The Last Meeting
December 8, 2012
Amherst, Mass. (Mullins Center)
Colgate Skates Past UMass Hockey, 5-2
The UMass hockey team held a 2-1 advantage through two, but four third period goals helped Colgate skate past the Minutemen, 5-2 on Saturday night at the Mullins Center. Following the loss, UMass is now 5-8-2 on the year, while the Raiders improve to 9-7-2.
Junior Adam Phillips scored for a third straight game for the Minutemen, logging his fourth point of the weekend. His classmate Branden Gracel contributed UMass' second goal for his seventh of the season to tie a career best.
Quick Hits: Weekend Split At Notre Dame
- Three seniors provided the three tallies for UMass' in the squad's 3-2 victory at #11/13 Notre Dame last Saturday night.
- The win was the first for the Minutemen on the road this season and first over a ranked team since Feb. 1. It also marked UMass' 150th Hockey East victory in the program's history in the league
- Senior Branden Gracel found the back of the net for two straight games and now leads the team with seven goals on the year (tied for 10th in Hockey East). His power-play goal in Friday night's contest was his fourth of the season, good for tied for the team lead and tied for third in Hockey East. Gracel holds an active three-game point scoring streak (2g, 1a).
- Senior Joel Hanley contributed a goal and an assist in Saturday night's win for his 15th career multi-point game and third of the year.
- Freshman Ray Pigozzi logged a pair of multi-point games on the weekend four assists over the two games.
- Senior Conor Sheary registered a helper in each contest against the Fighting Irish and now has six points in the past six games.
- Redshirt junior Troy Power matched his career high for points in a season as his assist on Saturday marked his ninth point of the year.
- Freshmen provided five of UMass' nine points in Friday night's loss including Brandon Wahlin's first collegiate goal and two-point nights from Steven Iacobellis (1g, 1a) and Ray Pigozzi (2a).
- UMass scored four power-play goals on the weekend to bring the squad's season total to 19.
- Senior Michael Pereira is eight points away from his 100th of his career and four away from becoming the sixth 50-goal scorer in program history.
- With his next start, junior Mastalerz will match is career high for games played in a season (15).
Pigozzi Tabbed Rookie Of The Week
- Freshman forward Ray Pigozzi was selected as the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week, the league office announced on Dec. 9. Pigozzi earned his first conference honor of his career, the fourth collected by a member of the Minutemen this season.
- Pigozzi helped UMass to a weekend split on the road at #13/11 Notre Dame, assisting on four of six goals by the Minutemen against the Fighting Irish.
- With a pair of helpers in each contest, the Evanston, Ill., native logged the second and third multi-point games of his rookie campaign.
- On Saturday night, Pigozzi set up the game-winning goal on the power play with 2:47 remaining in regulation to help UMass to its first road victory and first win over a ranked opponent this season.
Power Added As Captain
- UMass hockey redshirt junior forward Troy Power was named a team captain, head coach John Micheletto announced on Nov. 24. Power wore the "C" for the first time in the Minutemen's game at Vermont and joins senior Conor Sheary, who was named a captain prior to the Minutemen's home opener against Michigan State.
- "Troy has been a valuable contributor to this team, due in large part to his respect for and love of the game," said Micheletto. "His contributions on the ice and in the locker room have been significant and impactful. This is a well-deserved honor for Troy. He and Conor Sheary give us an outstanding leadership duo that we will lean on as we look to make strides in Hockey East."
Hanley Among Top Scoring Defensemen In UMass History
- With 70 points in his career, senior defenseman Joel Hanley ranks fourth all-time in UMass history for a UMass blueliner. Two of the three individuals ahead of him on the list, Thomas Pöck and Justin Braun, were both All-Americans for the Minutemen and went on to play in the NHL.
- Overall, Hanley is 33rd in career scoring with 17 goals and 53 assists. This season currently he is tied for second on the team in points with 11 (2g, 9a) and ranks tied for fourth in Hockey East in defenseman scoring.
- Hanley is the Hockey East leader in power play points, as well, with 10.
- UMass currently has three players inside the top-10 in Hockey East in blocked shots, paced by senior Colin Shea's 41 blocks (t-3rd). Fellow Minutemen blueliners senior Joel Hanley and junior Oleg Yevenko rank fith and sixth with 37 and 36, respectively.
- Shea blocked a game-high seven shots in UMass' 3-2 win at #13/11 Notre Dame. He is just five blocks shy of equaling his season total from 2012-13 (46 in 34 games).
Haight Superb In Starting Debut
- Freshman goaltender Mac Haight was named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week and Co-UMass Athlete of the Week on Nov. 18 after two solid starts against #7 Boston College.
