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Home & Home With UNH Next For Hockey

Nov. 6, 2013

 Massachusetts (3-4-1, 1-1-1 HEA)
 vs. New Hampshire (1-5-1, 0-2-0 HEA)
 Date  Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. (EST)
 Location  Durham, N.H. | Whittemore Center (6,501)
 Tickets  1-800-745-3000 Buy Tickets Online
 TV  Fox College Sports/WBIN
 Radio   WHMP AM 1400/1240/FM 96.9
 Online Video  watch UNHWildcats.tv
 Promotions

 None

 Live Stats  gametracker Presto Sports Primetime
 Social Media  @UMassAthletics | @UMassHockey
 Game Notes  Massachusetts Notes | UNH Notes
 Massachusetts (3-4-1, 1-1-1 HEA)
 vs. New Hampshire (1-5-1, 0-2-0 HEA)
 Date  Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. (EST)
 Location  Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center (8,373)
 Tickets  866-UMASS-TIX Buy Tickets Online
 TV  None
 Radio   WHMP AM 1400/1240/FM 96.9
 Online Video  watch UMass All-Access
 Promotions

 Military Appreciation Night

 Live Stats  gametracker GameTracker
 Social Media  @UMassAthletics | @UMassHockey
 Game Notes  Massachusetts Notes | UNH Notes


 Game Notes

Quick Hits: Three-Point Weekend Vs. Maine
- Senior co-captain Conor Sheary extended his point-scoring streak to five straight games with a goal and an assist over the weekend. He scored the lone UMass goal in Friday's 1-1 tie against the Black Bears. He currently ranks 24th in career points and tied for 23rd in career assists.
- Senior Michael Pereira scored his third of the year and 45th of his career vs. the Black Bears last Saturday for his 90th career point. He ranks tied for eighth in program history in career goals and is the first player to enter UMass' top-10 in the past nine seasons. He sits 19th all-time in career points.
- Freshman Ray Pigozzi scored his first career game-winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Black Bears.
- Freshman Marc Hetnik collected his first career point with an assist in Friday's 1-1 tie against Maine.
 - Junior Steve Mastalerz made a season-high 38 stops in Saturday's win over Maine.

Military Appreciation Night - Nov. 9
-  The UMass hockey program has announced that the squad will honor members of the Military by wearing special camouflage jerseys for its Nov. 9 home game against New Hampshire. As a part of Military Appreciation Night, special Military guests will be recognized throughout the evening and the Air Force ROTC will present the colors. UMass hockey fans are encouraged to purchase additional tickets to the game that will be distributed to local military and veterans groups. In addition, discounted tickets will be available for purchase Mullins Center box office for individuals with a valid Military ID.
- As a token of thanks and gratitude to all servicemen and women, the Minutemen will present jerseys to UMass ROTC, Wounded Warrior Project and the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund.

Milestone Watch
- UMass' win last Saturday against Maine was its 149th Hockey East victory all-time.
- Senior Adam Phillips is currently at 98 games played for his career entering the weekend.

Newcomers Make Immediate Impact
- Head coach John Micheletto's first recruiting class has made an immediate impact for the Minutemen as the group of seven newcomers who have seen action thus far this season have accounted for 18 of UMass' 57 points on the year, 31.6% of the squad's scoring. Six of seven UMass newcomers that have seen the ice have at least one point on the year.
- Newcomers had nine points (2g 7a) in the two-game sweep of Michigan State, including first career points for freshmen Ray Pigozzi and Brandon Wahlin and sophomore transfer Ben Gallacher's first points as a Minuteman. As a freshman at Ohio State in 2011-12, Gallacher had 11 helpers.
- Freshman Steven Iacobellis' play was a bright spot for the Minutemen in the squad's opening weekend of the season. Centering UMass' second line in both contests, Iacobellis scored his first collegiate goal in the season opener at #19 Boston University on Oct. 11.
- Over two contests in the opening weekend, Iacobellis led the Minutemen in faceoff %, winning 20-of-32 draws combined for a 62.5% clip. He is currently 80-for-140, 57.1% over the dots this season.
- Iacobellis' power-play goal from the Oct. 19,  5-2 win over Michigan State was selected as the No. 5 play in the NCAA's Top-5 Plays of the Week.
- Two of UMass three game-winning goals to date have been scored by freshmen (Iacobellis and Pigozzi).
-The Minutemen's freshman class is in the top-15 nationally in scoring (tied for 12th with 14 points).

