Watch The Hockey East Tournament Live! | Live Stats
Mass Attack Faces No. 1 Seed New Hampshire In Hockey East Quarterfinals
With a regular-season ending sweep of Merrimack, the UMass hockey team secured the No. 8 seed of the Hockey East Tournament and will head to No. 1 seed New Hampshire on Friday night to begin the best-of-three quarterfinal series. The winner will go on to the Hockey East Semi-Finals at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston the following weekend. Faceoff of Friday night will be at 7 p.m.
Fans can listen to all the action this weekend through www.UMassAthletics.com. The games will also be carried live on the following radio stations depending on the outcome of UMass basketball at the Atlantic 10 Tournament. If the basketball team wins on Friday, the first quarterfinal game will be carried on WHYN 560 AM beginning at 7 PM; if the team loses, the game will be carried on WRNX 100.9 FM beginning at 6:30 PM. On Saturday, if basketball wins, the game will be joined in progress (approximately the second period) on WRNX 100.9 FM; if the basketball team is knocked out of the tournament on Friday, the game will be carried on WRNX 100.9 FM beginning at 6:30 PM. If hockey forces a third game on Sunday, the game will be carried on WRNX 100.9 FM beginning at 6:30 PM.
Donnie Moorhouse will call the play-by-play with Brock Hines providing color commentary. The pre-game show will start 30 minutes prior to the game.
Live stats will be available through www.UMassAthletics.com on each night.
All Hockey East Quarterfinal games will be video streamed online through www.b2tv.com as a pay-per-view service. Online streaming works best with a high-speed internet account.
UMass In The Hockey East Tournament
This is the sixth consecutive year that UMass has qualified for the Hockey East Tournament and the 11th time overall. UMass is 8-16 in Tournament games.
UMass has made the Hockey East Semifinals on three occasions (three of the last five years) facing New Hampshire in each of those games: 2007 (L, 3-2 OT); 2004 (W, 5-2); and 2003 (L, 5-4).
UMass has reached the Hockey East Championship game on one occasion - in 2004 in an epic 2-1 three over-time loss to Maine - considered one of the best Hockey East games ever played.
UMass Gains Highest Ranking Ever
At No. 5 in the Dec. 31 and Jan. 7 USCHO.com/CSTV.com Top-20 poll, UMass gained its highest ever national ranking in program history.
The previous top national ranking was No. 7 back in December 2003.
Earlier this season, UMass spent time at No. 9 which was the previous high ranking of the season.
Vs. Ranked Teams
At 6-7-1 against ranked teams, UMass has had success this season against some of the nation's best hockey teams. The Minutemen started the season with a 2-1 overtime loss at No. 13 Clarkson before UMass was able to go 5-0-1 against ranked teams through the holiday break.
The Minutemen lost back-to-back games against New Hampshire (1/11, 1/12) which was ranked No. 8 at the time and then lost on Jan. 19 at No. 15 UMass Lowell. The Minutemen beat No. 15 Northeastern on Feb. 16 for their first victory against a ranked team in 2008. UMass then defeated No. 16 Boston University 5-1 on Mar. 1.
The All-Time Series
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 72-17-5 with New Hampshire winning four of the last seven meetings. The Wildcats won the regular season series 2-1 this year. The two teams met on Dec. 8 this season which was a 4-1 UMass win at the Mullins Center and again on Jan. 11 (UNH, 3-2) and on Jan. 12 (at UNH, 5-3).
Last season, UMass won the series 2-1 during the regualr season. The Minutemen faced the Wildcats in March during the Hockey East Semifinals in a dramatic 3-2 double-overtime win for New Hampshire.
Last Time Out
With UMass needing a pair of wins over Merrimack to secure the eighth seed, the Minutemen pulled a home and home sweep over the Warriors to take the season series 3-0. On Friday, UMass won 5-2 in the Mullins Center on an emotional senior night. On Saturday, the Minutemen used two late goals to earn a 4-2 win in Lawler Arena.
UMass jumped out a 3-0 lead on Friday night before adding two insurance goals in the third period for the 5-2 win in Amherst. Paul Dainton made 23 saves in net, including 13 in the third period.
