The Last Meeting
November 9, 2012
Amherst, Mass. (Mullins Center)
Minutemen Blank Providence, 4-0
On the back of a three-point night by junior Michael Pereira and 17 saves by sophomore netminder Kevin Boyle, the UMass hockey team rolled to a 4-0 win over Providence at the Mullins Center on Friday evening. The shutout, which marked the first of Boyle's collegiate career and was the squad's first over the Friars (4-4-1, 3-3-0 HEA) since 2004, moves the Minutemen to 3-4-0 overall and 2-4-0 in Hockey East.
Quick Hits: Ledyard Classic
- The Minutemen posted a pair of come-from-behind wins to take home the Ledyard National Bank Classic title, defeating Bemidji State, 4-3, and #8 Dartmouth, 3-2.
- Junior Branden Gracel (1g, 3a) was tapped as Tournament MVP and Kevin Boyle earned all-tournament recognition as the Top Goaltender of the Tournament. Senior Eddie Olczyk earned an All-Tournament team spot, as well.
- The contest against #8 Dartmouth was the Minutemen's eighth against a ranked opponent in 18 games and second victory over a top-10 team this season. UMass handed the Big Green their first home loss of the season as the squad was previously 7-0-0 in Thompson Arena.
- Versus Bemidji State, UMass used a three-goal second period to help overcome a 2-0 deficit against the Beavers. It matched the highest second period goal output for the team this season and marked the first time the MInutemen had come back from a two-goal deficit to win since Dec. 29, 2009 against Union, a 4-3 victory at the UConn Hockey Classic.
- Five of UMass' seven goals in the tournament were scored by the special teams units, four power-play tallies and one short hander.
- Junior Michael Pereira logged his 70th career point with his goal against Bemidji State and is now tied for 29th in program history.
- Adam Phillips' power-play goal vs. Bemidji State was his eighth of his career, tying him for the lead among active UMass players with Pereira.
- Sophomore Zack LaRue notched the game-winner vs. Bemidji State for his first career goal.
- Junior Conor Sheary logged his first multi-point game of the season at Dartmouth, which included his 40th career assist. Sheary finished the tournament with three points (1g, 2a) over three games.
- Olczyk scored UMass' third shorthanded goal of the season against Dartmouth to snap a 53-game scoreless streak as his first career goal came at Providence on Jan. 30, 2010 his freshman year.
- Gracel completed his second straight multi-point game, which included his 50th career point, by scoring the game-winning goal against the Big Green. It was Gracel's fifth career game-winner to lead all active UMass players and third of the season, tying him for second in Hockey East.
Facing The Best
- According to the latest rankings, UMass is fourth out of 59 Division I teams in strength of schedule.
- Outside of the always-challenging Hockey East slate, the Minutemen are 3-3-1 in nonconference play.
- UMass' nonconference foes currently hold a combined record of 54-38-15 (.575) with four of the six teams currently residing in the top-20 nationally (#5 Quinnipiac, #12 Dartmouth, #14 Yale and #19 Colgate). Quinnipiac is currently unbeaten in its last 14 with its only tie coming against the Minutemen.
Potent Power Play
- With at least one power-play goal in 15 of its 18 contests, the Minutemen boast the No. 2 power play in Hockey East with a conversion rate of 20.6% (20-for-97), 14th nationally.
- Individually, Conor Allen and Conor Sheary rank tied for second and tied for sixth in Hockey East for power-play points with eight and five, respectively. Three Minutemen--Adam Phillips, Darren Rowe and Rocco Carzo--are tied for sixth in the conference in power-play goals with three apiece.
- Against UMass Lowell on Nov. 18, UMass extended its streak to nine straight games scoring with the man advantage. The streak, which came to an end against Vermont on Nov. 20, was the longest in the program's Modern Era.
- The Minutemen had power-play tallies in seven straight contests from Nov.-Dec. 2003.