Mastalerz Marvelous
- After giving up seven goals in the squad's opening weekend, junior Steve Mastalerz has posted a 1.65 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage over the six games since.
- He as allowed just three 5x5 goals in that span (326:48).
- Mastalerz currently ranks second in the nation in total saves (217) and 14th in save percentage (.931) for the year.
- He is one shy of matching his season wins total (4) from both freshman and sophomore year and more than halfway to his minutes played total from a season ago.

Mastalerz Honored Again
- After backstopping the Minutemen to a 1-0-1 weekend of Hockey East action vs. Maine, junior goaltender Steve Mastalerz was named Co-Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and Co-UMass Athlete of the Week, it was announced on Monday. Mastalerz earned his second honor of the season from Hockey East.
- Mastalerz helped UMass earn its first three Hockey East points of the season, turning aside 64 of 66 shots faced for a .970 save percentage against the Black Bears as the Minutemen recorded a 1-1 tie and a 2-1 win at the Mullins Center this past weekend.
- He logged a 0.96 GAA over the two contests and did not allow an even strength goal as both Maine tallies came on the power play, one during a 5-on-3. Mastalerz's 38 saves on Saturday marked a season best and were two shy of his career high.

Sensational Night For Second Line
- The Minutemen's second line of freshman Ray Pigozzi, freshman Steven Iacobellis and redshirt-junior Troy Power contributed nine of UMass' 13 points in the 5-2 victory over Michigan State on Oct. 19.
- Pigozzi (3a), Iacobellis (2g, 1a) and Power (1g, 2a) each totaled three points apiece.
- Pigozzi's helpers marked the first three points of his career, while Power's three-point night set a new career single-game high. Iacobellis' tallies were his second and third of the season and included the game-winning goal.

A Balanced Attack
- The Minutemen have been extremely balanced in their scoring thus far this as nine players have combined for the squad's 20 goals with no player having registered more than four.
- Sixteen of the 22 players who have seen the ice over UMass' first eight games have contributed at least one point. Two players have seven points apiece to lead the squad: redshirt-junior Troy Power (4g, 3a) and senior Joel Hanley (1g, 6a). Eight more individuals have at least three points on the year.
- Twelve different players have registered points on the power play, with seven individuals tallying three or more points with the man advantage. Hanley paces the group as six of his seven points on the year have come on the power play.
- Hanley is tied for first in Hockey East in power play scoring (.75 ppg) and tied for third in defenseman scoring (.88 ppg).

Power Play Prowess
- UMass is currently tied for first in the nation in power-play goals with 13 in eight games and ranks fourth in power play percentage at 29.5% (13 for 44).
- The Minutemen have scored at least one power-play goal in seven of eight contests thus far, registering multiple goals with the man advantage on three occasions. Mos recently, UMass went 1-for-3 on the power play last Saturday night vs. Maine.
- The Minutemen logged their first two wins of the season on the back of a stellar effort from the squad's power play unit, converting five of their 13 opportunities (38.5%) with the man advantage over two games against Michigan State, including a 4-for-8 effort on Oct. 19 vs. the Spartans, which marked the first time since Oct. 8, 2009 vs. RPI that a Minuteman squad had scored four or more power-play goals in a game.
- The Minutemen scored all three of their goals in the opening weekend of the season at #19 Boston University and at #1 UMass Lowell on the power play for a 25% (3-for-12) conversion rate.
- With at least one power-play goal in 22 of its 34 contests in 2012-13, the Minutemen owned the No. 3-ranked power play in Hockey East last season with a conversion rate of 18.5% (31 for 168), 25th nationally.
- UMass finished last season tied for 17th in the nation in power-play goals with 31, ninth in power-play goals per-game (.91).
- Last season the Minutemen compiled a streak of nine straight games with at least one power play goal, the longest such streak in the program's Modern Era. Previously UMass had power-play tallies in seven straight contests from Nov.-Dec. 2003.

Minutemen Earn Weekly Awards Following Michigan State Sweep
- Coming off the squad's weekend sweep of Michigan State, the UMass hockey program collected several weekly awards on Oct 21. Junior goaltender Steve Mastalerz was tabbed the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and freshman Steven Iacobellis was selected as Co-UMass Athlete of the Week, while the Minutemen were named the Hockey East Team of the Week.
- Mastalerz earned his second career Defensive Player of the Week accolade after he posted a pair of victories over Michigan State Oct. 18-19 as UMass swept the Spartans, 3-1 and 5-2. He stopped 31 shots in each contest for a total of 62 saves on the weekend and a .954 save percentage to go along with a 1.50 goals-against average.
- Iacobellis saw action in both games of UMass' home opening weekend, posting a three-point night on Saturday in the Minutemen's come-from-behind victory over Michigan State with two goals and one assist, including his second career power-play tally and first career game winner. The freshman saw 17 minutes, 26 seconds of ice time on Saturday and played 16:49 in Friday's contest. Iacobellis won 56.7% of his faceoffs on the weekend, going 17-for-30 in the circle.