On Saturday, the teams traded goals throughout the first and second periods before the Minutemen struck twice in the third to secure the win. Cory Quirk scored the game-winning goal at the 12:17 mark of the third before Jordan Virtue added an insurance goal just 30 seconds later.
If the Minutemen are able to win the quarterfinal series against the Wildcats, UMass will head to Boston for the Hockey East semifinals which will be held at the TD Banknorth Garden on Friday, March 20. Following the quarterfinal round, the advancing teams will be reseeded for the semi's. The Championship game will be played on Saturday night. The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
UMass Hockey "Cribs"
Fans can get a unique look at several of the Minutemen as NESN spent time at the house of Topher Bevis, Scott Crowder, Chris Davis, P.J. Fenton, Mike Kostka and David Leaderer to see what life is like away from the rink. The video can be watched as UMassAthletics.com and as part of the All-Access Package.
UMass In The National Polls
In this week's edition of the national collegiate hockey polls, UMass is the fourth team listed as receiving votes in the USCHO.com/CSTV.com poll but remains out of the USA Today/USA Hockey Coaches Poll.
UMass had been ranked among the top-10 teams in the country for eight weeks of the season.
UMass spent two weeks at No. 5 - the highest ranking ever for the program - in the Dec. 31 and Jan. 7 USHCO poll and on Jan. 7 in the USAToday poll.
UMass was either ranked or receiving votes in one or both of the two polls in the first 21 weeks of the season.
After winning three straight games to close the season, the March 10 USCHO.com poll is the first time since Feb. 18 that the Minutemen are listed in the media poll - a two week stretch.
In the preseason poll, UMass received votes in each. Last season, the Minutemen were ranked nationally in 12 of the 20 weeks during the season.
Three Minutemen On Hobey Baker Nomination
Justin Braun, Mike Kostka and Cory Quirk have each been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award - the highest honor for an intercollegiate hockey player. Fans can vote at www.HobeyBaker.com now until March 9. The fan vote counts for %1 of the total ballot in each phase in selecting the recipient.
The list will be trimmed to 10 on March 20 and to the three finalists on April 2. The Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced on April 11 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Denver, Colo.
Marcou A Semifinalist For Walter Brown
Freshman James Marcou has been named one of 15 semifinalist for the 56th annual Walter Brown Award which is presented to the best American-born college hockey player in New England by The Gridiron Club Of Greater Boston. Marcou is one of just two freshmen on the list. He currently leads the Mass Attack in points, assists and is tied for the team lead in goals. He also ranks second among rookie scorers in Hockey East.
Commemorating the life and works of America's greatest sportsman, the Walter Brown Award is given annually to the outstanding American-born college hockey player in New England. The Walter Brown Award is the oldest nationally recognized honor accorded to individual players in the sport of American college hockey. Brown coached the United States to its first world hockey championship in 1933. Criteria for the selection committee include leadership, character, sportsmanship, and ability as well as on-ice achievement. The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston has been the steward of the Walter Brown Award since 1977. The Gridiron Club plans to announce the finalists and winner of the 56th Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Tournament play.
Leaderer Named To Frozen Four Skills Challenge Ballot
The NCAA announced that senior defensemen David Leaderer was named to the 2008 Frozen Four Skills Challenge Ballot. Fans had the chance to vote for Leaderer online.
Voting ran through February 14. Fans were be able to select six position players and two goalies for each gender of the East team and each gender of the West team. The original list of 166 players was trimmed to 66 by the selection committee. Fans voted for their favorites among the 66 players, which are vying for the 16 spots on each team.
The Frozen Four Skills Challenge will be held April 11 at the Pepsi Center in Denver and will highlight the Friday Night at the Frozen Four. The night will also include the presentation of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, the Hockey Humanitarian Award and the announcement of the American Hockey Coaches Association All-American teams.
UMass Has Best Regular Season Attendance In Program History
UMass averaged a program-best 5,017 fans this season at home games which is an all-time best for the program. The 2006-07 season had been the previous best for regular-season attendance average with 4,868 fans for each game. Attendance has increased in each of the last three seasons.
