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Former UMass defenseman had a two-goal night last night to help the San Jose Sharks to a 6-5 overtime win over the Washington Capitals to improve their record to 3-0 to start the year.

Irwin became just the second former Minuteman to post a multi-goal effort in the NHL, joining Greg Mauldin who had four points (2g, 2a) against Minnesota on Nov. 27, 2010, while playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

Check out the video of Irwin's goals below:

Quick Leads Los Angeles Kings Into Second Round

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Former UMass netminder Jonathan Quick was named the Second Star of the Game last night as he helped the Los Angeles Kings take game seven and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Quick stopped 39 of 40 shots last night including this one to rob Patrick Marleau:

Over the past four games, Quick is 4-0 with a .963 save percentage and one shutout. The Kings open second round action against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, May 3, at 8 p.m.

Another former Minuteman, Matt Irwin, scored his first career postseason goal, San Jose's only goal of the night:


Irwin played 20:52 in the contest and had two shots. Teammate and fellow UMass hockey alum Justin Braun saw 17:36 of ice time.

Former Minutemen Set For Game 7 Tonight

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At least one UMass hockey alum will advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight as former Minuteman Jonathan Quick's Los Angeles Kings will square off against the San Jose Sharks and two more former Minutemen, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin. 

Braun has appeared in all six games for the Sharks and has a goal and an assist and is +3 in the series. Braun scored the game winner in game two for his first career playoff goal (video below). His assist came on the Sharks' lone game six tally. Irwin made his 2014 postseason debut in game six as well and played 18:43 with two shots.

Quick has been a key part of the Kings' comeback in the series as he stopped 91 of the 95 shots he faced in the squad's three victories, including all 30 game five for his eighth career postseason shutout. Here's video of Quick stopping a shot by Irwin in game six.

 Justin Braun (UMass Years: 2006-10) & Matt Irwin (UMass Years: 2008-10) - San Jose Sharks
Jonathan Quick (UMass Years: 2005-07 ) - Los Angeles Kings
Regular Season Statistics:
 Braun: 82 GP, 4 G, 13 A, 17 Pts, 20 PIM, +20  |  Irwin: 62 GP, 2 G, 18 A, 20 Pts, 35 PIM, +5
 Quick: 49 GP, 2 A, 2.07 GAA, 6 SO, 27 W, 17 L, 0.915 PCT
First Round Playoff Schedule
DateOpponents Time (ET) | TV / Result
Thusday, April 17
 LAK at SJS San Jose 6, Los Angeles 3
 Sunday, April 20
 LAK at SJS San Jose 7, Los Angeles 2
 Tuesday, April 22 SJS at LAK San Jose 4, Los Angeles 3 (OT)
 Thursday, April 24 SJS at LAK Los Angeles 6, San Jose 3
 Saturday, April 26 LAK at SJS Los Angeles 3, San Jose 0
 Monday, April 28 SJS at LAK Los Angeles 4, San Jose 1
 Wednesday, April 30 LAK at SJS 10:00 p.m. | NBCSN, CSN-CA
Freelance writer Dave Cunning has an in-depth Q&A with former Minuteman, current San Jose Sharks' defenseman, Matt Irwin on The Score:

"He may not be a household name just yet, but San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin may work his way into your mental NHL player directory yet. Now in his second NHL season, the 26 year old British Columbian is continuing a trend from his amateur career that has seen his point totals, ice-time, and contributions to his team's success dynamically increase every year.

Irwin spoke with me at length about his long road to the NHL and what he'll have to do to stay there, the tough decisions he was required to make and small window of opportunity he had to live out his dream, past teammates that helped get him where he is now, current ones that help make him better, what the San Jose Sharks will have to do to win their first Stanley Cup, what it takes to be consistently inserted into a lineup full of Olympians, All-Stars, and Stanley Cup champions, and more.

Read more: Getting to know San Jose Sharks' defenseman Matt Irwin

The Province, out of British Columbia, had this piece chronicling former UMass and current San Jose Sharks' defenseman Matt Irwin's development throughout his hockey career:

"Bill Bestwick marvels at Matt Irwin being paired with Dan Boyle and manning the point on the San Jose Sharks' power play.

He can't help but think of the kid from Brentwood Bay, near Victoria, who showed up in Nanaimo with high BCHL hopes and little meat on his 16-year-old frame.

