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Up To The Minute ▲ Boston College’s Couturier Transfers To UMass

The Massachusetts hockey team added an established Hockey East defensemen for the future as Boston College blueliner Josh Couturier announced he is transferring to UMass.

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Up To The Minute ▲ Jeszka Commits; Frozen Fenway & Other Scheduling News

I last posted exactly a month ago.  I did not expect to go so long between posts but first I went to Florida to drink a lot of Cigar City Brewing attend a wedding and when I got back I just couldn’t find the time and/or motivation to write.  But after some time to recover from the feverish rate of positing as the season ended and the subsequent coaching moves were made, I think I’m finally ready to start spending some time on UMass hockey again.

It’s the offseason so there isn’t a ton to catch up on, especially since the focus of Coach Carvel and his staff has likely been more on getting settled in Amherst than actual hockey stuff.  But there were a few major developments since the last post.

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Recap ▲ UMass’ Season Ends As BU Sweeps In Hockey East Playoffs

The Massachusetts hockey team played some of their best hockey of the season this weekend against the #9 Boston University Terriers in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs.  Unfortunately it would not be enough to get them a win as BU swept the Minutemen out of the playoffs 2-1 and 5-4 to end UMass’ season.  In one of the more disappointing campaigns in recent memory the Minutemen end with a record of 8-24-4.

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Recap ▲ Dismal Start Dooms Minutemen In 6-3 Loss to #9 BU

The Massachusetts Minutemen were looking to put together a much better result against the 9th ranked Boston University Terriers than when the teams first met last month.  In that game UMass hung tough with the Terriers for half the game before being overwhelmed by BU’s superior skill, losing 7-2.  The Minutemen were not in last night’s game nearly as long as BU scored in the opening minute and built a three goal lead by the five minute mark, ultimately winning 6-3.

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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 ▲ 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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Recruit Update ▲ Bear, Makar Win Gold At World Junior A Challenge

Future Minutemen Shane Bear and Cale Makar, both currently playing together for the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL, won gold this past week representing the Canada-West team at the World Junior A Challenge.  Canada-West beat Russia 2-1 in the championship game. Makar had a goal in the tournament, and hit a post in the championship, while Bear did not register a point.  Makar was named to the tournament all-star team.

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Recruit Update ▲ Bear And Nachtigall Continue To Provide Offense For Brooks

Time to check in with the future Minutemen.

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Weekend Wrap-around ▲ Plevy Named Hockey East Co-Rookie Of The Week

For his role in helping the Massachusetts hockey program gain an opening weekend sweep in Colorado Springs Minuteman freshman Austin Plevy was named Hockey East Co-Rookie of the Week today.  He shares the honor with UConn’s Max Letunov who, like Plevy, also had a hat trick in his collegiate debut.  In addition to the 3 goals and one assist in Friday night’s 6-3 win Plevy also scored the game-winner on Saturday.  Plevy and Mercyhurt’s Taylor Best, who has played one more game than Plevy, are tied for the national lead in goals.  Shane Walsh (3G, 2A) and Nic Renyard (45 saves) were named Top Performers by the league this week for their efforts this weekend.

graphic by Hockey East

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