UMass has had four of its top 11 attendance figures at the Mullins Center this year: 7,319 against Boston College (11/16); 6,682 against New Hampshire (1/11); 7,722 (3,500 students) vs. Maine (2/2); and 7,485 vs. Boston College (2/8).
The attendance for the Feb. 2 game against Maine is the fourth-largest crowd ever at the Mullins Center. The Feb. 8 game against Boston College is fifth, while the crowd against the Eagles on Nov. 16 ranks sixth. The Jan. 11 attendance for the New Hampshire game ranks 13th.
Odds & Ends
UMass' six-game unbeaten streak from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17 is tied for the third longest in program history ... the other six-game streaks were the 1911-1912 season; from Jan. 10, 1931-Jan. 23, 1931; Dec. 1, 1971-Dec. 15, 1971; Oct. 30, 1993-Nov. 23, 1993; and from Feb. 23, 2007-March 10, 2007.
With 86 goals allowed this season, UMass is in the midst of one of its best defensive seasons in program history. The fewest allowed is 71 goals in 21 games during the 1970-71 season. In 1993-94 and 1967-68, UMass gave up 94 games in 29 games and 20 games, respectively. In 2006-07, UMass allowed 91 goals in 39 games which is the fourth best total in school history.
James Marcou's hat trick against Vermont was the first by a Minuteman since Mark Matheson's triple against Niagara on Dec. 1, 2006. It tied the Mullins Center record for goals in a game which has been done seven times now. It also tied the team's record (four times) for most goals against a Hockey East team which was last done with Marvin Degon's three goals against Merrimack on Jan. 7, 2006.
Hard To Beat When Scoring 3's
When UMass scores three or more goals this season, the Mass Attack is nearly undefeated with a 14-3-2 record.
When the Minutemen are unable to do so, their record is 0-11-4.
Four-or-More Is Best
Over the last 47 games when UMass scores four-or-more goals, the Minutemen are an amazing 44-2-1. Before the home loss against Vermont (1/25), the Mass Attack had not lost a game when scoring four-or-more goals since March 14, 2003 against New Hampshire in the Hockey East Semifinals (5-4).
UMass has scored a season-high five goals on seven occasions this year: in the wins over Merrimack (11/3; 3/7), Boston University (11/9; 3/1), against Union (11/25), Colorado College (12/29), and Maine (2/2).
This season, UMass scored four-or-more goals in 11 games.
Tough To Beat At Home
The Minutemen have lost just three games at home this season, and are 8-3-4 (.667) at the Mullins Center. The loss to New Hampshire on Jan. 11 broke a 13-game home unbeaten streak which dated back to last season.
Over the last 43 games at the Mullins Center, UMass is 26-10-7 (.686) including a 14-3-4 mark in 2006-07.
All-time, UMass is 113-107-26 in the Mullins Center including a 65-93-20 record among Hockey East foes. Under Don Cahoon, UMass sports a 69-53-14 record at home.
Spreading The Wealth
Of the 24 skaters who have had line shifts, all have scored at least a point this season. James Marcou leads the team with 32 points on the strength of 24 assists - a team high.
Cory Quirk leads the team in goals with 11, while Alex Berry, P.J. Fenton, and Mike Kostka are tied for second with nine goals each.
16 skaters have recorded multiple goals, while 11 have five-or-more assists.
11 different skaters have tallied game-winning goals this year led by two for Will Ortiz and Quirk.
In the first four games this season, UMass had scored 10 goals by 10 different skaters. Three freshmen are included in that group.
Other Scoring Notes
In the win against Boston University, Cory Quirk scored two goals and added an assist while Alex Berry tallied a short-handed goal (his second of the year) and an assist.
In the win against Maine (2/2), Cory Quirk and James Marcou each recorded a goal and two assists.
In the loss to Vermont (Jan. 25), forward James Marcou scored a career high three goals with his first hat trick as a Minuteman.
In the win over New Hampshire (Dec. 8), forward P.J. Fenton scored a career high four points with one goal and three assists.
