The Last Meeting
December 7, 2011
Amherst, Mass. (Mullins Center)
Gracel's Goal, Boyle's 26 Saves Power Mass Attack Past #17 Yale
After trailing 1-0 at the end of the first period, the UMass hockey team stormed back to defeat the #17 Yale Bulldogs, 3-1, Wednesday night at the Mullins Center. Sophomore Branden Gracel notched the game-winning goal in the third period while freshman Kevin Boyle stopped 26 shots as the duo helped the Minutemen stay undefeated at home this season (5-0-3 at home). The win pushes UMass to 5-7-4 (2-6-3 Hockey East) while Yale falls to 6-5-1 (4-2-0 ECAC).
Quick Hits: Colgate Weekend
- UMass dropped both of its games last weekend at home against Colgate, 6-4 and 5-2.
- After snapping a 30-game goal scoring draught at Northeastern the weekend prior, junior Adam Phillips tallied goals in his second and third straight games.
- In Friday's contest against the Raiders, Phillips had a four-point night with a goal and three assists for a career high in points and helpers.
- Phillips is the first Minuteman to post a four-point game since Michael Pereira had four against Bentley on Nov. 14, 2011. Phillips are the only two active UMass players with four-point games in their careers.
- With tallies in both Colgate games, junior Branden Gracel extended his point scoring streak to three. Gracel's sixth and seventh goals on the season equaled his career high for a single season. He now leads the Minutemen with 13 points on the year, tied for eighth in Hockey East.
- On Friday against the Raiders, junior Joel Hanley logged his third multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist. He now has three multi-point efforts in the past five contests.
- UMass scored two power-play goals on Friday against Colgate, its third time this season with multiple power-play tallies in one contest.
- The Minutemen won 57.9% of the faceoffs over the two-game series.
- The Minutemen out-shot their opponent for the 12th and 13th times in 15 games, logging 30+ shots for the 11th and 12th occasions. UMass has been out-shot just once this season, on Oct. 19 vs. Boston College (24-42).
- With 22 points on the season as a unit, UMass' Carzo-Guzzo-Sheary line has been contributing its share offensively this year.
- Having skated together in 11 of 15 contests, the trio has totaled nine goals and 13 assists with the line contributing at least one point in all but one of those games
- Rocco Carzo and Steven Guzzo are tied for second on the team in scoring with 10 points each, while Conor Sheary is tied for third with nine.
-Carzo is tied for the team lead in goals with seven, a new career best for the senior co-captain. Sheary and Guzzo are tied with a squad-best seven assists apiece.
- Sheary has one point in nine of 15 games thus far, while Guzzo has gotten on the scoresheet in eight of 14 contests.
On Best Behavior
- UMass is one of the least penalized teams in the nation and boasts a Hockey-East low of 10.9 penalty minutes per-game. Nationally, the Minutemen are 48th out of 59 teams in penalty minutes per-game.
- Over the first two games of the year, against Connecticut and Boston College, UMass was called for a combined 17 penalties, which accounted for 45 of the squads' 164 penalty minutes on the year. In the 13 games since, the team is averaging just 9.2 penalty minutes per-contest.
Potent Power Play
- With at least one power-play goal in 12 of its 15 contests, the Minutemen boast the No. 2 power play in Hockey East with a conversion rate of 20.5% (15-for-73), 14th nationally.
- Individually, Conor Sheary and Conor Allen rank tied for seventh in Hockey East for power play points with five apiece.
- 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.
- Junior defenseman Colin Shea 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 554-of-1006 (55.1%) through the first 15 games.
- Junior Branden Gracel, redshirt sophomore Steven Guzzo and junior Conor Sheary have been UMass' top performers over the dots thus far at 60.6% (151-of-249), 60.3% (117-of-194) and 57.8% (37-of-65), respectively. All three rank in the top-10 in Hockey East at fourth, fifth and 10th, respectively.
- Sheary went 7-0 against New Hampshire on Nov. 2, including the offensive zone faceoff that lead to the game-winning goal.
- Junior Eric 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 11 of 15 games this season.
- Two of UMass' six goals at Northeastern were scored as a direct result of offensive zone faceoff wins.
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 on Nov. 26.
- Gracel led the Minutemen to a 1-0-1 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.
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 80 straight contests, including all 36 last season.
- Not dressing for just one of a possible 85 games of his career thus far, the only contest Sheary has missed came on Oct. 30, 2010 at Providence.
Production From The Point
- UMass has seen 12-of-41 of its goals come from defensemen thus far this season, including 6-of-15 of its power-play tallies, one short-handed goal and one with an extra skater on.
- The Minutemen blueliners have combined for 12 goals and 16 assists in 15 games. Conor Allen and Joel Hanley are tied for third on the team in points with nine each and are tied for fifth in Hockey East Among defensemen scoring.
- Seven 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 11 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 17th nationally in average attendance (4,333).
- 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 opened up the 2012-13 campaign by playing 11 of their first 15 games in the friendly confines of the Mullins Center.
- Over the last 118 games at Mullins, UMass is 60-43-15 (.572) including a 14-3-4 mark in 2006-07. All-time, UMass is 146-141-35 in the Mullins Center including an 90-121-26 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 4-6-1 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 left the Commonwealth just once over the first two months of the season as their only other away contests during that span were at Boston University, Boston College and Northeastern.
Tiefenwerth Tabbed Hockey East Rookie Of The Week
- Freshman K.J. Tiefenwerth was named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week on Dec. 3. The honor was the first from the conference office earned by a Minuteman this season and marks the first weekly award of Tiefenwerth's career.
- With a goal and two assists, Tiefenwerth helped UMass to its highest scoring output of the season, a 6-3 victory at Northeastern on Dec. 1. The points were the first three of his collegiate career.
- UMass' 13-man junior class has produced over 350 points in two-plus seasons as Minutemen.
- As a group, they have scored 130 goals and 221 assists, led by Michael Pereira's 67 career points. Conor Sheary and Joel Hanley follow with 58 and 52 respectively. Pereira is UMass' active career goals (32) and points leader.
A Sloth of Bruins
- With the addition of freshmen Connor Doherty and K.J. Tiefenwerth, UMass now has three former members of the Boston Junior Bruins, joining junior Colin Shea.
- 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.
UMass Adds Transfer Dongara
- In addition to the squad's four 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.