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Recruit Update ▲ Bear, Makar To Play In World Junior A Challenge

It was announced today that future Minutemen and current teammates with the Brooks Bandits Shane Bear and Cale Makar will represent Team Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge that takes place next week.  The WJAC brings together some of the top Junior A players from the globe to compete in Cobourg, Ontario.  Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United States, and two teams from Canada participate in the tournament.  Current Minutemen Kurt Keats and Carmine Buono played for Canada West last year.  Callum Fryer played for Canada-East last year and was named to the all tournament team.  Another former Bandit, Maddison Smiley, played in the WJAC for Canada West as well before coming to Amherst.

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Weekend Wrap-Around ▲ Lagesson Named To Sweden’s Preliminary World Junior Roster

Before jumping into the usual recap of the weekend that was, the big news today was that UMass defenseman William Lagesson was named to the preliminary World Junior Championship roster for his native Sweden.  This isn’t a big surprise since he played for the Swedish junior team last winter.  The last Minuteman to play in the World Junior Championships was Stephen Werner in 2004.

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Recap ▲ Minutemen Swept By Notre Dame, Fall Below .500 For The Season

The Massachusetts hockey team was in need of at least a split this weekend out in South Bend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The Minutemen were coming off of a sweep at the hands of #3 Quinnipiac the weekend before and were winless in their previous six.  They also had yet to show that they could get a Hockey East win outside of the teams currently at the bottom of the league standings.  After a surprisingly strong start through early November fans have been waiting for UMass to take the next step and show they can compete with the teams in the top half of the league.  Instead  it looks like the team has taken a step back.  The latest setback was Notre Dame sweeping UMass’ last league games before winter break 3-1 and 5-1.

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Preview ▲ UMass Heads West For Two Games Against The Irish

Massachusetts Minutemen 6-5-4 (2-2-4) Hockey East T-3rd

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6-4-4 (3-1-2) Hockey East T-3rd

The Massachusetts hockey team will look to close out their better than expected first half of the 2015-16 league schedule on a positive note when they travel to South Bend, Indiana for a two game series against Notre Dame.  Of course the last time the Minutemen visited the Fighting Irish the trip was highlighted with a win in the longest game in college hockey history, but ended in disappointment when UMass ultimately dropped the first round Hockey East playoff series 2-1.  UMass will try to get back on track after going winless in their last six games.  On paper they’ll be facing a pretty evenly matched opponent to try to break out of their mini-slump.

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View From Section U ▲ UMail

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a View From Section U piece and even longer since I did a UMail session.  I have some ideas for some future View From Section Us in the near future, so I’ll try to do a better job posting material beyond the usual previews, recaps, and recruit updates.  And the reader response for this UMail session was pretty good so maybe I’ll try to do another right before the stretch run in early February.  Without further delay, let’s get to the questions.

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Recruit Update ▲ Pelton-Byce Has His First Multi-Goal Game In USHL

High school and prep hockey is starting up in New England so that means recruits Brian Scoville and Colin Felix are in action with their teams soon after spending the fall playing short season juniors.

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