In the series against Boston College on Nov. 16-17, UMass totaled nine points in the two games with four goals and five assists. Every point was scored by a different player in the two games.
Justin Braun (4g, 16a), David Leaderer (2g, 5a), and Mike Kostka (9g, 12a) lead the defensive scoring for UMass. All but two of Kostka's goals have been scored on the power play.
Blueliner Martin Nolet tallied two (1g, 1a) of his six points this season as a forward when he played left wing against Union. It was the first time in his UMass career at forward.
Milestones, Firsts, Who's Hot
UMass is 11-3-3 when Chris Davis scores at least one point.
Cory Quirk has 23 points in the last 23 games on 10 goals and 13 assists.
P.J. Fenton has 8 goals and 15 assists in the last 20 games - he had a career-high three assists vs. both New Hampshire and Notre Dame.
James Marcou has five goals and 16 assists in the last 20 games including a career-high three assists vs. Colorado College and Merrimack and three goals against Vermont (Jan. 25).
Redshirt senior Patrick Dineen electrified the Mullins Center crowd on Jan. 11 when he scored his first career goal against New Hampshire - his first game of the season. It was the game's opening goal.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Kessler scored his first career point at Providence (1/18) with an assist and recorded his first career goal against Maine (2/2).
Freshman Marc Concannon scored his first career goal at Northeastern (2/15).
Facing Off With Quirk
Cory Quirk has established himself as one of UMass' top face-off specialists this season. In 34 games, he has a 526-354 (.598) face-off record which is the best on the team. He has taken nearly 400 more face-offs than any other player on the team.
Some of Quirks best outings include a 22-9 effort at UML (1/19), a 21-13 night against UNH (12/8), a 19-6 showing against Union (11/25), a 22-8 showing against Boston College (11/16), a 18-9 showing against Merrimack (11/3), and a 19-7 effort against Vermont (Jan. 26).
Quirk A Top Scoring Threat
Over the last 23 games, Cory Quirk has picked up his scoring to move into second place on the team. The junior forward has a team-leading 11 goals and 16 assists this season giving him 32 goals and 39 assists for his career.
10 of his 11 goals this season have come in the last 23 games as have 13 of his 16 assists.
Following the games against Notre Dame and Colorado College where he finished the weekend with two goals and two assists, he was named the Hockey East Performer Of The Week (12/31).
Quirk now ranks tied for 22nd all-time at UMass in career goals, 2nd all-time in career points (71), and is tied for 25th in career assists.
The Marvelous Marcou
James Marcou leads the team with 32 points on 8 goals and 24 assists after 34 games. He had a goal and an assist in his first Hockey East game which was against UMass Lowell (10/19).
Marcou was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Month after factoring into both game-winning goals against Notre Dame and Colorado College and a 2-assist performance against New Hampshire in the month of December. He finished December with a goal and 6 assists.
After notching a goal and two assists against Maine (2/2), Marcou was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week.
Against Vermont (1/25) he tallied his first career hat trick.
Against Merrimack (11/3) he recorded his first multi-assist game.
In 34 games, he has 11 multi-point nights.
He is tied for 11th in Hockey East in point scoring, 3rd in assists, and is 3rd in rookie scoring.
The freshman assist record at UMass is 27 set by Warren Norris in 1993-94. The freshman points record is 47, while the rookie goals record is 26 set by Rob Bonneau in 1993-94.
Braun One of Hockey East's Top Defensemen
Sophomore defenseman Justin Braun is sixth on the team in points with four goals and 16 assists through 34 games. That places him tied for 6th in Hockey East among defensemen.
Braun plays on the top power play and penalty kill lines and is one of the team leaders in minutes played.
The 2007 member of the Hockey East All-Rookie Team was the 201st pick overall last season in the NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins who traded his rights to the San Jose Sharks.
Kostka Powers Defense To Offense
Captain Mike Kostka has nine goals this season - seven scored on the power play which leads all defensemen nationally.
To go with his 9 goals this season, he has 12 assists and a team-best +17 rating. For his career, he has 15 goals, 38 assists, and a +24 rating.