- Filling in for the injured Steve Mastalerz, Haight made the first two starts of his career and posted a 1.92 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage against the Eagles, who came into the matchups with the No. 1-ranked offense in the nation at 5.00 goals per-game. Haight stopped 51 of the 61 shots he faced over the two contests, including 31 saves in his starting debut.
- The following night, he made 26 saves to help lead the Minutemen to a 2-2 tie against the Eagles, including stopping the final 21 shots he faced in the contest with 15 saves in the second period alone.
Newcomers Make Immediate Impact
- Head coach John Micheletto's first recruiting class has made an immediate impact for the Minutemen as the group of eight newcomers who have seen action thus far this season have accounted for 30 of UMass' 95 points on the year, over 30 percent of the squad's scoring. Six of eight 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 a team-best 176-for-312, 56.4% over the dots this season and ranks ninth in Hockey East in faceoff percentage.
- 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' four game-winning goals to date have been scored by freshmen (Iacobellis and Pigozzi).
-The Minutemen's freshman class is in the top-25 nationally (t-23rd) in scoring with 25 points.
- Pigozzi and Iacobellis rank in the top-10 in Hockey East in freshman scoring at seventh and tied for eighth with 11 points and 10 points respectively.
- In Hockey East play, Pigozzi is tied for 11th in points (7) and for the league lead in freshman scoring.
A Balanced Attack
- The Minutemen have been extremely balanced in their scoring thus far this as 10 players have combined for the squad's 33 goals with no player having registered more than seven.
- Sixteen of the 26 players who have seen the ice over UMass' first 17 games have contributed at least one point. Senior Conor Sheary (2g, 10a) leads the squad with 12 points, while freshman Ray Pigozzi (3g, 8a) and senior Joel Hanley (2g 9a) follow with 11 points apiece. Seven more individuals have at least five points on the year, including senior Branden Gracel (7g, 3a) and freshman Steven Iacobellis (6g, 4a).
- Twelve different players have registered points on the power play, with seven individuals tallying five or more points with the man advantage. Hanley paces the group as 10 of his 11 points on the year have come on the power play.
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 on Nov 4. 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 on the 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 Nov. 2 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.
Power Play Prowess
- UMass is currently tied for 6th in the nation in power-play goals with 19 in 17 games and ranks tied for 11th in power play percentage at 22.6% (19 for 84).
- The Minutemen have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of 17 contests thus far, registering multiple goals with the man advantage on five occasions, most recently in back-to-back games at #13/11 Notre Dame. UMass went 4-for-14 (28.6%) with the man advantage and earned a split on the road against the Fighting Irish.
- 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 122 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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 returned for the 2013-14 season and have skated together in 11 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 116 straight contests, including all 36 as a sophomore, all 34 last season and all 17 to date this season.
- Not dressing for just one of a possible 122 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.
- UMass' nine-man senior class has appeared in over 800 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 161 goals and 266 assists, led by Michael Pereira's 92 career points. Conor Sheary and Branden Gracel follow with 88 and 78 respectively. Pereira is UMass' active career goals (46) 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.
- Six seniors have hit the century mark in games played: Sheary (121), Pereira (118), Gracel (117), Joel Hanley (114), Shea (113) and Adam Phillips (107).
Vs. Ranked Teams
- UMass is 1-5-1 against ranked teams thus far this year, most recently posting a 3-2 win at #13/11 Notre Dame on Dec. 7.
- 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 (10/18), #9 Yale (11/19), #18/17 Vermont (11/24, 1/23), 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 65-196-25 against ranked opponents including a 6-4-0 record at neutral sites and a 10-28-4 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 in 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 in 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 and 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 20 points (11g, 9a) in 34 games.
UMass Inks Six To NLIs
- Head coach John Micheletto announced on Nov. 19 that UMass hockey added its first six members of the Class of 2018 during the November early signing period. Defenseman Brandon Egli, forward Dennis Kravchenko, forward Patrick Lee, defenseman Brandon Montour, defenseman Maddison Smiley and forward Dominic Trento have all signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Minutemen next season.
- Egli is in his second season with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCHL) and has been one of the top scoring defensemen for the squad.
- As the squad's captain, Kravchenko recently led Team USA to the Gold medal at the World Junior A Championships and had four points (1g, 3a) over four games in the tournament. - Lee and Smiley won a second consecutive AJHL Championship with the Bandits in 2012-13. Lee and Smiley also won the Royal Bank Cup last year, Canada's National Junior A Championship.
- Smiley was named the 2012-13 AJHL Playoff MVP and earned the AJHL's Sportsmanship Award, the "Stewy Stewart Trophy". This fall he played for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge that took home a Bronze medal.
- Montour earned First Team GOJHL Midwestern Conference recognition and the Cory Stoyko Memorial Trophy as best defenseman in 2012-13.
- Trento was named EJHL Playoffs Most Valuable Player in 2012-13 after leading the Hitmen to the league championship.