Quick Hits: Colgate Sweep
- With its weekend sweep of Colgate, UMass has extended its current winning streak to three straight
- Senior captain Conor Sheary and redshirt junior captain Troy Power provided the goals for UMass in Saturday’s win
- Sheary's marked his team-leading 13th point of the season and he now has seven points in the past seven games
- Power's tally, his fifth of the season, marked his 10th point of the year to set a new single-season personal best. He added an assist the following night in UMass’ 3-2 win for his second point of the weekend
- Sheary and his linemates, seniors Michael Pereira and Branden Gracel have 11 points combined in the past six games together
- Fellow senior Joel Hanley has four points in the past four games (1g, 3a).
- The Minutemen logged three special teams goals in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Raiders with one short-handed tally and two on the power play, the squad’s 20th and 21st power-play goals of the year.
- Freshmen Steven Iacobellis provided two of UMass' three goals in Sunday’s win including his first career short-handed tally and his fifth on the power play. Iacobellis now leads the Minutemen with eight goals on the season.
- Senior Michael Pereira scored on the power play on Sunday, as well, his 17th of his career with the man advantage.
- Junior goaltender Steve Mastalerz became the first UMass netminder to post a shutout on the road since Jan. 22, 2011 with last Saturday's 2-0 win at Colgate. The shutout was the third of his career.
- Mastalerz also surpassed his previous career highs for games (15) and minutes played (850) in a season.
A Few Notes On The Winning Streak
- UMass' current three-game winning streak marks the first time in the program’s Modern Era that the Minutemen have won three road games consecutively.
- UMass has outscored its opponents, 8-4 over the past three games, eight goals scored by seven different players. Ten players have logged points during the streak, including two individuals with three points and six more individuals with two.
- Netminder Steve Mastalerz holds a 1.33 goals-against average during the streak with 91 saves on 95 shots (.958 save percentage).
- Special teams have been a strong point in the three wins for the Minutemen, going 4-for-16 (25%) on the power play and a perfect 18-for-18 on the penalty kill.
Pereria Nears Pair Of Milestones
- Senior Michael Pereira is six points away from his 100th of his career and three away from becoming the sixth 50-goal scorer in program history.
- Only four players in UMass history have previously reached both the 100-point and 50-goal milestones in their career.
- Pereira currently ranks in the top-15 in UMass history in the following career categories: power-play goals (17, t-4th), goals (47, t-7th), game-winning goals (5, t-11th) and points (94, t-15th).
Mastalerz, Minutemen, Honored Following Colgate Sweep
-After picking up a pair of victories, junior goaltender Steve Mastalerz was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week, on Dec.16. The Minutemen were also recognized as the Hockey East Team of the Week after sweeping their road series at Colgate, 2-0 and 3-2.
- Mastalerz collected his third Hockey East accolade of the season and fourth Defensive Player of the Week nod from the league in his career. His UMass honor was his second of the season. - In net for both wins over the weekend, including his third career shutout, Mastalerz stopped 58 of the 60 shots he faced in the two games for a .967 save percentage and posted a goals-against average of 1.00.
- He made 25 saves in the Saturday 2-0 victory and followed up with 33 on Sunday.
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 71 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 12 (2g, 9a) and ranks tied for third 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 47 blocks (2nd). Fellow Minutemen blueliners senior Joel Hanley and junior Oleg Yevenko rank tied for fourth and sixth with 41 and 40, respectively.
- Shea blocked a game-high seven shots in UMass’ 3-2 win at #13/11 Notre Dame. He has surpassed his season total from 2012-13 (46 in 34 games) already through 19 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 32 of UMass’ 106 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.
- Three of UMass' six 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-24th) in scoring with 27 points.
- One of UMass' biggest offensive contributors to date this season has been freshman forward Steven Iacobellis, who currently leads the squad with eight goals and as scored at team-best five on the power play.
- Nationally Iacobellis is tied for third among freshmen in goals scored, trailing only Sam Anas of Quinnipiac (13) and Matt Carey of St. Lawrence (13). He is tied for seventh in power-play goals overall.
- In Hockey East, Iacobellis ranks tied for eight in goal scoring, tied for ninth in power play points (7), tied for first in power-play goals, seventh in freshman scoring (12 pts) and is 10th in faceoff percentage (56.2%).
- 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.
A Balanced Attack
- The Minutemen have been extremely balanced in their scoring thus far this as 10 players have combined for the squad’s 38 goals with no player having registered more than eight.
- Sixteen of the 26 players who have seen the ice over UMass’ first 19 games have contributed at least one point. Senior Conor Sheary (3g, 10a) leads the squad with 13points, while freshman
Steven Iacobellis (8g, 4a) and senior Joel Hanley (2g 10a) follow with 12 points apiece. four more individuals have at least nine points on the year, including senior Branden Gracel (7g, 4a), redshirt junior Troy Power (5g, 6a) and freshman Ray Pigozzi (3g, 8a).
- Thirteen different players have registered points on the power play, with eight individuals tallying five or more points with the man advantage. Hanley paces the group as 10 of his 12 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 4th in the nation in power-play goals with 21 in 19 games and ranks tied for 11th in power play percentage at 22.3% (21 for 94).
- The Minutemen have scored at least one power-play goal in 12 of 19 contests thus far, registering multiple goals with the man advantage on six occasions, most recently going 2-for-5 (40%) in the second of two games of a weekend sweep on the road at Colgate.
- 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 124 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 then-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 13 of 19 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 118 straight contests, including all 36 as a sophomore, all 34 last season and all 19 to date this season.
- Not dressing for just one of a possible 124 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 850 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 163 goals and 270 assists, led by Michael Pereira’s 94 career points. Conor Sheary and Branden Gracel follow with 89 and 79 respectively. Pereira is UMass' active career goals (47) 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 (123), Pereira (120), Gracel (119), Joel Hanley (116), Shea (115) and Adam Phillips (109).
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 22 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 five are currently on ECHL rosters (Rocco Carzo, Marvin Degon, 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 36 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.