He scored his first goal of the season at Boston University (11/9) helping UMass to its first-ever win at Agganis Arena.
He tallied two assists vs. Colorado College for the seventh multi-assist game of his career. His career-high for assists in a game is four which he set against UConn on Nov. 18, 2006.
Kostka is a well-rounded defenseman having played on both the penalty kill and power play teams.
Fenton Finishes Season With Flurry
Along with Cory Quirk, P.J. Fenton has also been in the groove lately in the scoring column. In the last 20 games, he has 8 goals and 15 assists giving him 9 goals and 18 assists for the season.
Fenton recorded one goal and three assists against New Hampshire (12/8) for a career-high four point game.
Fenton now has 57 career assists which ties him for 10th all-time at UMass along with 37 career goals which ties him for 13th all-time.
His 94 career points, the active team leader, ranks him tied for 10th all-time at UMass.
Along with taking his regular shift, Fenton also skates on both the power play and penalty kill units.
The Last Line Of `D'
Paul Dainton has started 31 games this season posting a 2.45 goals against average and a .914 save percentage. He has 808 saves to his credit and a 12-12-6 overall record.
Already, Dainton has made an impact on the UMass Hockey record book posting some of the best single-season and career totals for goalies in program history.
Dainton ranks second for the best career goals against average in UMass history and ranks second in career save percentage (minimum 1,000 minutes). Former All-American Jon Quick holds the top marks in both categories. Dainton also ranks 11th in career saves and is tied for 8th for career wins.
For a single-season, he ranks third in goals against average, ranks seventh in save percentage, sixth with 12 wins, and fifth in saves.
Among freshmen goalies at UMass, Dainton currently holds the school record for goals against average, save percentage and minutes played.
Dainton earned his first collegiate win with a 20-save effort against UConn (10/20). This was coming off an overtime tie against UMass Lowell where he made 29 saves. For his efforts, he earned Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors.
Against Boston College (11/16), he made a season-high 34 saves - his third 30-save game of the year and made 30 more saves the next night at Boston College (11/17) to earn Hockey East Co-Rookie of the Week honors.
At Cornell (11/30), Dainton made 24 saves in his first career shutout as the two teams battled to a 0-0 tie.
Leaderer Becomes UMass Iron Man
David Leaderer set a new UMass program record for career games played on March 8 at Merrimack when he suited up for his 147th career game. He broke the school record which was previously held by Marvin Degon who played in 146 from 2002-06. In his career, Leaderer has 10 goals and 22 assists and has helped the UMass defense posted two of the lowest goals allowed totals in school history: 3rd, 86, 2007-08; 4th, 91, 2006-07.
Matt Burto, Scott Crowder, Chris Davis, P.J. Fenton, Mike Kostka, David Leaderer, and Cory Quirk are the seven current Minutemen who have played in over 100 career games. Fenton has now played in 146 games, Kostka has played in 141, while Leaderer leads the team with 147 games. Burto cracked the list on Jan. 18 at Providence which was his 100th career game, while Quirk did so against Maine. Chris Davis played in his 100th career game on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Maine and Crowder notched No. 100 on Senior Night vs. Merrimack on March 7.
New Banners In The Rafters
Prior to the Connecticut game, the Minutemen raised two banners displaying their successful 2006-2007 season. One banner displays the Hockey East Championship Tournament which UMass has participated in three times. The second banner represents UMass' first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament last season.
UMass will once again provide streaming video of all home games this season. This service works best with BroadBand or Cable Internet subscribers. Sign-up at UMassAthletics.com by clicking the UMass All-Access link.
A perfect gift for any die-hard UMass hockey fan are photos from UMass home games which you can purchase online! Photos come in your choice of 4x6, 8x10, or 11x14 and can be ordered from the photo galleries at UMassAthletics.com.
Sign-up For the E-mail List
If you want to get the lastest UMass hockey news straight to your e-mail account, then sign up for our online e-mail list. You will receive previews, game notes, boxscores, recaps and feature stories delivered right to you. To sign up, e-mail John Sinnett (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line "Sign Up For Hockey Newsletter".