The Last Meeting
February 3, 2012
Hockey Drops 4-3 OT Heartbreaker At Northeastern
Michael Pereira scored a pair of goals and the Minutemen climbed out of an early two-goal deficit, but it was not enough as the UMass hockey team fell 4-3 in overtime at Northeastern on Friday night at Matthews Arena. Vinny Saponari scored the game-winning goal just 22 seconds into overtime as the teams split the season series 1-1-1. UMass (9-11-5, 5-9-4 HEA) will be back in action on Saturday night at the Mullins Center as No. 4 Merrimack visits for Bright Out Night.
- Both of UMass' goals against #18 Quinnipiac came from the squad's special teams units. Sixteen of the Minutemen's 29 goals on the year have come in non-5x5 situations.
- Junior Conor Sheary logged UMass' second short-handed goal of the year, matching the team's 2011-12 season total. No Minutemen squad has scored more than two short-handed goals in a season since 2005-06 when the team had three.
- Contributing two assist on both of UMass' tallies, junior Joel Hanley registered his eighth career multi-point game and first of the season.
- With his second goal of the season, his first career short-hander, Sheary extended his point scoring streak to five straight games.
- With his team-leading fifth goal of the season coming against the Bobcats, senior Rocco Carzo already matched his 2011-12 season points total of seven, which came on two goals and five assists. As a freshman in 2009-10, he logged a career-best 12 points on six goals and six assists.
- The Minutemen out-shot their opponent for the ninth time in 11 games, taking 29 to Quinnipiac's 26.
- Holding the Bobcats to an 0-for-2 night on the power play, UMass extended its streak to 13 straight successful kills, a season best.
- With 16 points on the season as a unit, UMass' Carzo-Guzzo-Sheary line has been contributing its share offensively in recent weeks.
- Having skated together in eight-of-11 contests, the trio has totaled seven goals and nine assists with the line contributing at least one point in each of those games, including both goals last Saturday vs. Quinnipiac.
- Conor Sheary, Rocco Carzo Steven Guzzo all rank in the top-three on the squad in scoring.
- Sheary leads the team in points (nine) and assists (seven). Carzo is tied for the team lead in goals (five) and is tied for third in points (seven). Guzzo is tied for third in points, as well, with seven on three goals and four assists.
- Sheary has one point in nine-of-11 games thus far, while Guzzo has gotten on the scoresheet in six-of-11 contests.
Potent Power Play
- With at least one power-play goal in 10 of its 11 contests, the Minutemen boast the No. 2 power play in Hockey East with a conversion rate of 21.4% (12-for-56), 12th nationally.
- Individually, Conor Sheary and Conor Allen rank tied for second and tied for fifth with five (0g, 5a) and four (1g, 3a) power play points, respectively.
- 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.
PK Not Too Shabby Either
- The Minutemen's penalty kill unit is also among the best in the country as the squad has killed off 43-of-50 this season, 86.0%, good for fourth in Hockey East and 18th nationally.
- UMass currently boasts a string of 13 straight successful penalty kills, which began with a 7-for-7 stretch to end its contest against UMass Lowell. The Minutemen held Vermont to an 0-for-4 night on the power play and Quinnipiac was 0-for-2 last Saturday against UMass.
- Up until allowing a power play goal in the third period at Boston University on Oct. 26, UMass had killed off 11 straight penalties. A streak that had begun with in the second period against Connecticut and included a five-minute major against Boston College.
- UMass now ranks tied for second in Hockey East in combined special teams net of +6.
Boyle's Brilliant 2012-13 Start
- Sophomore netminder Kevin Boyle is off to a great start in 2012-13 boasting a 1.59 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage to rank sixth nationally in each of those categories. He leads all of Hockey East in GAA and is second in save percentage.
- Boyle has been in net for all four UMass victories and holds a minuscule 0.74 GAA in those contests and has stopped 96.8% of the shots he has faced.
- On Nov. 9 against Providence, Boyle made 17 saves en route to his first collegiate shutout as the Minutemen defeated the Friars, 4-0.
- Junior defenseman Colin Shea's 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 417-of-761 (54.8%) through the first 11 games.
- Junior Branden Gracel, redshirt sophomore Steven Guzzo and junior Conor Sheary have been UMass' top performers over the dots thus far at 59.7% (105-of-176), 59.3% (86-of-145) and 58.1% (36-of-62), respectively.
- Sheary went 7-0 against New Hampshire on Nov. 2, including the offensive zone faceoff that lead to the game-winning goal.
- 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.
- The Minutemen have been 50% or better at the dots in seven-of-11 games this season.
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 this past Monday.
- Gracel led the Minutemen to a 1-0-1 week last 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 on Saturday. Gracel is currently tied for the team lead in goals (5) on the year and is second in points (8).
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 76 straight contests, including all 36 last season.
- Not dressing for just one of a possible 81 games of his career thus far, the only contest Sheary has missed came on Oct. 30, 2010 at Providence.
Why The 'Staches?
- There's growing presence of facial hair among UMass hockey's coaches and players this month--for a good cause.
- Coach Micheletto is in his sixth year as a Movember participant, growing a mustache for the month of November to raise awareness and funds for men's health, specifically prostate cancer initiatives. Members of the Minutemen, coaching staff and support staff have joined him as well, sporting " Mo's" of their own.
- To learn more or to donate to the cause, visit http://mobro.co/CoachMicheletto and http://mobro.co/UMassHockey
Production From The Point
- UMass has seen 9-of-29 of its goals come from defensemen thus far this season, including 5-of-12 of its power play tallies, one short-handed goal and one with an extra skater on.
- The Minutemen blueliners have combined for nine goals and 11 assists in 11 games. Conor Allen is tied for second on the squad in points with seven on three goals and four assists and is tied for eighth among Hockey East defensemen in points per-game (0.64).
- Six 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.
Packing 'Em In
- The Minutemen have played eight 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 15th nationally in average attendance (4,748).
- 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 open up the 2012-13 campaign by playing 11 of their first 15 games in the friendly confines of the Mullins Center.
- Over the last 115 games at Mullins, UMass is 60-40-15 (.587) including a 14-3-4 mark in 2006-07. All-time, UMass is 146-138-35 in the Mullins Center including an 90-120-26 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 4-3-1 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 will leave the Commonwealth just once over the first two months of the season as their only other away contests during that span are at Boston University, Boston College and Northeastern.
- UMass' 13-man junior class has produced over 300 points in two-plus seasons as Minutemen.
- As a group, they have scored 121 goals and 208 assists, led by Michael Pereira's 65 career points. Conor Sheary and Joel Hanley follow with 58 and 48 respectively. Pereira is UMass' active career goals and points leader.
A Sloth of Bruins
- With the addition of freshmen Connor Doherty and K.J. Tiefenwerth, UMass now has four former members of the Boston Junior Bruins, joining junior Colin Shea and sophomore Andrew Tegeler.
- 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 1-4-1 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 62-212-25 against ranked opponents including a 6-7-2 record at neutral sites and a 9-25-5 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.
Tough To Blank
- The Minutemen were tough to hold off the scoreboard in 2011-12, as the squad was shut out just once on the year, 4-0 at UMass Lowell on Nov. 19, 2011.
- UMass scored two or more goals in 33 of 36 games in 2011-12 and ranked fifth in Hockey East in scoring offense with 3.17 goals per-game.
UMass Adds Transfer Dongara
- In addition to the squad's four in coming 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.
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.