- In 2011-12, UMass was 30-for-165 (.182) in 36 games on the power play to rank sixth in Hockey East.
Just How Good?
- UMass has faced the top-three penalty killing units in the nation this season in New Hampshire (59-for-63, 93.7%), Dartmouth (53-for-57, 93.0%) and Quinnipiac (91-for-98, 92.9%).
- The Minutemen's power play unit has gone a combined 4-for-16 (25%) against those squads and snapped a streak of 32 successful kills for Dartmouth with two power-play tallies against the Big Green. Removing UMass from the equation, the rest of UNH, Dartmouth and Quinnipiac's opponents have combined for an 11-for-202 (5.4%) conversion rate on the power play against them.
Career Year For Allen
- With 12 points in 18 games, junior defenseman Conor Allen is three points shy of eclipsing his career best of 14 points (7g, 7a) in 35 games last season.
- With four goals and eight assists, Allen is currently tied for third in defensemen scoring in Hockey East, tied for 20th overall. On the Minutemen Roster, Allen is tied for second in points.
- In addition to his offensive production, Allen also ranks in the top-10 in the conference in blocked shots, tied for ninth with 29.
- With assists in each of UMass' games at the Ledyard Classic, Allen extended his point scoring streak to five straight games, a career best and the longest streak by a Minuteman this season.
Gracel Rakes In Awards
- Adding to his list of accolades following the Ledyard Classic, junior Branden Gracel was selected as the Athletic Republic Hockey East Player of the Month for December. Gracel became the third Minuteman in program history to earn Player of the Month recognition, and the first since October 2009.
- Over six games in the month of December, Gracel totaled a league-best nine points on three goals and six assists while winning 85 of 131 faceoffs (64.9%) to help UMass to a 3-3-0 record. Beginning with a three-assist outing in a 6-3 win over Northeastern, Gracel logged his name on the score sheet in five of six contests, including three multi-point efforts.
- He capped off the month by helping the Minutemen win the Ledyard Classic with a goal and three assists over the two games on his way to Tournament MVP honors. Gracel assisted the game-winner against Bemidji State and scored his third game-winner of the season in the championship against No. 10 Dartmouth as UMass handed the Big Green their first home loss of the year. For his efforts, the Calgary, Alberta, native was named the Hockey East Player of the Week for the first time in his career and also collected a co-UMass Athlete of the Week recognition.
Minutemen Tapped As Hockey East Team Of The Week
- UMass was tapped as the Hockey East Team of the Week on Jan. 2 after the Minutemen captured their second ever in-season tournament title with the 2-0-0 week, its other coming in 2007 at the Lightning College Hockey Tournament.
- After erasing a 2-0 deficit to defeat Bemidji State in the opening game of the Ledyard Classic, the Minutemen went on to hand #8 Dartmouth its first home loss of the season after starting 7-0-0. UMass tallied two power-play goals against one of the top penalty killing units in the nation en route to its second win over a top-10 team this season and snapped the Big Green's streak of 32 consecutive kills.
- Junior defenseman Colin Shea scored UMass' first short-handed goal of the season on Nov. 9 vs. Providence, becoming the first Minuteman blueliner to score with a man down since Justin Braun did so twice during the 2008-09 season with the most recent coming vs. UMass Lowell on Jan. 17, 2009.
A Rare Sight
- Senior Rocco Carzo's penalty shot goal against Boston University on Oct. 27, was the first of its kind for the Minutemen in more than a decade. Prior to Carzo's goal, Jeff Turner was the last UMass player to score on a penalty shot, Feb. 6, 2000, against UMass Lowell.
- The last penalty shot attempted before Carzo's was taken by T.J. Syner against Bentley in the home opener last season, Oct. 14, 2011.
Dominant At The Dots
- UMass has seen success at the faceoff dots this season, winning 654-of-1195 (54.7%) through the first 18 games.