"He couldn't do a pushup," recalled the former Clippers coach and general manager.

"When he played for me at 16, as an affiliate player, I think he was probably scared to death. At 17, he got his feet wet, and at 18, he started to figure out, 'Hey, I'm not bad.' He was 6-foot-2, but still a skinny runt with no strength in his body. Then at 19, his coordination and dexterity came to the forefront."

Read more: Continuing education behind Matt Irwin's ascent with San Jose Sharks

Irwin And Wellman Both Recalled To NHL

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Former UMass hockey players Matt Irwin and Casey Wellman were both recalled by their respective NHL clubs today. Irwin will rejoin the San Jose Sharks after playing nine games with the Sharks at the start of the season.

Wellman, who was acquired by the Washington Capitals from the Florida Panthers last month, will make his debut with the Capitals wearing No. 48. In his 11 games since the trade, he has tallied 11 points in 11 contests with the Hershey Bears.

Wellman previously played 41 games in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild from 2009-2012.

Here's another piece of former Minuteman Matt Irwin and his early season success in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks:

Matt Irwin is too young to remember Larry Robinson. But he knows "big bird." Big yellow fella from Sesame Street.

"My uncle is a Montreal Canadiens fan, so he's a big Larry Robinson fan," Irwin, the 25-year-old San Jose Sharks' rookie, said before facing the Vancouver Canucks here Sunday. "I haven't had to ask for an autograph yet (for my uncle), but that might be coming up soon."

Irwin is already signing autographs for himself. The defenceman from Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island has been a revelation to the Sharks' coaching staff, which includes Robinson, known as "Big Bird" when he played and merely one of the greatest blueliners of his generation.

Robinson and Irwin are getting to know each other.

Undrafted after three Junior-A seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers, Irwin entered the University of Massachusetts as a 20-year-old freshman and played two seasons in Amherst. He earned a free-agent contract from the Sharks, then spent another 2 ½ seasons in the American Hockey League before injuries to San Jose defencemen Brent Burns and Jason Demers helped Irwin make the lineup for the start of the lockout-shortened National Hockey League season.

Until two weeks ago, Irwin's entire NHL experience was one pre-season game.

But through four games this month, the 6-2, 210-pound Irwin was averaging 22:48 of ice time and playing with Dan Boyle in the defence's top four.

Read more: Undrafted Matt Irwin 'looks like he fits' with Sharks

THE PROVINCE: Irwin Fitting In Nicely With Sharks

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UMass hockey alum Matt Irwin, who logged his first NHL points over the weekend, was featured in his hometown paper:

In a star-studded lockerroom, Matt Irwin could have been mistaken for a fan Sunday morning.

After all, the Brentwood Bay, B.C. native talked enthusiastically about idolizing Trevor Linden while playing for the Nanaimo Clippers. But the talk among teammates was how the undrafted San Jose Sharks defenceman has made a seamless rookie transition to the NHL. He even unloaded a heavy slapshot for his first career goal Saturday.

The effort was posted in a hurry to YouTube and there was a flurry of calls from his minor-league teammates in Worcester, Mass., and likely a few from old college teammates at UMass-Amherst, too.

"I don't know if I ever pictured one goal and it doesn't matter -- it's kind of been a whirlwind and kind of exciting," he said before a 4-1 victory Sunday over the Vancouver Canucks. "We've all had that moment on the driveway and stuff like that. I don't think I even scored too many of those goals then. I was just trying to play."

Irwin doesn't look like and certainly doesn't sound like a rookie. A pairing with veteran Dan Boyle and the tutelage of assistant coach Larry Robinson have the 25-year-old blueliner poised for a brighter future after signing a two-year, two-way free agent contract that expires after this season.

"He's played great -- better than great," said Boyle, who was also undrafted. "He's not only doing what he needs to do, he's doing more and not just eating up minutes. He's a big factor in all the games. Veterans sometimes do the mistake of giving a young guy too much information and then it's overload.

Read more: Island's Irwin fitting in nicely with Sharks

Irwin Scores First NHL Goal

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Congratulations to former Minuteman Matt Irwin who scored his first NHL goal last night to help the San Jose Sharks down the Colorado Avalanche, 4-0. Irwin saw 22:48 of ice time, blocked six shots and was named the game's No. 2 star.