Sheary Named Captain
- Head coach John Micheletto announced on Oct. 18 that Conor Sheary will serve as the team's captain for the 2013-14 campaign. The senior forward has been a fixture in the Minutemen's lineup for the past three-plus seasons, missing just one of a possible 111 games of his career thus far.
-Sheary wore the "C" for the first time on Oct. 18 in the squad's home opener vs. Michigan State.

Happy Returns
- Both redshirt-junior forward Troy Power and sophomore Evan Stack returned to the lineup in the season opener at Boston University on Oct. 11 after both seeing their 2012-13 campaigns cut short due to injury. Power was granted a medical hardship waiver and will have one additional season of eligibility remaining following the 2013-14 campaign.
- Seeing his first action since Nov. 30, 2012 vs. Northeastern, Power scored his first of the season on Oct. 12 at #1 UMass Lowell.
- Stack was back in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 9, 2012 vs. Providence. The pair of forwards missed a combined 49 games lost to injury in 2012-13.

Who's Back
- UMass returns 18 total letterwinners from a year ago, 12 forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender. The Minutemen bring back their three leading scorers from 2013-14 in seniors Branden Gracel (34 pts), Conor Sheary (27 pts) and Michael Pereira (26 pts). Among the 18 returnees are 16 juniors and seniors. Three of UMass' five returning defensemen played in 30+ games last season.
- In net, Steve Mastalerz played a career high 15 games in 2012-13, a total of 850:56 minutes. Upon returning from injury, Mastalerz posted a 2.45 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in the second half of the season and finished the year on a high note, with a 3-0 shutout of Merrimack.

What's New
- UMass has added nine new faces to the roster for 2013-14, four forwards (Steven Iacobellis, Ray Pigozzi, Frank Vatrano, Brandon Wahlin), three defensemen (Brennan Baxandall, Ben Gallacher, Marc Hetnik) and two goaltenders (Mac Haight and Alex Wakaluk).
- The group is an experienced bunch and has combined for 1,244 career games in junior hockey.
- Three players in the group have won a combined four medals in international competition. Vatrano captured a gold medal with the U.S. National Development Team at the 2011 IIHF World U-18 Championship and took silver at the U-17 championships in 2010. Gallacher was a silver medal winner in the World Junior A Championships for Canada West in 2010 and Pigozzi captured a bronze medal at the World Junior A Challenge in 2011 as a member of Team USA.
- Two more players wore letters for their respective junior clubs as Baxandall served as Drumheller's captain in 2012-13 and was an assistant captain in 2011-12 and Hetnik served as  captain for the Vernon Vipers in 2012-13.
- As a member of the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Wakaluk was MVP of the SJHL and was a finalist for the RBC Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year in 2012-13.
- Wahlin finished his junior career as the all-time leading scorer for the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) with 109 career points (33 goals, 76 assists) in 115 career regular season games.

Career Years In 2012-13
- Seven returning Minutemen are coming off years in which they set or matched career highs in either goals, assists or points.
- Career highs in goals in 2012-13: Zack LaRue (2), Troy Power (2), Branden Gracel (14), Colin Shea (3)
- Career highs in assists in 2012-13: Mike Busillo (2), LaRue (3), Gracel (20), Adam Phillips (7), Shea (10), Anthony Raiola (1)
- Career highs in points in 2012-13: LaRue (5), Gracel (24), Shea (13).    

A Fine Line
- The line of Michael Pereira, Branden Gracel and Conor Sheary skated together in 17 games in 2012-13 and combined for 52 points during that span on 24 goals and 28 assists. One of the top point producing line combinations in all of Hockey East last year, all three return for the 2013-14 season and have skated together in seven of eight contests thus far this year.
- In those 17 games, the Pereira-Gracel-Sheary line provided 52.2% of the team's goals and 40.9% of the squad's points. Gracel (7g, 11a) and Pereira (10g, 8a) had a team-high 18 points in that stretch, followed by Sheary (7g, 9a).
- Gracel is coming off a breakout junior campaign that saw him log a team-best 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) while also garnering Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Star recognition.
- The three have missed just 10 games combined in their three-plus seasons of college hockey.