- Minutemen occupy four of the top-10 spots in Hockey East for faceoff winning percentage. Junior Branden Gracel (61.8%, 201 for 325) is first, redshirt sophomore Steven Guzzo (59.1%, 136 for 230) is fourth, junior Eric Filiou (56.9%, 82 for 144) is eighth and junior Conor Sheary (56.7%, 38 for 67) is ninth.
- Sheary went 7-0 against New Hampshire on Nov. 2, including the offensive zone faceoff that lead to the game-winning goal.
- Junior Eric Filiou won 10 of 11 faceoffs he took against Boston College on Nov. 4.
- In addition to scoring twice against Vermont, Gracel also won 15 of 20 draws. In the Ledyard Classic, he won 40 of 57 draws for a 70.2% clip, while also adding four points in two games.
- The Minutemen have been 50% or better at the dots in 14 of 18 games this season.
- Two of UMass' six goals at Northeastern were scored as a direct result of offensive zone faceoff wins.
Gracel Earns Weekly Honor
- Becoming the second hockey player to earn the honor this season, junior Branden Gracel was named co-UMass Athlete of the Week on Nov. 26.
- Gracel led the Minutemen to a 1-0-1 week with two goals and an assist. The native of Calgary, Alberta, logged his first career multi-goal game, which included the game-winner, in 3-1 victory over Vermont. He also assisted on a go-ahead goal in 2-2 tie versus #18 Quinnipiac.
Two Years And Counting
- It has been over two calendar years since junior Conor Sheary has missed a game for the Minutemen, currently having played in 83 straight contests, including all 36 last season.
- Not dressing for just one of a possible 89 games of his career thus far, the only contest Sheary has missed came on Oct. 30, 2010 at Providence.
Production From The Point
- UMass has seen 13-of-50 of its goals come from defensemen thus far this season, including 7-of-20 of its power-play tallies, one short-handed goal and one with an extra skater on.
- The Minutemen blueliners have combined for 13 goals and 19 assists in 18 games.
- Seven of eight UMass defensemen that have dressed have at least one point on the year.
- UMass returns three of its top-four point producers from 2011-12, including juniors Conor Sheary and Michael Pereira who contributed 35 points (12g, 23a) and 34 points (17g, 17a) last season, respectively.
- Both are among the top returning scorers in Hockey East this season as Sheary is tied for ninth on the list and Pereira is tied for 11th.
- Among the league's top returning goal scorers, Pereira ranks fourth.
- UMass' 13-man junior class has produced over 350 points in two-plus seasons as Minutemen.
- As a group, they have logged 134 goals and 232 assists, led by Michael Pereira's 70 career points. Conor Sheary and Joel Hanley follow with 61 and 52 respectively. Pereira is UMass' active career goals (33) and points leader.
Packing 'Em In
- The Minutemen have played 11 home games this season, three in front of crowds of 7,000+ to rank in the top 20 all-time for UMass hockey attendances.
- UMass currently ranks 16th nationally in average attendance (4,333).
- The attendance of 7,123 against Connecticut was the highest ever for a UMass home opener and the most for non-conference home game.
- The crowd was the 19th-largest all-time for UMass hockey at the Mullins Center.
- On Oct. 19, the Minutemen drew 7,678 against Boston College, the 10th-largest home crowd in program history.
- Against Boston University on Oct. 27, the Minutemen drew 7,357 to the Mullins Center, the 13th-largest home crowd all time.
- UMass ranked seventh nationally in average attendance last year (6,603), second among Hockey East behind Boston College (5th - 7,549).
- Head coach John Micheletto announced on Oct. 16 that Rocco Carzo and Kevin Czepiel will serve as the team's co-captains for the 2012-13 season. The senior forwards donned the "C"s for the first time on Oct. 19 when the Minutemen took the ice vs. #3 Boston College. Carzo scored twice in that contest, his first career multi-goal game.
