MassLive: Syner Making Springfield Proud - UMass Athletics

MassLive: Syner Making Springfield Proud

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Today on MassLive, Dick Baker has a feature on UMass senior forward, Springfield native, T.J. Syner and his cousin Barry Almeida of Boston College, who will be squaring off in the Hockey East Quarterfinals this weekend as the Minutemen face the No. 1 Eagles.

Syner has rewarded UMass hockey fans the past four years with his breakaway speed. He has 96 career points, and a chance to become only the 10th player in the history of the program to reach the century mark. In the regular season finale at Merrimack, Syner made a highlight film solo rush , weaving and then splitting thrugh the defense for a shorthanded goal with six seconds remaining in the first period.

"Last year, he had a goal against Minnesota that was very similar," UMass coach Toot Cahoon said. "It wasn't shorthanded, but it just took the 11,000 people at that game right out of their seats. It was the same type of play where you just say - Wow that looks like Kharlamov (Valeri, former Soviet superstar). You just don't see too many do that. I can think of some guys - Corey Millen, (Paul) Kariya. Very special athletes make a play like that."

The Minutemen will need big plays to upset the Eagles. BC has won 11 straight games, and has beaten UMass 10 straight times at Conte Forum, including 2-0 sweeps the past two years in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

Read more of Making Springfield proud: City natives and cousins T.J. Syner of UMass and Barry Almeida of Boston College face off in the playoffs

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