Give The Gift Of UMass Hockey For The Holidays
#10 UMass (6-3-5, 3-2-4 HEA) vs. #7 New Hampshire (8-3-1, 5-3-1 HEA)
Saturday, December 8, 2007 7 P.M. (ET)
Mullins Center (8,373) Amherst, Mass.
Radio: 100.9 FM WRNX/UMassAthletics.com
Streaming Video: UMassAthletics.com
Live Stats: www.UMassAthletics.com
#10 UMass Faces Hockey East Rival #7 New Hampshire
It's a showdown between two nationally ranked and top Hockey East programs on Saturday night (7 p.m.) as the No. 10 UMass hockey team hosts No. 7 New Hampshire at the Mullins Center. The two teams look to close the first half of the season with a great match-up of two of the top teams in the conference standings. UNH is currently third in the Hockey East standings with 11 points, while UMass is tied for fourth place (along with Providence and UMass Lowell) with 10 points.
The Minutemen remain unbeaten at home this season (3-0-3) and in the last 12 straight home contests dating back to last season (8-0-4).
Saturday's game will feature several promotions for fans of all ages. One lucky fan will earn a chance to shoot for a new car from Sarat Ford at the second intermission. The UMass Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will also be accepting new, unwrapped toys to donate to Toys For Tots.
Fans can listen live to the games through the Internet Broadcast on www.UMassAthletics.com. Donnie Moorhouse will call the action, while Brock Hines provides color commentary.
Fans who can't make the game will also be able to watch live on the Internet. Fans can catch the action through UMassAthletics.com's All-Access package. The All-Access Package offers monthly, yearly, and the XXL subscription packages.
Live stats will be provided through GameTracker on UMassAthletics.com as well.
The All-Time Series
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 70-16-5, but the Minutemen won the season series last year 2-1 during the regular season. The last time the Minutemen faced the Wildcats was back in March during the Hockey East Semifinals in a dramatic 3-2 double-overtime win for the Wildcats.
Last Time Out
UMass is coming off a 5-2 win over the USA Under 18 National Team last Sunday at the Mullins Center. Five different Minutemen scored goals for UMass, including Justin Braun, Chris Davis, and Cory Quirk, who each had multi-points on the night. Dan Meyers made 19 saves for the Mass Attack, while the Minutemen outshot the National Team 30-to-21.
Following Saturday's game, the Minutemen will have a two week break before heading to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida to take part in the Lightning College Hockey Classic. The Minutemen will face Notre Dame on Saturday December 29 and Colorado College or Rensselaer on the 30th. The Minutemen will return home to the Mullins Center on Friday, January 11 where they will once again host the UNH Wildcats which will be televised on NESN.
The Last Time They Met
The last time the Minutemen faced the Wildcats was back in March during the Hockey East Semifinals in a dramatic 3-2 double-overtime win for the Wildcats. The Wildcats took the lead in the first period after a goal from Greg Collins, but the Minutemen would come back near the end of the period to tie the score with a goal from Alex Berry. In the second period, UMass' Chris Capraro and UNH's Dan Rossman would each tally a goal to tie the game at 2-2. The game would remain tied throughout the third and first overtime periods. Finally after three and a half hours of play, the Wildcats would take the game after a goal at the start of double overtime by UNH's Bobby Butler. New Hampshire's Kevin Regan earned the win for the Wildcats, while Jon Quick recorded the loss. UNH went onto the Championship game where they fell to Boston College 5-2.
UMass In The National Polls
In this week's edition of the national collegiate hockey polls, UMass is ranked 10th in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll and 11th in the USCHO.com/CSTV.com poll. Last week, UMass was ranked No. 11 in both polls.
UMass has either been ranked or receiving votes in one or both of the two polls during the first half of the season.
At No. 10, UMass reached its highest mark in the polls since being ranked No. 9 in December 2003. UMass' highest ranking in program history was also during the 2003 season when the Minutemen earned a No. 7 ranking in the final week of November.
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.
Unbeaten This Year When Scoring Threes
When UMass scores three or more goals this season, the Mass Attack is undefeated with a 6-0-2 record. When the Minutemen are unable to do so, their record is 0-3-2. Last Sunday, UMass scored five goals to beat Union and extend its 12-game home unbeaten streak dating back to last season.
