UMass joins UNH, UVM and Maine for Frozen Fenway 2012

By Michael Wood

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Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

On Jan. 7, 2012, the Massachusetts hockey team will take the ice alongside Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in America’s oldest ballpark as part of Frozen Fenway 2012.

The Boston Red Sox, Hockey East Association, Fenway Sports Management and the City of Boston announced on Friday that the two-week series of events will include two back-to-back NCAA hockey games to go along with public skating and youth hockey camps.

The Minutemen were selected to participate in one of the two matchups, and will host UVM in the first game of the doubleheader at 4 p.m. Immediately following that game, UNH will play Maine in the nightcap, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Each game will be broadcast on the New England Sports Network (NESN).

Each head coach spoke during the press conference at Fenway, including UMass coach Don “Toot” Cahoon, who played and won two national championships at Boston University and has coached at UMass for 11 seasons. Cahoon spoke about how humbled he was to have the opportunity to play in one of New England’s most beloved athletic venues.

“Any Division I hockey program would be ecstatic to have the opportunity to play at Fenway Park,” Cahoon said during the press conference. “[It’s] such a historic site and venue. When you think of the flagship program for the state of Massachusetts playing in front of so many proud alumni, it creates a unique and special situation for our program to be a part of.”

Scheduled for Jan 7, the event will come at the onset of the second half of UMass’ season. For a team that, year-after-year, has been known to collapse after a strong start, the matchup against the Catamounts on such a large stage could serve as a crucial checkpoint for the Maroon and White.

“These games will be hard fought,” Cahoon said. “The teams are going to be well-prepared, and the results will be of significant value to the league standings for UMass and all the programs involved.”

Michael Wood can be reached at [email protected]