For the next five weeks, beginning Friday and going until the end of the regular season, the University of Massachusetts will play nine games, all against conference foes, to determine its position in March's Hockey East tournament.
It starts with this weekend's home-and-home series with Merrimack -- Friday at the Mullins Center, Saturday at Lawler Arena in North Andover. Both games are at 7 p.m.
"We've been stressing every time out, no matter who we play, at home or on the road, every league game matters," UMass coach John Micheletto said. "We've tried to create that sense of urgency without creating a sense of panic. The difference is there's nothing but league games mixed in the rest of the way. There's a sprint to the finish line mentality, but I don't know that we're looking at it as any more important or less important than we have with games in the past."Read more: UMass enters final stretch of Hockey East schedule