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Countdown ▲ 14 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

I’m about to head off to the UMass football home opener and that’s always a good sign that hockey is right around the corner!  Two weeks from tonight UMass will kick off the season with an exhibition game against the Dalhousie Tigers.  Since I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday, we have two players to look at this morning as part of our countdown.

#15 Ray Pigozzi enters his third year with the Minutemen.  Pigozzi has been a key part of the UMass offense since coming to UMass from the USHL.  He has scored 18 points in each of his first two years at the school, with 5 goals as a freshman and 4 last year.  Included in last year’s goal total was the game winner in the 5-1 win over Air Force.  The other highlight of the season was a 3 assist effort against Michigan State in the team’s first victory of the year.  With the team needing to reload on scoring after the loss of Vatrano, Montour, and the seniors it’ll be key for someone like Pigozzi, who has shown to be a solid offensive player, to increase his production as an upperclassman.

photo by Thom Kendall/UMass Athletics

The other player featured today is most likely to produce points right away as a freshman.  Austin Plevy will wear the #14 for the Minutemen this year.  Originally committed to Merrimack, Plevy returned to juniors last year to play for, you guessed it, the Brooks Bandits.  Plevy had a blockbuster year at Brooks, scoring 29 goals and grabbing 63 assists in 56 regular season games.  He led the AJHL in points and finished 3rd in goals.  In 20 playoff games he would accumulate 11 goals and 21 assists.  He was a finalist for AJHL MVP which was ultimately won by his future teammate goaltender Nic Renyard.  Plevy also was nominated for the CJHL Top Forward award, which goes to the best forward among all the Canadian Junior A leagues.

Plevy is top offensive recruit in this year’s incoming class and could very well see the same kind of production as a freshman that Dennis Kravchenko had last year.  Given his record in juniors he has the potential of being the next offensive star for UMass and how quickly he’s able to adapt to the college game could play a big role in how UMass fares early on in the season.

photo by Pro Sports Photography/AJHL

The athletic department as the rundown of the 10 Minutemen currently in NHL training camps.

Along The Boards named Kravchenko to their 2nd Team Preseason All-Hockey East.

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