Three Years And Counting
- It has been over three calendar years since senior Conor Sheary has missed a game for the Minutemen, currently having played in 107 straight contests, including all 34 last season and all 36 as a sophomore.
- Not dressing for just one of a possible 113 games of his career thus far, the only contest Sheary missed came on Oct. 30, 2010 at Providence.
- Sheary played in his 100th career game on Feb. 23, 2013 vs. Maine.

Senior Citizens
- UMass' nine-man senior class has appeared in over 780 career games combined with three members of the class (Branden Gracel, Conor Sheary and Colin Shea) having played in all 34 games last season.  
- As a group, they have logged 153 goals and 249 assists, led by Michael Pereira's 90 career points. Conor Sheary and Branden Gracel follow with 82 and 72 respectively. Pereira is UMass' active career goals (45) and points leader.
- Three seniors combined on UMass' final goal of the night for the Minutemen at Maine on Oct. 26 as Pereira scored with assists going to Hanley and Sheary to bring the class' total to 400 career points combined among the group.
- Five seniors have already hit the century mark in games played: Sheary (110), Pereira (107), Gracel (106), Joel Hanley (103) and Shea (102).  Adam Phillips (98) is nearing the milestone.

Vs. Ranked Teams
- UMass is 0-2 against ranked teams thus far this year, falling at #19 Boston University, 3-1, and at #1 UMass Lowell, 5-2, over the opening weekend of the season.
- The Minutemen opened up last season with five games against ranked foes over its first six contests and went 4-9-2 against ranked teams in 2012-13, including wins over #9 New Hampshire (11/2), #8 Dartmouth (12/31), #2 Boston College (1/18) and #11/9 Boston University (2/1).
- UMass was 7-9-1 against ranked teams in 2011-12 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 64-193-24 against ranked opponents including a 6-4-0 record at neutral sites and a 10-27-4 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.

Three Attend Rookie Camps
- Three current members of the UMass hockey team attended NHL prospect camps this past summer. Senior forward Branden Gracel participated in New York Islanders' mini camp and senior forward Conor Sheary and junior defenseman Oleg Yevenko attended New Jersey Devils' rookie camp.
- Gracel was among 26 camp invitees on Long Island and took part in a five-day mini camp loaded with off and on-ice workout sessions. In the Orange vs. Blue Rookie Scrimmage at Nassau Coliseum on July 11, Gracel centered the fourth line for the Orange team.
- Sheary and Yevenko opened up Devils rookie camp at AmeriHealth Pavilion on Monday, July 15.
- With 7.7 seconds to go in the team's July 18 scrimmage, Yevenko fought 6-5, 215-pound Seth Helgeson.
- In the final scrimmage of the week, Sheary scored for the white team at the 8:02 mark of the opening period during a power play portion of the scrimmage.

Minutemen In The NHL
- Four UMass hockey alumni earned spots on opening night National Hockey League rosters for the start of the 2013-14 season. Former Minutemen Justin Braun (2006-10) and Matt Irwin (2008-10) are entering their fourth and second seasons, respectively, with the San Jose Sharks, Jonathan Quick (2005-07) is back with the Los Angeles Kings and Mike Kostka (2004-08) is beginning his first year with the Chicago Blackhawks. The four, all active in the NHL last season, are among UMass' total of nine NHL alumni all time.
- During Matt Anderson's stint with the Devils last season in 2012-13, there were five Minutemen active in the NHL at once, the highest number in history. The program has had four on two occasions, first in 2010-11 and then again to start this season. In addition, Brad Norton, Greg Mauldin, Thomas Pöck and Casey Wellman round out the list of UMass hockey alumni who have seen time in the NHL, all within the past decade.
- Irwin was named the 2012-13 San Jose Sharks' Rookie of the Year after registering 12 points on six goals and six assists over 38 games last season. He also appeared in 11 playoff games for the Sharks and had one assist in postseason competition.

UMass Pros Dot The Globe
- UMass currently has 21 alumni currently playing professional hockey around the globe in nine different countries: Austria, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and the United States.
- In addition to the four former Minutemen currently playing in the NHL, two more are active in the AHL (Conor Allen, Casey Wellman) and four are currently on ECHL rosters (Rocco Carzo, Danny Hobbs, Michael Marcou and T.J. Syner).
- Nine alums are currently competing in Europe: Chris Capraro (England), Paul Dainton (Italy), P.J. Fenton (Germany), Mark Matheson (Austria), Greg Mauldin (Switzerland), Thomas Pöck (Austria), Corey Quirk (Denmark), Toni Soderholm (Finland) and Stephen Werner (Germany)
- Matt Anderson is in his first year in the KHL, playing with Moscow Spartak. He currently has 12 points (8g, 4a) in 23 games.


 

 

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