In the prime of Hockey East, every team would compete. Every team was considered a national champion favorite. However; in the years since Hockey East has began to weaken. Over the past 10 years, the only schools to win Hockey East were Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, and UMass Lowell. For the longest time it was either BC or BU’s conference. But now, UMass Amherst takes it turn.
How UMass Became the #1 Team
With only one loss on the year (to then number one Ohio St) and an undefeated record in Hockey East, this UMass hockey team is number one in the land for the first time in school history. Splitting with number one Ohio St on the road outscoring them 7-6 and then sweeping 2015 national champion and fourth ranked Providence in a home and home series.
The Minutemen currently rank second in scoring behind Penn State thanks in large part to the nations fifth leading scorer Mitchell Chaffee. Chaffee, a sophomore, already has four power play goals and two game winning goals. Another force on the power play for UMass is senior Jacob Pritchard. Pritchard also has four power play goals and six overall.
Furthermore, the outstanding play of sophomore netminder Matt Murray has been another huge factor for the Minuetmen. Murray whose currently 12th in the nation with a .929 save percentage hasn’t lost a game all year. And his stellar play in the month of November earned him Hockey East Goaltender of the month. Murray posted a 6-0 record with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in November to lead UMass to their first undefeated month since 1970.
UMass Looks to Continue Hot Start
Tonight, UMass continues their home and home slate with eighth ranked Quinnipiac. Even though they were shutout last night by the Bobcats 4-0, tonight they seek revenge at the Mullins Center. And for the first time in 18 years, the venue is SOLD OUT. If you’re going there tonight, wear white, bring a teddy bear and BE LOUD.
– Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)
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