44 Back For More
- Junior Joel Hanley is coming off a stellar sophomore campaign that saw him post 25 points (7g, 18a) and record a +12 rating.
- Hanley ranked fifth in defensemen scoring in Hockey East in 2011-12 and was third among the Minutemen in assists. He was one of three UMass players to see action in all 36 games last season, joining T.J. Syner and Conor Sheary.
- The Minutemen opened up the 2012-13 campaign by playing 11 of their first 15 games in the friendly confines of the Mullins Center.
- Over the last 118 games at Mullins, UMass is 60-43-15 (.572) including a 14-3-4 mark in 2006-07. All-time, UMass is 146-141-35 in the Mullins Center including an 90-121-26 record among Hockey East foes.
- The 2011-12 campaign got off to an especially good start as the Minutemen began 7-0-3 at home prior to their Jan. 27 loss to #11 UMass Lowell. The last such start to a season was in 2007-08 when the Minutemen were 4-0-3 to start the season before falling on Dec. 8 to #7 New Hampshire. UMass finished 2011-12 with a mark of 9-4-3 on home ice.
- The Minutemen are currently 4-6-1 at home this season.
- UMass will not venture very far from Amherst in 2012-13, with its furthest road trip just a shade over 300 miles, a single game at Maine on Nov. 16.
- The Minutemen left the Commonwealth just once over the first two months of the season as their only other away contests during that span were at Boston University, Boston College and Northeastern.
Tiefenwerth Tabbed Hockey East Rookie Of The Week
- Freshman K.J. Tiefenwerth was named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week on Dec. 3. The honor was the first from the conference office earned by a Minuteman this season and marks the first weekly award of Tiefenwerth's career.
- With a goal and two assists, Tiefenwerth helped UMass to its highest scoring output of the season, a 6-3 victory at Northeastern on Dec. 1. The points were the first three of his collegiate career.
A Sloth of Bruins
- With the addition of freshmen Connor Doherty and K.J. Tiefenwerth, UMass now has three former members of the Boston Junior Bruins, joining junior Colin Shea.
- Tiefenwerth has also been reunited with another former teammate as he and current junior Michael Pereira helped Avon Old Farms to a New England Division I Prep Championship in 2009-10.
- With the Junior Bruins, Tiefenwerth was named the EJHL Rookie of the Year in 2010-11 after logging 57 points. In 2011-12, he ranked third in the EJHL with 77 points.
Vs. Ranked Teams
- The Minutemen opened up the 2012-13 campaign with five games against ranked foes over its first six contests and is now 2-5-1 against ranked teams this season.
- UMass was 7-9-1 last season against ranked teams with wins over #1 Boston College (11/15), #17 Yale (12/7), #13 Cornell (12/29), #4 Boston College (1/13), #1 Boston University (2/10, at #11 Maine (2/18) and vs. #12 Merrimack (3/2). In 2010-11, the Minutemen posted an 0-16-3 record against ranked teams.
- UMass record of 9-8-0 in 2009-10 was the program's best all-time record against ranked foes. UMass had wins over #2 Boston University (Oct. 18), #9 Yale (Nov. 19), #18/17 Vermont (Nov. 24, Jan. 23), vs. #18 Union (12/29), a pair over #15 UMass Lowell (1/15-16), and a pair of wins at #17 Maine (3/5-6).
- All-time, UMass is 63-213-25 against ranked opponents including a 6-7-2 record at neutral sites and a 10-26-5 record against non-conference teams.
- UMass posted its fourth-ever win over a #1-ranked team, its first-ever on the road, on Feb. 10, 2012, 3-2 at Boston University. It was the squad's second over a #1 on the season. On Nov. 5, 2011, the Minutemen earned a 4-2 victory over Boston College in the Mullins Center. Previously, UMass had defeated then #1-ranked Boston University, 5-1, on Nov. 14, 2008 - also at the Mullins Center. The first came in 1994-95 with a 4-2 win over #1 Maine on Jan. 28. In the modern era, UMass is 4-14-1 against teams ranked #1.
