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Bud Light UMass Hockey Show Tonight (7 PM)

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The Bud Light UMass Hockey Show is back at The Hangar Pub and Grill on University Drive in Amherst tonight at 7 p.m. Player guests will be seniors Peter DeAngelo and Branden Gracel.

Join us in person or listen online.

Click here to submit a question for the "Ask Coach" segment with head coach John Micheletto or submit one via Twitter @UMassSportsNet

Nick Canelas takes a look at the play of UMass' line of Michael Pereira, Branden Gracel and Conor Sheary in his column for the Daily Collegian today:

It was a 3-1 game. Denver had snatched momentum from the Massachusetts hockey team with a pair of goals in the second period, and seemed well on its way to snapping the Minutemen's three-game winning streak.

Then The Big Three stepped onto the ice.

Branden Gracel made a play down low to get the puck to Michael Pereira in the faceoff circle. Pereira shot but didn't get a full piece of the puck. It was deflected and landed right in front for Conor Sheary to come in and finish the play to cut the UMass deficit to 3-2 16 minutes, 44 seconds into the second period.

Read more - Canelas: Play of top line essential to UMass hockey's success

Gracel's Goal Makes NCAA Hockey Top 5 Plays Of The Week

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Senior Branden Gracel's goal from UMass' 3-2 win at #13/11 Notre Dame last weekend was selected for the NCAA Hockey Top 5 Plays Of The Week, coming in at #5. The goal is the third by a member of the Minutemen to be tabbed a national Play of the Week this season.

Check out the Plays of the Week, courtesy of

Matt Vautour had this preview of UMass' first Hockey East games versus Notre Dame in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette:

After going 1-6-2 in November, the University of Massachusetts hockey team is hoping a new month, a new league rival and renewed attention to detail leads to improved results when the Minutemen face Notre Dame for the first time since the Fighting Irish joined Hockey East.

The teams will play Friday at 7:35 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Both games are in South Bend, Ind., and on the NBC Sports Network.

Senior Branden Gracel thought the team was getting closer to turning things around.

"Each player tries to simplify their game and get back to basics. A lot of times players will try to do too much and that drags the slump a little bit longer," Gracel said. "If everybody gets back to what they're good at and plays their own game, I think that helps the whole team get out of their slump.

Read more: UMass looks to break slump with two-game hockey series at No. 13 Notre Dame

Cameron McDonough takes a look at UMass' top line, which features its top-three returning scorers from a year ago: Branden Gracel, Michael Pereira and Conor Sheary:

The Massachusetts hockey team has its fair share of question marks heading into the season.

How will Year 2 of the John Micheletto era go?
Who will replace last year's seniors, especially on the second line?
Will Steve Mastalerz step up and be the No. 1 goalie?
And who will step up on defense and replace Conor Allen?

But there are few questions about who the first line will be.

Seniors Branden Gracel, Conor Sheary and Michael Pereira were all moved to the first line during the 2012-13 season by Micheletto and became an instant offensive force in the Hockey East.

Read more of UMass hockey looking for repeat from first line

Boston Herald: Branden Gracel Puts Heat On UMass Foes

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John Connolly had this feature on Branden Gracel in today's Boston Herald:

UMass hockey player Branden Gracel is one person who took this week's frigid weather in stride. After all, the thermometer was at minus-9 degrees midweek outside Thickwood Heights Arena back in Fort McMurray, Alberta, where the junior center played before arriving at the Mullin Center in Amherst.

"That was the coldest place I've probably been in," Gracel said about the northern Canadian outpost. "I remember getting out of my warm truck to fill it up with gas and by the time I finished the truck was cold again."

During his final season in the AJHL with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, college recruiters began migrating north, especially after he scored 38 goals and added 56 assists in 58 games. Gracel was contacted by North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, Boston University, the two Division 1 universities in Alaska, Fairbanks and Anchorage, and he made his lone official visit to Nebraska-Omaha before he settled on attending UMass.

"I decided to come (to UMass) because the opportunity to play as a freshman was a big thing for me and having such a big freshman class the year I came in, I knew I was going to have opportunities to play, as well," said Gracel. "I had a really good offer here and they wanted me to come in that next year instead of playing another year of juniors."