Here's the video of Irwin's goal:

The Sharks also had this nice tribute to Irwin on Twitter Friday after he tallied his first NHL point, an assist vs. the Phoenix Coyotes:

Irwin Appears In Sharks' Opener, His First NHL Game

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Former Minuteman Matt Irwin joined Mike Kostka as the second UMass hockey alum to make his NHL debut this weekend. A member of the San Jose Sharks, Irwin was on the ice for 19:06 in his first NHL game, including 51 seconds on the power play. He also registered two shots and two hits as the Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames, 4-1.




Former Minutemen In NHL Training Camps

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With the start of the NHL season just days away, teams have been providing coverage of their training camps on their web sites. Video updates from the LA Kings and the San Jose Sharks featured former Minutemen Jonathan Quick and Justin Braun.

Jonathan Quick Speaks To The Media On Day 1 Of Training Camp:

Sharks Second-Year Players Are Expected To Raise Performance Level (Braun at 2:27 mark):

Two more former UMass hockey players are also currently at NHL training camps as Matt Irwin is with the Sharks and Mike Kostka (pictured, middle) is with Toronto.

Toronto Maple Leafs players Mike Komisarek Mike Kostka and Mike Mottau skate sprints on the first day of training camp in Toronto.

Dainton Re-Signs With Springfield Falcons

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Goaltender Paul Dainton became the latest UMass hockey alum to sign a new contract as he inked a one-year AHL deal with the Springfield Falcons for 2012-13.

In his first season as a pro, Dainton played in 28 games for the Falcons and posted a record of 13-12-1 with a .893 save percentage and a 3.11 goals-against average.

MassLive.com has coverage of Dainton's signing: Columbus Blue Jackets sign goalie Paul Dainton

Earlier this week, Alex Berry signed with the Hershey Bears for 2012-13 and Matt Irwin received a one-year extension with the San Jose Sharks, while Mike Kostka joined the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

Republican: Dainton Earns Win, Irwin Has Goal & Assist

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Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has an update on Paul Dainton returning to Springfield last night to make 37 saves in a 4-2 win over Worcester. One of the goals he allowed was against former teammate Matt Irwin who also assisted on the other goal.

Republican: UMass Hockey In The Pros Update

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Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has an update on Justin Braun (San Jose Sharks, NHL), Matt Irwin (Worcester Sharks, AHL) and Casey Wellman (Minnesota Wild, NHL).

Braun played a season-high 21 minutes in a 3-2 win over Edmonton, while Irwin was reassigned to Worcester. After being called up from Houston, Wellman has been sidelined with the an injury for the Wild.

San Jose Calls Up Matt Irwin From Worcester

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The San Jose Sharks of the NHL called up Matt Irwin on Sunday from the AHL Worcester Sharks. That gives the Sharks a pair of UMass blueliners as Irwin will join former teammate Justin Braun.


Braun has played in 14 games this season with a 1 goal, 2 assists and a +5 rating.

Dick Baker's MassLive.com Hockey Blog

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Dick Baker's MassLive.com Hockey Blog

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Hockey's Future Analysis Of Worcester Sharks

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HockeysFuture.com has a depth analysis of the Worcester Sharks with several mentions for former UMass skaters including what they do well and what they need to work on in order to have a shot at making it in the NHL. Included references are to James Marcou, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin.


A quick update on several other former UMass hockey players who are now in the professional ranks:

Jonathan Quick - L.A. Kings - 6 W, 1 L, 1.96 GAA, .928 Sv%, 429 min.
Justin Braun - Worcester Sharks - 6 GP, 1G, 5A, 4 PIM
James Marcou - Worcester Sharks - 6 GP, 3G, 2A, -3, 0 PIM
Matt Irwin - Worcester Sharks - 4 GP, 2A, -2, 0 PIM
Cory Quirk - Worcester Sharks - 6 GP, 1G, -1, 0 PIM
Mike Kostka - Rochester Americans - 9 GP, 1G, 4A, +3, 4 PIM
- Alex Berry - Norfolk Admirals - 5 GP, 2A, +3, 9 PIM

Daily Collegian: 2010 UMass Hockey Preview

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Worcester Sharks Preview On HockeysFuture.com

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Here is a pretty good preview of the Worcester Sharks heading into this season. The squad features four UMass players: Cory Quirk, James Marcou, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin.