UMass Adds Transfer Dongara
- In addition to the squad's four freshmen, UMass has also welcomed a transfer to the fold, forward Rob Dongara who comes to Amherst from Northeastern and will sit out 2012-13 per NCAA transfer rules.
- Dongara, who will have two seasons of eligibility with the Minutemen, skated in 36-of-38 games as a freshman at Northeastern in 2010-11 and totaled 14 points on six goals and eight assists.
- Scored his first career goal in the Beanpot in short-handed fashion for the Huskies against Boston College in the Beanpot finals; it was such a great goal, it debuted to the nation as the #7 Play of the Day on SportsCenter.
- UMass' games against Providence, originally scheduled for Jan. 11-12, will swap locations to avoid a scheduling conflict with women's basketball's home game versus George Washington. The Minutemen will now play at home on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Friars, while Saturday's contest, originally slated to be played in Amherst, will take place in Providence, R.I.
Marcou Named ECHL All-Star
- UMass hockey alum Michael Marcou has been named to the ECHL All-Star team. Marcou, who finished his career with the Minutemen in 2011-12, is in his rookie season with the Greenville Road Warriors.
- Thus far with the Road Warriors in 2012-13, Marcou has totaled 15 points on four goals and 11 assists, including three power-play tallies over 34 games. He leads all Greenville defensemen in scoring and had a season-high three points with a goal and two assists against South Carolina on Dec. 11.
- Marcou is the fifth former UMass player over the past three seasons to earn an all-star selection in his respective league, joining Matt Irwin (AHL) and Jonathan Quick (NHL) who were both all-stars in 2011-12 and 2010-11 all-stars Matt Anderson (AHL) and Justin Braun (AHL).
Quick Wins Cup
- Former Minuteman Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the Los Angeles Kings to the franchise's first Stanley Cup Championship following the squad's 6-1 series-clinching victory over the New Jersey Devils back in June. Quick, the first UMass player to win the Stanley Cup,became just the third American to collect the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
- Quick allowed only 29 goals in the Kings' 20 playoff games, including just seven in six games in the Stanley Cup Finals as he stopped 125 of 132 shots. He was 16-4 in net during the postseason with a 1.41 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.
- The Vezina Trophy finalist started a personal-best 69 games during the 2011-12 regular season and posted 35 of the Kings' 40 wins. Quick logged an NHL-leading 10 shutouts and ranked second in the League with a 1.95 goals-against average and fifth with a .929 save percentage. All three marks were franchise single season records, as well.
- At UMass, Quick led the Minutemen to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2006-07 while posting team single-season records with 19 wins, 37 appearances, 1,046 saves and 2,224 minutes played. He finished his sophomore season with a 19-12-5 record, three shutouts, a. 2.16 goals-against average (tied for 11th in the nation) and a .929 save percentage (fifth in the nation). That season, he became UMass' fifth All-American selection earning second-team honors. He still holds program career records for save percentage (.926), goals against average (2.40) and saves per game (28.96).
Kostka Claims Calder
- UMass hockey alum Mike Kostka scored twice and added an assist as the Nofolk Admirals completed their sweep of the Toronto Marlies to capture the 2012 Calder Cup. Kostka, for a second straight game, scored the game-winner for Norfolk, who defeated the Marlies, 6-1, in the series-clinching game four.
- Kostka, who turned pro following his senior season with the Minutemen in 2007, totaled six goals and six assists over 18 postseason games. The defenseman had 32 points on seven goals and 25 assists in 52 regular season contests with the Admirals in 2011-12.
- Kostka became first Minuteman to win the Calder Cup since Matt Anderson took home the title with the Chicago Wolves in 2007-08.
- All told, over the last five years, three different UMass hockey alums have played in the AHL's championship series with Casey Wellman leading the Houston Aeros to the Cup finals in 2011-12.