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Recap ▲ UMass Swept By Providence, Will Travel To BU For Playoffs

The Massachusetts hockey team closed out the regular season in uninspiring fashion, getting outscored 10-1 by the #5 Providence Friars in a weekend sweep.  UMass finished their regular season with a record of 8-22-4 and went 2-21-3 over their last 26 games.  Both of the most recent two wins came in overtime against two lower end Atlantic Hockey teams.  UMass went 2-16-4 in Hockey East play, finishing in last place for the second straight season.  The team went 0-15-3 in their final 18 league games and for that performance they’ll travel to Boston University for the first round of the Hockey East playoffs in what should be the final games of the John Micheletto era at UMass.

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Preview ▲ Minutemen Close Out Regular Season With Series Versus #5 Providence

Providence Friars 23-5-4 (14-3-3) Hockey East 2nd

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Massachusetts Minutemen 8-20-4 (2-14-4) Hockey East 12th

The Minutemen hockey team did not enjoy the luck of the draw when it came to their opponent for the final weekend of the regular season.  Not only do they have to face defending national champion #5 Providence, but the Friars are playing some of their best hockey recently.  They’ve won their last six games straight and still have their eyes on winning the Hockey East regular season title.  UMass on the other hand does not have the same motivation coming into the weekend.  They do have a very outside chance to finish 11th in the league and stay out of the cellar, but to do so they’d need to win both games against the Friars and have New Hampshire sweep UConn.  The Minutemen will at least look to repeat last year when they upset the then #12 Friars on senior night when Frank Vatrano scored in overtime.  It was the last regular season win over a ranked team for UMass.

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View From Section U ▲ Thank You Seniors!

Since I started this blog many a year ago there are few things I look forward to more than writing my annual senior post.  It’s not because I’m looking forward to see them play their last games on the Mullins Center ice.  In fact it’s the exact opposite.  Not only have I watched these players from the stands or through choppy online streams for the past four years but these players’ names first pop-up on my radar when they’re 16 year olds playing in the old EJHL or some strange sounding town in British Columbia.  They play out their junior days, perhaps bouncing from league to league, and finally arrive in Amherst as freshmen.  Or perhaps they take more circuitous routes that have them wearing the jerseys of other college hockey teams before putting on the maroon and white.

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Recruit Update ▲ Bear Notches Four Assists In 10-2 Win For Brooks

Time to check in on the future Minutemen.

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Recap ▲ Lowell Sweeps Season Series Over UMass With 4-2 Win

For the fourth time in the last five years the Massachusetts hockey team was swept by its fellow UMass system foe with Lowell gaining their most recent victory 4-2 Friday night.  The loss brought UMass’ record against the River Hawks to a pitiful 1-13-1 over the last half a decade.  The Minutemen have not won the season series against Lowell since a three game sweep in 2010-2011.

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Preview ▲ UMass Heads To Lowell For Non-Conference Matchup

Massachusetts Minutemen 8-19-4 (2-14-4) Hockey East 12th

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Lowell River Hawks 19-7-5 (11-5-4) Hockey East 4th

Ideally Friday’s game would feature UMass playing the satellite campus, perhaps with the Alumni Cup on the line, in a competitive tune-up before their final weekend of the regular season against Providence.  Instead there’s very little at stake as Lowell clinched the Alumni Cup with their January sweep and UMass obviously isn’t any position where potential non-conference wins hold much value at this stage of the season.  For UMass the only thing on the line in Friday’s game against the River Hawks is pride.

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Recruit Update ▲ AJHL Goaltender Matt Murray Commits To UMass

Despite the obvious challenges surrounding the program right now coach John Micheletto has been able to continue to secure commitments from recruits to join the Massachusetts program.  And he continues to bring some pretty good talent to UMass.  Today’s commitment was from goaltender Matt Murray of the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL.  Murray would likely join the Minutemen for the 2017-18 season after Alex Wakaluk graduates.

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Recap ▲ UMass’ Woes Continue With Sweep By Northeastern

Any hope that ending their nine game losing streak against with Tuesday’s win over AIC would give UMass some momentum for the final weeks of the season quickly evaporated as the Northeastern Huskies dominated the Minutemen in a weekend sweep.  On Friday night UMass looked disjointed and disinterested at home as the Huskies cruised to an easy 5-0 win.  On Saturday night UMass played better but was unable to overcome adversity and perhaps some poor officiating, falling 4-2 at Matthews Arena.

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Preview ▲ UMass Faces Hot Huskies Squad In Home-And-Home Series

Northeastern Huskies 10-13-5 (4-8-4) Hockey East T-6th

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Massachusetts Minutemen 8-17-4 (2-12-4) Hockey East 12th

Unfortunately the schedule gods did not see fit to let UMass face Northeastern in late November when they were just 1-11-2.  No, the Minutemen will have to face the Huskies for a home and home weekend series while they’re on a streak where they’re 8-1-2 in their last 11 games with their only loss coming against Boston University in the first round of the Beanpot.  Most recently the Huskies are coming off an impressive 5-1 win over #9 Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game.

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Recap ▲ UMass Escapes Springfield With 4-3 OT Win, Ends 9-Game Losing Streak

It wasn’t pretty but the Massachusetts hockey team got the monkey off their back and picked up their first win in the last 10 games with a 4-3 victory over AIC at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Tuesday.  It was a bit of a back and forth affair with the Yellow Jackets jumping out to a 1-0 lead and UMass scoring three quick goals to bring a two goal lead into the third period.  But AIC would mount a comeback and send the game to overtime tied at three apiece.  Ultimately it would be senior Ben Gallacher scoring his first goal since December of 2014 in the extra frame to get UMass its 8th win of the season.

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