Postseason Road For Minutemen Begins At Boston College In Hockey East Quarterfinals
Making its 10th consecutive appearance in the Hockey East playoffs and 15th overall since joining the league in 1994-95, No. 8-seed UMass will play at No. 1-seed Boston College in a best-of-three quarterfinal series this weekend. This marks the third straight year that the Minutemen have faced the Eagles in the Hockey East Quarterfinals as UMass will be looking to post its first postseason series win since 2007 when the squad swept #5 Maine in two games on the road to advance to the semifinal round.
The Minutemen, who are 9-24 overall in Hockey East Tournament games, took the regular season series from Boston College, 2-1. The Mass Attack's first victory of the season against the Eagles was its third all-time against a team with a No. 1 ranking and first of two on the year. UMass went 7-7-1 against ranked teams during the 2011-12 regular season with two of the seven coming on the road.
The games at Boston College this weekend will be carried on the Flagship Station of UMass Athletics, 100.9 FM KIX with John Hennessy calling the play-by-play and Brock Hines providing color commentary. The pregame show for both games will begin 30 minutes prior to the opening face-off. Links for streaming video, audio, and live stats can be found at UMassAthletics.com.
UMass' quarterfinal Game 1 at Boston College on Friday, will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. Video of saturday's game and Sunday's (if necessary) will be streamed via http://www.hockeyeastonline.tv/ by Pack Network. Single-game subscriptions for all live events will be available for $8.95, an tournament all-access pass is available for $39.95.
The Series With Boston College
UMass and Boston College meet in the Hockey East Quarterfinals for the third consecutive season. All-time, the Eagles hold a 6-1-0 mark against the Minutemen in the postseason and lead the series 50-12-3 overall.
For the first time since 2006-07, UMass took the season series with Boston College in 2011-12, 2-1. The first of the two victories against hte Eagles marked the third time in program history that the Minutemen have toppled a No. 1 ranked team and snapped a 12 game losing skid to BC. UMass then posted a 4-0 win over Boston College on Jan. 13, the first shutout by the Minutemen in the all-time series. The Eagles' one win in the regular season series came in Conte Forum, 4-2 on Oct. 21, extending their streak to 10 straight home victories against UMass. The Minutemen's last victory in Chestnut Hill came on Nov. 17, 2007 by a 3-2 margin.
Story Lines: Boston College
UMass is 7-9-1 over the last 17 games with nine of those contests against teams ranked in the top-15 nationally - two of those wins came on the road.
The Minutemen's 5-1 win over Merrimack last Friday snapped a string of six straight losses to the Warriors, dating back to Dec. 12, 2009.
With the split against Merrimack in the final weekend of the regular season, UMass is now 7-7-1 against ranked teams which includes a pair of wins against teams ranked No. 1 in the country.
UMass won its regular season series against the both Vermont and Boston College and split with Northeastern (1-1-1), Boston University (1-1-1), and Maine (1-1-1).
The Minutemen have been strong on the penalty kill as of late, including a 5-5 effort vs. Providence, a 6-6 effort against Boston College,a perfect 3-for-3 over two games against New Hampshire and a 3-for-3 showing in the squad's 5-1 win over Merrimack. Over the past six games, UMass' opponents have been held to a 2-for-19 clip (10.5%) with man advantage. Merrimack's third period power play goal last Saturday snapped a streak of 17 straight successful penalty kills for the Mass Attack.
UMass has a power play goal in eight of the last 10 games going 9-for-44 (20.5%) with the extra man.
When allowing 4 or more goals this year, UMass is 0-15-1, however, when cutting that to 3-or-fewer, UMass is 13-1-3.
Holding a lead or being tied after 2 periods has also been a good omen for UMass this year as the Minutemen are 13-3-3 (0-13-1 when trailing).
T.J. Syner was named one of 21 semifinalists for the 60th Walter Brown Award, as announced by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston. The Walter Brown Award is given annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.
UMass' 9-4-3 record at home this year was UMass' best home record since going 9-1-2 in 2006-07 ... UMass' best home record for a season was 13-2-0 in 1993-94 (11-0-0 home start) which was the program's first year after being dormant since 1979.
Michael Pereira has tallied eight goals and seven assists for 15 points over the past 12 games, including a pair of scores in the 4-3 OT loss at Northeastern on Feb. 3 and his second hat trick of the year and of his career on Feb. 11 vs. Providence. Pereira has posted multi-point nights in four of the 12 contests in that stretch, including his second and third multi-goal games of year. His three goals against the Friars marked the fourth hat trick recorded by a member of the Minutemen this season.
In the month of February, Joel Hanley racked up 9 points in eight games on four goals and five assists, second-most on the squad.. Prior to the Maine weekend, he had a five-game point scoring streak which was the longest by a UMass defenseman this season. He is currently tied for fourth in defenseman scoring among Hockey East teams with 24 points on six goals and 18 assists (0.71 ppg) and registered assists in both games against Merrimack last weekend, extending his current point scoring streak to four straight games.
Conor Allen posted 3 goals and 1 assist in the pair of wins over Holy Cross and Northeastern with a +3 rating. He became just the 3rd defenseman in UMass' Division I history to score a hat trick with all three of his goals coming vs. Holy Cross.
The line of T.J. Syner, Michael Pereira and Danny Hobbs combined for 10 points (4g, 6a) in the win over Bentley. All told for the Bentley/Providence weekend, the trio tallied 16 points (6g, 10a).