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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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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View From Section U ▲ Potential Coaching Replacements

Ever since I wrote my piece stating that UMass needs to making a coaching change at the end of the season I’ve had many people ask who would be my potential candidates to lead the program to success.  There are a few prospects that immediately come to mind.  There are a few that I wish they had looked at the last time around when the coaching position was open in 2012 and either they weren’t interested, then Athletic Director John McCutcheon didn’t consider them, or the timing just wasn’t right for either side.  I’ve already heard a lot of suggestions from readers and fans on who should be considered and I’ve done my best to take them into account.

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Recap ▲ UMass Falls 5-2, Hands Maine Their First Road Win Of Season

This weekend’s series against last place Maine appeared to be an ideal opportunity for the Minutemen to gain valuable Hockey East points, grab their first Hockey East win since early November, and create some momentum heading into the final stretch of the season.  They may still achieve some of those goals with a win tonight.  But UMass kicked off the weekend with an incredibly disappointing 5-2 loss to the Black Bears that made official the fact that the season has become nothing short of a train-wreck.

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Recap ▲ Vermont Comes Back To Defeat UMass 6-4

A night after perhaps their worst performance of the season the Massachusetts hockey team looked much better as they hosted the Vermont Catamounts.  UMass would play well enough to take a 4-2 lead into the final period.  However they ran out of gas late, gave up four third period goals, and ended up falling to UVM 6-4.  There were a number of positives to take away from the game, such as the offensive reemergence of Dennis Kravchenko and Austin Plevy as well as Nic Renyard’s performance in net.  However the team still cannot find a way to win and are now 1-12-0 in their last 13 games.  In addition John Micheletto is now winless in his last 8 games against his former team.

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View From Section U ▲ Time For A Coaching Change

Let me start by saying that I think John Micheletto is a sharp, innovative hockey mind in the college game as well as a talented recruiter.  I have no doubt that he has spent the last three and a half years working hard to make UMass hockey successful in the competitive Hockey East.  I think he’s a well-intentioned individual who is trying his best.  I also believe that despite all those qualities he is not the right person to be head coach and after this current season, Athletic Director Ryan Bamford should look to someone new to lead the Massachusetts hockey program.

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Recap ▲ #11 Lowell Dominates UMass In Weekend Sweep, Wins Alumni Cup

The Massachusetts played 120 minutes this weekend against sister school Lowell and was barely in the games for more than a matter of a few minutes.  The River Hawks grabbed an early lead both nights, controlled possession throughout the weekend series, and utterly embarrassed the Minutemen.  Lack of focus and at times what looked to be a lack of effort made for a tough weekend for the UMass hockey team.  A season that started with such promise after a 4-0-1 start in October now is shaping up to be another huge disappointment as the team has gone 3-13-3 since that hot beginning to the season and is in danger of falling to the bottom of the Hockey East standings.

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View From Section U ▲ Micheletto’s Boyle Blunder

Kevin Boyle committed to play hockey at the University of Massachusetts in February of 2009 at age 16.  After a couple more seasons of juniors, one year played in his native New Jersey and the other on the west coast of Canada, he came to Amherst in the fall of 2011.  He would make his debut in the opening game of the season, a 3-3 tie at Northeastern where he made 29 saves.  A week later he made his Mullins Center debut and got his first collegiate win in a 5-3 decision over Bentley.  If all had gone to plan Boyle would’ve played his last game as a senior last February.  But things did not go as planned.  Instead he’ll make his final appearance in Amherst this Friday.  He’ll be wearing a UMass sweater, but not one adorned with maroon and white.  Instead it’ll be the red and blue jersey of UMass-Lowell where Boyle is putting up excellent numbers in net for a top ten team with their sights set on the NCAA tournament.

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View From Section U ▲ Minutemen Look To Reverse Second Half Struggles

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the challenges ahead for the Minutemen in the second half of the season in terms of schedule.  Half of their 16 games left on the season will come against teams at the top of the KRACH and USCHO rankings.  With the team currently at 6-8-4 on the season it’ll be a tough road for UMass to get back to .500 or better.  But it’s not just the opposing teams that the Minutemen have to contend with.  UMass has historically done poorly in the games that come after the holiday break.

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Midseason Review ▲ Looking Ahead To The Second Half

In last night’s midseason review post I took a look at how the season has played out so far for the Minutemen, from their hot streak in October to start the season to the current nine game winless streak heading into winter break.  Now it’s time to look ahead to the games remaining.  The team is not trending well right now, but there’s still a lot of hockey to be played and with the team currently tied for seventh in Hockey East they’re still within striking distance of a number of achievements.

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