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Here's a look at the coverage of the signings of three UMass hockey alumni--Conor Sheary, Joel Hanley and Mike Kostka--who all inked NHL deals on the opening day of NHL free agency on Wednesday.

A pair of former Minutemen, Eddie Olczyk and Joel Hanley, stopped by the UMass Sports Network radio booth during intermission of hockey's 4-1 win over 14th-ranked Merrimack on Sunday at the Mullins Center. Olczyk is currently an assistant coach at Utica College and Hanley has enjoyed a successful second professional season skating for the AHL's Portland Pirates.

.@UMassHockey's Hanley Signs With Portland For 2014-15

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Congratulations to former UMass hockey defenseman Joel Hanley, who has signed one year, a two-way AHL deal with the Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. Upon completing his collegiate career with the Minutemen in 2013-14, Hanley made his professional debut with the Pirates while on an Amateur Tryout Contract and totaled five assists over 15 games with Portland.

Read the Portland Pirates' full release here.

UMass Hockey In The AHL

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Here's a look at what's on tap for the American Hockey League teams with former Minutemen on their roster for this coming weekend:

Conor Allen (Hartford Wolf Pack) - 3/21 vs. St. Johns (7 PM), 3/22 at Adirondack (7 PM)
Joel Hanley (Portland Pirates) - 3/23 at Bridgeport (3 PM) - Listen
Danny Hobbs (Binghamton Senators) - 3/21 at Norfolk (7:30 PM), 3/22 at Norfolk (7:15 PM) - Listen
Michael Pereira (Worcester Sharks) - 3/21 vs. Springfield (7:30 PM), 3/22 vs. Hershey (7 PM) - Listen
Conor Sheary (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) - 3/21 at Syracuse (7 PM), 3/22 vs. Utica (7:05 PM), 3/23 at Albany (4 PM) - Listen 
Casey Wellman (Hershey Bears) - 3/21 at Providence (7:05 PM), 3/22 at Worcester (7 PM), 3/23 at Manchester (3 PM) - Listen

Live stats for all games can be found on

LISTEN LIVE: Joel Hanley Makes Pro Debut With Portland

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Earlier today, it was announced that senior defenseman Joel Hanley has signed a PTO with the Portland Pirates.

Hanley is in the lineup tonight as the Pirates take on the St. John's IceCaps. The game is currently scoreless at the first intermission and can be heard live, for free, here.

Hanley Featured In NCAA Hockey Top 5 Plays Of The Week

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Senior defenseman Joel Hanley's stick save that preserved UMass' 2-0 shutout at Colgate earned a spot in the NCAA's Top 5 Plays of the Week on Tuesday:

Hockey's Future: Hanley Placing Himself On NHL's Radar

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Richard Murray recently paid a visit to campus to talk some UMass hockey to feature several players on Hockey', including this piece on junior defensman Joel Hanley.

Despite flying under the radar at times, Joel Hanley participated in the Columbus Blue Jackets' development camp this past summer, and he now looks to anchor the University of Massachusetts blue line this season.

Last season, Hanley scored seven goals and added 18 assists; he led all UMass defensemen in scoring with 25 points. So far this season, Hanley, has a goal and an assist in four gamesof play.

Hanley, a junior, has often flown under the radar because he is a smaller defensemen, standing at 6 feet tall. Although, not always being in the spotlight has also been a benefit because it has allowed him to just focus on playing his game.

"As a smaller defenseman people overlook you, and they don't think you have the physical strength or size," Hanley said. "You have to take it into account, but it is nice to be a little underrated sometimes. When the spotlight isn't on you all the time you can just do your thing out there."

At his smaller stature, Hanley has modeled his game around other, shorter offensive styled defenseman in the NHL like Mike Green.

"Green is a smaller offensive defensemen, and there are a lot of things I try to take out of his game," Hanley said. "I like his offensive ability, especially how he sees the game so well."

Hanley's vision on the ice is actually something that new UMass coach John Micheletto has noticed right away.

"I think he has a real good vision for the game, and he has an idea of what to do with the puck," Micheletto said. "One of his best assets is being able to see the big picture. While other players might only see one option, he can sort through his options quickly and still make the appropriate decision."

Read more of Hanley placing himself on the NHL's radar with offensive ability

Collegian: Hanley, Marcou key success over weekend

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Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a sidebar on the roll defensemen Joel Hanley and Michael Marcou had in the weekend series against New Hampshire.

Lots Of Wednesday Birthdays!

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Five Minutemen celebrate birthdays today: Rob Blanchflower from football, Kyle Jennings from swimming, Conor Sheary and Joel Hanley from hockey, and Sean Carter from men's basketball. Happy birthday guys - hope you have a great day!

Rob BlanchflowerKyle JenningsSean Carter
Joel HanleyConor Sheary

Dick Baker's Hockey Blog

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Just one day until the UMass hockey home opener against #8 Boston University in the Mullins Center. Tomorrow night's game starts at 7 PM and will be televised live on NESN. There is no better way to see the game, though, than live in the stands!

From Dick Baker's UMass Hockey Blog:
Why Darren Rowe Is One Of My Favorite Players
Alums Leaderer & Nolet Have Good Weekend For Trenton
Hanley Back Practicing With UMass
UMass Hopes To Break Home Opener Attendance Record
Around Hockey East
Teglia Earns Hockey East Honor