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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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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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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Preview ▲ UMass, AIC To Meet Tuesday At MassMutual Center

Massachusetts Minutemen 7-17-4 (2-12-4) Hockey East 12th

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AIC Yellow Jackets 5-22-2 (5-16-2) Atlantic Hockey T-10th

 

UMass hockey’s best chance to break their current 10 game losing streak will take place tomorrow night as they’ll take the short ride down I-91 to face AIC at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.  The Yellow Jackets have one of the lowest win totals in all college hockey with five and are currently dead last in the KRACH ratings, even behind first year program Arizona State.  UMass’ skill differential should mean they’ll win easily.  But the Minutemen lost to this AIC program just two years ago, so obviously they should not overlook their Western Mass neighbors.

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Preview ▲ #9 Terriers Travel To Amherst To Face UMass

Boston University Terriers 15-7-4 (8-4-3) T-4th Hockey East

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Massachusetts Minutemen 7-16-4 (2-11-4) 12th Hockey East

When the schedule first came out this five game homestand for the Minutemen, though against some challenging opponents, seemed like a good jumping off point into the final stretch of the season.  Instead it’s been a disaster.  It kicked off with a 8-0 beatdown by Boston College that saw Jerry York etch his 1000th win.  The next night UMass surrendered a two goal lead in the third period to lose 6-4 to Vermont.  Last weekend really seemed like the best chance for the team to get back on track with last place Maine coming to town without a single win away from Alfond Arena on their resume.  Instead UMass got swept and now find themselves in last place in Hockey East.  The home stretch ends Friday with a game against #9 Boston University and UMass will have to play considerably better than they have in months if they want to get the win.

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Preview ▲ Four Hockey East Points On The Line As Maine Visits UMass

Maine Black Bears 5-15-6 (2-8-2) Hockey East 12th

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Massachusetts Minutemen 7-14-4 (2-9-4) Hockey East T-10th

The Massachusetts hockey team last gained a league point on 11/21 with a tie against Merrimack.  They have lost their last seven Hockey East games since and have been unable to make any headway in the conference standings.  The last place Maine Black Bears coming to the Mullins Center for two games represents UMass’ best chance to get a win since facing Army to begin the calendar year.  There are a lot of factors that favor the Minutemen in this matchup, but Maine should not be overlooked.  We’ve learned the hard way in recent years that nothing should be taken for granted with this UMass team.

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Preview ▲ UMass Begins Homestand With Games Against #4 Boston College, Vermont

Boston College Eagles 15-4-3 (8-1-3) Hockey East 2nd

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Massachusetts Minutemen 7-12-4 (2-7-4) Hockey East T-8th

If the Massachusetts hockey team is going to make a run in the second half of the season it has to start now.  The Minutemen will not have to play a game outside of Western Mass until February 13th against Northeastern.  Friday’s game against 4th ranked Boston College kicks off a five game homestand, followed by a game against AIC at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, and then capped off with a return to the Mullins Center to face Northeastern.  We heard a lot earlier on in the season that the team was in need of a good homestretch to reverse their fortunes.  That hasn’t really happened as the team is just 2-5-1 at the Mullins Center.  But considering that the team plays three of its final four regular season games on the road, they desperately need to do well now if they’re to stay out of the bottom portion of the league standings.

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Preview ▲ UMass Faces #11 Lowell In Home And Home Series

#11 Lowell River Hawks 12-4-4 (7-2-3) Hockey East 1st

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Massachusetts Minutemen 7-10-4 (2-5-4) Hockey East T-7th

The Massachusetts hockey team hasn’t won a league game since their sweep of UConn in the first week of November, going 0-3-3 in that time.  Their return to Hockey East play in the new year got off to a very rough start last Friday when they were blown out by the Boston University Terriers 7-2.  They’ll look to get back on track in conference this weekend, but it won’t be easy as they’ll have to face the 1st place Lowell River Hawks in a home and home series starting Friday in Amherst.

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Preview ▲ UMass Returns To Hockey East Play With Trip To #11 Boston University

Massachusetts Minutemen 7-9-4 (2-4-4) Hockey East T-7th

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#11 Boston University Terriers 10-6-3 (4-3-2) Hockey East T-4th

The Massachusetts Minutemen kick off the second half of Hockey East play with a pretty tough matchup as they travel to Comm Ave to take on the #11 Boston University Terriers.  It’s the first meeting of the year between the two teams.  It’ll be the second game of the week for both squads as UMass fell in overtime to #12 Yale on Tuesday while BU had a dramatic come from behind win at #5 Harvard on Thursday.  UMass will look to start the league home stretch with at least a point, but that’s going to be tough to do against a skilled Terrier team.

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Preview ▲ UMass Looks To Avenge Early Season Loss To #12 Yale

#12 Yale Bulldogs 6-4-2 (3-3-2) ECAC 6th

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Massachusetts Minutemen 7-8-4 (2-4-4) Hockey East T-7th

It’s rare for teams to have a chance to avenge a loss to a non-conference team earlier in the season unless they happen to meet again in the NCAA tournament.  But that’s exactly the chance UMass has on Tuesday when they welcome the 12th ranked Yale Bulldogs to the Mullins Center.  The Minutemen were off to a 4-0-1 start to their season when they first met Yale back on Halloween in the championship game of the Capital City Classic in Trenton, NJ.  Yale would hand UMass their first loss of the season in a dominant 6-1 win and the Minutemen have won only three games since.

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