Dick Baker's MassLive.com Hockey Blog

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Dick Baker's MassLive.com Hockey Blog

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Dick Baker has some great updates to his MassLive.com UMass Hockey Blog that you'll want to read before heading over to the exhibition game against New Brunswick this afternoon at 3 PM in the Mullins Center Practice Rink.

He also has an update on Matt Irwin and Cory Quirk who apparently threw fists in a game against Springfield last night.

Dick also has a piece examining what UMass must do defensively to clear the puck consistently from the defensive end to help transition the offense.

With the loss of so many players following last season, the growth of the program has helped recruiting top level players. The reputation of the program and the University has helped attract blue-chip level recruits.

Finally, Dick looks at the youth of Boston University which is fairly similar to the situation at UMass. The Terriers have 17 freshmen and sophomores and just one senior.

Alex Berry In Training Camp With Norfolk Admirals

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Alex Berry is in training camp with the Norfolk Admirals and HockeysFuture.com hasa season preview of the club along with a few nice mentions of what Berry will add to the lineup. The Admirals are the AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Berry and the Admirals will open the regular season against a few familiar faces as the Worcester Sharks will head down to Virginia. If Berry makes the club, he will likely play against Justin Braun, Matt Irwin, James Marcou and Cory Quirk of the Sharks.

Dick Baker's MassLive.com Hockey Blog

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Dick Baker has several new entries in his UMass Hockey Blog on MassLive.com. One interesting thing to point out is that Justin Braun, James Marcou and Cory Quirk were all assigned to the Worcester Sharks over the weekend. The trio will join Matt Irwin with the AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks.

  • Braun Plays In First NHL Game For San Jose
  • Locals Syner, Czepiel Look Good In First Week Of Practice
  • Minutemen Hold First Pre-Season Scrimmage
  • Wellman Scores Power Play Goal For Minnesota
  • Keane Ready To Do His Part
  • Three Former Minutemen Assigned To Worcester
  • What's New At BU - A Look At The Hockey East Opener
  • Hockey East Picks Come Wednesday
  • Dick Baker's MassLive.Com Hockey Blog

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    Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican touched on four different topics tonight in his UMass Hockey Blog which you can find at MassLive.com. In his first piece, he looks at the UMass power play and how that will be changed this year with the loss of so many key personnel from last year. His second blog posting deals with Matt Irwin being assigned by San Jose to AHL-affiliate Worcester. In San Jose, Irwin is expected to be among a quartet of Minutemen who include Cory Quirk, Justin Braun, and James Marcou. In his third entry, Dick spoke with Merrimack head coach and former UMass assistant Mark Dennehy on Don "Toot" Cahoon's contract extension and why that is good for the program along with speaking with Dennehy on how he has made improvements to the Merrimack hockey program including several new facility upgrades. Finally, Dick writes about how UMass is looking to keep improving attendance at home games after setting a school-record with an average of 5,313 in 15 games last season.

    The Dilemma Of Leaving College Early

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    UMass alum Andy Merritt has an interesting read in the New England Hockey Journal on the dilemma of college hockey players to leave college early for the professional ranks. In his story, he mentions UMass' losses following last season of James Marcou, Casey Wellman and Matt Irwin. He has several quotes from UMass coach Don "Toot" Cahoon as well as quotes from Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna.

    Braun, Irwin Mentioned In San Jose Sharks Preview

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    Former UMass defensemen Justin Braun and Matt Irwin are each mentioned in this article from the Mercury News as the San Jose Sharks rookie camp has begun. Both played for the AHL affiliate Worcester Sharks at the conclusion of UMass' season last year.

    Braun, Irwin Mentioned As Two Of Sharks Top Rookies

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    The Worcester Sharks will begin their AHL season in just over a month as well - Oct. 9 to be exact - and former Minutemen Justin Braun and Matt Irwin have received a bit of preseason praise. "Some of Worcester's top rookies should include defensemen Justin Braun and Matt Irwin, who played at UMass, and defenseman Nick Schaus, who played four seasons at UMass-Lowell. "We've got some draft picks that will be coming in and some free agents," coach Roy Sommer said. "The kids that played for us at the end of the year in the playoffs have a great opportunity this season. They're not just coming into the league, they have the experience."
    Former UMass defenseman Matt Irwin was also mentioned today in a news feature focusing on his offseason training as he prepares for the upcoming hockey season. Irwin signed with the San Jose Sharks last spring and is anticipated to be playing for the AHL Worcester Sharks in 2010-11.

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