UMass scored a season-high five goals in the wins over Merrimack (11/3), at Boston University (11/9), and against Union (11/25) improving to 37-0-1 in the last 38 games where they have scored four-or-more goals in a game.
Earlier this season, UMass scored four against Connecticut on Oct. 20 giving UMass four games this season with four-or-more goals.
The last time UMass lost when scoring four goals was 5-4 to New Hampshire on March 14, 2003 in the Hockey East Semifinals.
Tough To Beat At Home
Over the last 34 games at the Mullins Center, UMass is 21-7-6 including a 14-3-4 mark in 2006-07. This season, UMass is 3-0-3 at home.
All-time, UMass is 108-104-25 in the Mullins Center including a 60-90-19 record among Hockey East foes. Under Don Cahoon, UMass sports a 64-50-13 record at home.
Spreading The Wealth
Of the 22 skaters who have had line shifts, 21 have scored at least a point this season. Freshman James Marcou leads the team with 11 points on the strength of eight assists - a team high.
Will Ortiz leads the team with six goals, while five others have three goals.
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 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 (3g, 6a), David Leaderer (1g, 1a), Mike Kostka (2g, 5a), and John Wessbecker (3a) lead the defensive scoring for UMass.
Blueliner Martin Nolet has a goal and an assist this season, but he scored them as a forward when he played left wing against Union. The move was the first time in his UMass career that he had played the position.
Facing Off With Quirk
Cory Quirk has established himself as one of UMass' top face-off specialists this season. In 14 games, he has a 213-156 (.577) face-off record which is the best on the team. He has taken over 100 more face-offs than any other player on the team.
Some of Quirks best outings include a 19-6 showing against Union (11/25), a 22-8 showing against Boston College (11/16), and a 18-9 showing against Merrimack (11/3).
James Marcou leads the team with 11 points on three goals and eight assists after 14 games. He had a goal and an assist in his first Hockey East game which was against UMass Lowell (10/19).
Against Merrimack (11/3) he recorded his first multi-assist game with two.
In 14 games, he has three multi-point nights.
He is tied for 16th in Hockey East in point scoring, tied for ninth in assists, and is tied for third 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 the Hockey East's Top Defensemen
Defenseman Justin Braun ranks second on the team in points with three goals and six assists through 14 games. That places the sophomore blueliner tied for third in Hockey East among defensemen.
Braun has scored at least a point in six of his last eight games after just one goal in the first six games.
The 2007 member of the Hockey East All-Rookie Team was the 201st pick overall last season in the NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penquins who traded his rights to the San Jose Sharks.
Kostka Generates Defense To Offense
Captain Mike Kostka 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 against Providence (10/27) for the sixth 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.
He notched his second goal of the season at home in a 1-1 tie with Boston College.
Kostka is a well-rounded defenseman having played on both the penalty kill and power play teams.
Fenton Lends A Helping Hand
P.J. Fenton handed out two assists in the UConn (10/2) game and has three for the season.
Fenton now has 42 career assists which ranks 20th all-time at UMass.
He also has 71 career points which ranks him 22nd all-time.
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 12 games this season posting a 2.10 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. He has 323 saves to his credit and a 4-3-5 overall record.
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.
P.J. Fenton, Mike Kostka and David Leaderer are the three current Minutemen who have played in over 100 career games. Fenton has now played in 126 games, Kostka has played in 121, while Leaderer leads the team with 127 games.
Pete Trovato set the program record for most games played with 145 from 2001-05.
Both Fenton and Leaderer are on pace to break that record. Kostka would be able to do so with postseason play.
Senior Mike Kostka will serve as captain this season and is assisted by senior P.J. Fenton, senior David Leaderer, and junior Cory Quirk. Kostka and Fenton were both assistant captains in 2006-07.
Best Fans Ever!
UMass set a new season-opening game attendance record vs. UMass Lowell as 5,862 fans turned out to show their support of the Minutemen. The previous record for a season-opener was 5,379 against Connecticut on Oct. 9, 2003.
For Operation 8K, UMass had 7,319 fans walk through the Mullins Center turn-stiles - the fourth-largest crowd in program history.
Last season, the Minutemen averaged over 5,100 fans per game and set four of the top-six Mullins Center attendance marks with a high of 8,221 fans turning out for the March 3 regular-season finale against Maine.
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.
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