head to Keene on Feb. 5 to face off with the Owls again, the second to last game of UMass’ season.

The Minutemen will return to the Mullins Center this Friday to take on Central Connecticut for the second time this season. UMass beat the Blue Devils, 8-6 back on Oct. 17. The match was a closely contested one, with the Minutemen maintaining enough control towards the end to gain a victory.

On Sunday, UMass will head down to Western Connecticut, where they will take on the Colonials (5-6-0).

The two teams met last season, with the Minutemen tripling Western Connecticut’s score, winning 9-3. UMass and the Colonials met again a week later, where the Minutemen doubled the score, 8-4.

The Minutemen will face the Colonials again on Jan. 23, with this weekend marking the halfway point for the Minutemen this season. The rest of their schedule features some revisiting opponents as well as some new ones.

UMass is second in the NECHA America East standings with ten points, right behind Connecticut. The Minutemen have gotten consistent play out of forward Nick Crowley and defenders Matt Coughlin and Christian McCracken.

On Dec. 4, UMass will host its Military Appreciation Night when they take on United States Coastguard Academy. The team encourages all fans to come out to support the United States Military.

Another upcoming event for the Minutemen club hockey team is on Jan. 30 for Senior Night. UMass will honor seven players that night, three of whom are captains.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected]