Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass travels to Princeton to face streaking Princeton Tuesday night

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Sam Anderson/Collegian

Sam Anderson/Collegian

Sometimes, the best medicine for a team coming off a tough loss is the next game on the schedule.

The Massachusetts hockey team didn’t have to wait long for its next test as the Minutemen travel to Princeton to take on the Tigers (5-7-1, 3-6-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) Tuesday night at the Hobey Baker Memorial Rink.

UMass (4-9-2, 2-7-1 Hockey East) hopes to get back on the winning side of things after falling to UConn 3-1 in what Minutemen Coach Greg Carvel said was one of their most disappointing games of the season.

Princeton is currently one of the hottest teams in the nation as it’s been victorious in five of their last six games, including a sweep of No. 14 Quinnipiac this past weekend.

Carvel believes a strong start will help UMass slow down the high-flying Tigers.

“I’m looking for a fast start,” Carvel said. “[Princeton’s] a much better team this year than in years past so I don’t want to take them for granted.”

The other wins for Princeton in its current streak came against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a sweep of Bemidji State over Thanksgiving weekend. Its loss came at the hands of Union in a 7-3 beat-down Dec. 2.

UMass is looking for its first win since an upset 5-4 victory over Notre Dame Dec. 2 and will be hoping to establish a steady offensive performance in this mid-week matchup.

The Minutemen are riding the shoulders of sophomore forward Austin Plevy, who leads the team with 11 points and has recorded nine points in his last 11 games (five goals, four assists).

On the other side, sophomore forward Max Veronneau tops the Tigers stat-sheet as he’s compiled 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 13 games this season.

Special teams has been a strong suit for Princeton as it ranks third in  ECAC play in power-play goals (11) and second in penalty-kill percentage (.867).

“Usually [special teams] are a difference maker,” Carvel said. “I thought our penalty kill was strong against UConn… hopefully our special teams out-battle theirs.”

For UMass, its power play sits sixth in Hockey East converting at a 15.3 percent rate and its penalty kill comes in 10th with a 76.7 percent rate.

Carvel noted after Friday night’s game that freshman goalie Ryan Wischow has pulled away with the starting duties and will get the nod in the crease Tuesday in New Jersey.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin native has compiled a .908 save percentage and 2.55 goals against average in 11 games started in between the pipes.

The Tigers will most likely counter with senior Colton Phinney, who enters the contest with a .889 save percentage and a 3.6 goals against average respectively.

This game also starts a six game non-conference slate for the Minutemen as their next conference match doesn’t come until the Frozen Fenway battle against Boston University Jan 7.

“I want us to come out and compete and play well without the puck,” Carvel said summarizing his aspirations for Tuesday’s game.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7p.m.

 

Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

About the Writer
Ryan Ames, Assistant Sports Editor

Ryan is an assistant sports editor for the Daily Collegian. A senior, Ryan primarily covers the UMass hockey team.

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