These days, it is opposing Hockey East goaltenders who are feeling the big chill whenever the puck lands on the clever skater's stick. Twice this season, Gracel has been named Player of the Week by Hockey East. The most recent accolade, which he shared with Boston College senior Steve Whitney, came after he powered UMass to a 5-2 victory over second-ranked BC, the first win by the Minutemen at Kelley Rink in 13 tries dating back to Nov. 17, 2007. Gracel notched two goals and an assist. The goals and three points equaled his single-game best.

Read more of: Branden Gracel puts heat on UMass foes

The Bud Light UMass Hockey Radio Show will hit the road again this Tuesday, Jan. 22, airing live from the Blue Room in Chicopee starting at 7 p.m. on WHMP (AM 1400/1240/FM 96.9). It can also be heard streaming online and via the TuneIn app.

This week's show will feature player guests freshman K.J. Tiefenwerth and current Hockey East Player of the Week, junior Branden Gracel as well as a recap of the Minutemen's win at #2 Boston College last Friday and a preview of this weekend's upcoming games at Vermont.

Click here to submit a question for head coach John Micheletto

Recaps Of Hockey Claiming Ledyard Classic Title

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Congratulations to the hockey team on capturing a tournament championship over the weekend with a pair of come-from-behind victories, defeating Bemidji State, 4-3, and #8 Dartmouth, 3-2, to win the Ledyard Classic.

With four points in two games, including the game-winning goal against the Big Green, junior Branden Gracel was tabbed the Tournament MVP. Sophomore Kevin Boyle was named the tournament's Top Goaltender, while senior Eddie Olczyk also earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

Several media outlets had coverage of the tournament:

MassLive: UMass upsets No. 8 Dartmouth to win Ledyard National Bank Classic
Valley News: UMass Bludgeons Dartmouth
College Hockey News: The Takeaway: UMass Takes Home Ledyard Bank Classic
Daily Collegian: UMass overcomes penalties to win Ledyard National Bank Classic title
College Hockey News: The Takeaway: UMass Holds on for 4-3 Win Over Bemidji
Mass Live: UMass advances to Ledyard Bank Classic final with 4-3 win over Bemidji

Also, check out the highlights from both games:

Guzzo, Gracel Go From Roommates To Linemates

The Republican's Harry Plumer featured Steven Guzzo and Branden Gracel this week, two members of UMass' top point-producing line through the first two games of the season:

They became friends because they couldn't get Tim Horton's before practice anymore.

At least, that's part of the reason, according to Branden Gracel.

Gracel and Steven Guzzo, two Canadians who found their way to the University of Massachusetts hockey team, began bonding over their shared experiences when they arrived in Amherst three years ago.

Last season, they were roommates in North Apartments. This season, they no longer share living space, but something more important: Ice time.

The duo finds itself on a line together with captain Rocco Carzo, and the chemistry has been immediate -- the combination has accounted for four of the Minutemen's five even strength goals.

It wasn't a natural fit, though. Gracel, born and raised in Calgary, and Guzzo a, Toronto-area native, had both been centers for their first their three years at UMass. But Micheletto needed instant bonds, and instead of letting positions get in the way, he moved Gracel to wing.

"Ultimately what you're trying to find is guys that have some sort of chemistry together," Micheletto said. "It appears that that's been the case."

Read more of Steven Guzzo, Branden Gracel go from roommates to linemates for UMass hockey

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a look at Thursday's game at Providence saying the UMass hockey team has to stay focused and not look ahead to Frozen Fenway on Saturday.

Recaps From Hockey's Opener At Northeastern

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UMass and Northeastern battled to a 3-3 overtime tie on Friday night in the season opener for both teams. The Huskies managed to tie the game with two seconds left in regulation after pulling goalie Chris Rawlings for the extra skater.

Recaps From Hockey Tie At No. 8 New Hampshire

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It was a thrilling game last night for college hockey fans as UMass clawed back after trailing twice to take a 3-2 lead with just over 60 seconds left in the 3rd period only to have No. 8 New Hampshire score 20 seconds later to force a 3-3 tie. Here are the recaps from last night's action.

Fosters Daily Democrat: UNH, UMass skate to draw

Daily Collegian: 2010 UMass Hockey Preview

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Dick Baker's Hockey Blog

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