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UConn Men's Hockey Opponent Preview: Get to Know the UMass Minutemen

UConn and UMass will square off in a home-and-home series this weekend as both teams look to recover from ugly losses.

Remember when Jonathan Quick was killing it up in Amherst?
Remember when Jonathan Quick was killing it up in Amherst?
Elsa/Getty Images

After a miserable weekend, the UConn men's hockey team will look to get back on track Friday and Saturday during a home-and-home Hockey East series with UMass.

The Huskies (3-4-0, 1-3-0 Hockey East) will host the opening game Friday night at the XL Center. UConn has won two of its three home games, beating Arizona State before knocking off No. 8 Boston University.

UConn's lone home loss was to Notre Dame. The Irish held off the Huskies 2-1 in Hartford Saturday. The series moved to Brooklyn Sunday, where UConn endured 60 miserable minutes, falling 8-2.

Attention turns to UMass, a team that started the season hot, but may be cooling down a little bit.

Series Information

  • Game 1: Friday, Nov. 6, 7:05 p.m. at XL Center, Hartford. Radio: WTIC 1080 FM.
  • Game 2: Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. at Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass. Video: UMass All-Access. Radio: WHUS 91.7 FM.

Get to Know UMass

  • Record: 4-2-1, 0-1-1 Hockey East
  • Against UConn: UMass leads all-time series 24-11-2
  • 2014-15 vs. UConn: Jan. 2, 2015 (at UMass): UConn 4, UMass 3; Feb. 28, 2015 (at UConn): UConn 4, UMass 0
  • Last Time Out: Lost 7-0 at No. 3 Boston College — UMass had such a promising start to the season, jumping out to a 4-0-1 start. Even after a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of Yale Saturday in Trenton, New Jersey, UMass still received votes in the USCHO.com Poll, enough to place 24th in voting. But things got worse for UMass Tuesday. Boston College destroyed the Minutemen. Boston College scored six of its goals in the second period, during which time UMass had to deal with severe penalties (though five of the six goals were at even strength). Steven Iacobellis received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a high-sticking penalty, and Ben Gallacher received a five-minute major and a disqualification for spearing.
  • Best Result: Tied 6-6 vs. New Hampshire — This result was ridiculous. UMass trailed the Wildcats 6-1 at home. Five unanswered goals put the Minutemen back on level terms and earned them their lone point in Hockey East.
  • Player to Watch: Dennis Kravchenko — The sophomore forward from California has picked up where he left off after a fantastic freshman season. Kravchenko is tied for third in the nation in scoring with 12 points, and he is tied Providence's Jake Walman and Nebraska-Omaha's Austin Ortega for the national lead in goals scored. He was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October.
  • Best Moment of 2015: On March 6, UMass won the longest game in Division I men's hockey history, defeating Notre Dame 4-3 in Game 1 of their first-round series in the Hockey East Tournament. The game went five overtimes and lasted 151 minutes, 42 seconds. UMass shot the puck a record 91 times.
  • Connecticut Connection: Jonathan Quick — The Milford native and former Avon Old Farms star played collegiate hockey at UMass for two seasons before going pro. During the 2007-08 season, he was called up to the Los Angeles Kings. The rest, as they say, is history. Quick won the 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cups. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy during the Kings' 2012 run.

Prediction

Both teams are coming into this weekend's series without any momentum. A split would not be the worst situation for either team, but both will be trying for the four points.

I like UConn to take three points this weekend. The Huskies have been solid at home, but they have struggled for results on the road. Getting a point in Amherst would be a good result.

  • Game 1: UConn 4, UMass 1
  • Game 2: UConn 3, UMass 3