Minutemen To Close Out Regular Season Against UConn

Massachusetts Minutemen 10-20-2 (5-15-1)  Hockey East 12th

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UConn Huskies 9-17-7 (6-11-4)  Hockey East 10th

It’s hard to believe but the end of the regular season is upon us.  The Massachusetts Minutemen will try to close things out on a high note by continuing their better play as of late when they take on UConn in Hartford on Friday night.  UMass must win this game if they have any chance to improve their spot in the final Hockey East standings.  But even a with a win they’ll still need New Hampshire to sweep Merrimack in order to grab the 11th seed in the conference tournament.

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View From Section U: UMass’ Turnaround By The Numbers

So as we know this has been a tale of two very different halves for the Massachusetts Minutemen this season.  During the first half the results were nothing short of dreadful, full of futility and blowout losses.  However, just after Christmas the team’s play has improved noticeably and as a result they’re just one game under .500 in their last 15 games.  So what changed?  Some have suggested it was the addition of Brandon Montour in mid-December that made the difference.  Others have said it’s been better and more consistent play from the goaltenders.  It’s likely a lot of different factors combined.  Let’s take a look at some of the numbers during those two time periods and see where the team has made strides.

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Recruit Update: Renyard Named AJHL MVP, Top Goaltender

So this winter of hell has given me enough reprieve to write my first recruit update in nearly a month (though as I type this it is of course starting to snow outside AGAIN).  UMass did pick up another commitment during that time.  It came from Brian Scoville, a defenseman from Agawam currently playing for Cushing Academy.  We’ll have plenty of time to get to know Scoville since he is the coaching staff’s first 2018 recruit.  Let’s see how Scoville and the rest of the recruit have fared in February.

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Recap: UMass Splits A Pair Of Overtime Thrillers With #12 Providence

This weekend’s Massachusetts hockey game were not for the faint of heart.  The home and home series with 12th ranked Providence were nearly carbon copies of each other.  Nearly.  Both featured great goaltending on both sides.  UMass taking a lead into the third.  UMass ultimately surrendering that lead.  But luckily the games had vastly different outcomes.

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View From Section U: Thank You Seniors!

This is always a post I’ve looked forward to each and every year Fear The Triangle has been in existence.  I love to take the opportunity to recognize the men who have represented Massachusetts hockey on the ice for the last four or more years.  But it’s a bittersweet post too.  These guys usually show up on my radar years before they ever get to Amherst.  I post about their commitment and then report on their progress and stats in preps or juniors before their UMass careers begin in places like Waxham, Fargo, and Meriden.  I’m there to see when they first pull on the maroon sweater.  Season after season I report on their game winning goals, unexpected shutouts, injuries, big wins, painful losses, and career highlights.  I learn to pronounce and spell their names (in the case of this current class, my “Z” key gets a workout) as second nature.  Though my interaction with them directly is usually very minimal, a lot of times I get to know their families and learn more about these players and the sacrifices they and their parents have made to support them in their dream to play DI hockey.  And then, as quickly as you can say “Wait, he’s a senior already?”, it’s all over and it’s time to say goodbye to another class.

2015 Seniors

photo courtesy of Thom Kendall/UMass Athletics

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Up To The Minute: Quick Thoughts and Links Post-Lowell Weekend

Fear The Triangle is still on a severely reduced schedule due to the snow issues in the area and the time I’ve had to put in to keep up with them (we get a reprieve tomorrow, only 3 to 6 inches forecasted).  But I wanted to write up a quick post with the free time I found tonight just looking at where things stand and pass along some links.

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FTT Postponed Due to Snow

OK, here’s the deal.  This never ending winter is hindering my ability to keep up with things here at Fear The Triangle.  The 3 plus feet of snow we’ve gotten here on the south shore has kept me busy shoveling and raking during my evenings after work.  In addition I’ve been spending a lot of time, with mixed success, try to address the many leaks the snow has caused in my house.  And to top it off it’s now taking me upwards of 3 hours to commute my 40 miles round trip to work every day.  With a blizzard watch now in effect for Sunday and another potential storm coming late next week, it looks like the current situation will continue for the foreseeable future.  Unfortunately the current situation is leaving me no time to put into writing about UMass hockey.  It’s also starting to interfere with me travelling to watch UMass hockey too.  I just find myself running out of time.

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UMass Upsets #12 Lowell, falls to Northeastern in weekend split

The Massachusetts hockey team was able to put last weekend’s disappointing finish against #2 Boston University and gain two Hockey East points and arguably their best win of the season in a weekend split.  It looked like it’d be a tough weekend for the team when they gave up another third period lead on Friday to Northeastern, losing 5-3.  But they rebounded the next night by dominating the 12th ranked River Hawks on the way to a 5-2 win.

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UMass Hosts Northeastern And #12 Lowell At Mullins Center This Weekend

Northeastern Huskies 11-11-4 (6-7-2) Hockey East T-7th

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Massachusetts Minutemen 8-17-1 (3-12-1) Hockey East 12th

Remember how the Northeastern Huskies started the season 0-8-1?  That was their record in mid-November.  Since then they’ve gone 11-3-3.  The Huskies have only one loss since early December and are 4-0-1 in their last five.  Though they upset #3 Minnesota in late November, the Huskies are coming off probably their biggest win of the season as they knocked off five time defending champion Boston College in the first round of the Beanpot this past Tuesday.

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Penalties Prevent UMass From Completing The Upset Over #2 BU

It’s like déjà vu all over again.  Mimicking what we saw in the season opener the Minutemen hung tough with Boston University for two periods and found themselves down only a goal going into the final period.  They had momentum and a chance to tie or win but ultimately surrendered six goals in the third period, just as they did in October, getting blown out 9-5.  There were a few new twists in this one from the earlier matchup.  First is that unlike when the teams met in the season opener, the Terriers are ranked #2 in the country and this would’ve been a signature win for UMass.  Another difference was the Minutemen actually taking the lead twice in the final stanza.  But the main differentiation was how the team lost.  In October it was poor defense that did them in.  Last night the story was penalties, penalties, and more penalties.

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