The Standard doesn’t change with Union in town

The Standard doesn’t change, shirk or cringe.

Adhering to it introduced the UMass hockey program a countrywide championship, two Hockey East titles and two Frozen Four berths amongst nonetheless piling victories. It calls for dedication, effort and sacrifice off and on the ice. 

The presumed power or weak spot of an opponent doesn’t modify The Standard, both. It stays a heartbeat, constant, ongoing and paramount.

“There’s a standard of play. The players know whether we’re winning or losing, if they’re not playing at it, they’re going to hear about it,” UMass trainer Greg Carvel stated. “Let’s just keep working on that standard, keep pushing it forward.”

UMass glad The Standard – up to it may be – in a weekend sweep in opposition to then-No. 1 Denver on the Mullins Center over the weekend. It received’t diminish when Union visits Friday and Saturday (each 7 p.m. ESPN-Plus).

“We got a lot better from Friday to Saturday. We made some adjustments, we played harder. We played more to our identity,” Carvel stated. “We’ve got things we still need to be better at. We’re gonna focus on ourselves, make sure we continue to out work and out compete and stay tight to our systems and how we play. I’ll never disrespect anyone at this level. Every team can win.”

Union (2-3-1) was once intended to host the Minutemen closing season. The Dutchmen entered COVID-19 protocols the day prior to the New Years collection was once intended to start out. UMass hasn’t confronted Union, the 2014 nationwide champions, since Oct. 19, 2019 on the Mullins Center. The Minutemen have received 4 in a row in opposition to the Dutchmen and 6 out of 7. Their closing loss was once in additional time Dec. 11, 2015. UMass holds a 10-3-1 merit in the collection.

But this isn’t the similar Union staff. New trainer Josh Hauge took over after six years at the Clarkson personnel, changing Rick Bennett after he resigned following an investigation into his training taste and practices following an investigation.

The new-look Dutchmen characteristic 17 underclassmen.

“The new coach is highly regarded. Usually you get a new coach there will be some new looks and some new energy,” Carvel stated.

Union gamers have captured the season’s first two ECAC Rookie of the Week Awards: defensemen John Prokop and Nick Young. Nate Hanley leads the Dutchmen with 8 issues and 6 assists, whilst Tyler Watkins has scored a team-high 4 targets.

JUSTLY REWARDED – UMass goalie Luke Pavicich gained his first Hockey East Player of the week award after backstopping the Minutemen to each wins over No. 1 Denver. He stopped 75 of the 77 photographs he confronted, together with 45 on Friday. Both Denver targets got here with an additional attacker, and Pavicich earned his first occupation shutout Saturday.

He ranks fourth in the rustic in save proportion (.965) and 6th in targets in opposition to reasonable (1.33). Both are the second-best marks in Hockey East in the back of UConn’s Logan Terness.

Sophomore defenseman Scott Morrow earned Hockey East Defender of the Week honors after scoring in every sport and serving to the Minutemen kill a five-minute main penalty. It was once his 3rd convention weekly honor after being named the league’s rookie of the week two times closing season.

SHARE THE WEALTH – Seven Minutemen have scored a purpose this season, and nobody has greater than two (Reed Lebster and Morrow). Some of the ones scorers come with newbies Kenny Connors and Tyson Dyck, who opened their UMass accounts in opposition to the Pioneers. They’ve performed on  the fourth line with fellow freshman Cole O’Hara, who additionally had an help.

“This is as deep of a forward group as we’ve had. Those freshmen are a huge part of it. We can play them as a fourth line and match them up with other fourth lines,” Carvel stated. “They’re all smart players. They’re going to get better quickly.”

POLL POSITION – The Minutemen jumped to No. 6 in each the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey polls after sweeping the Pioneers, which dropped from No. 1 to No. 4.

Minnesota ascended to No. 1, whilst Minnesota State (No. 2) and Quinnipiac (No. 3) additionally gained first-place votes.

WAY TOO EARLY STATS – UMass ranks 3rd in the rustic in scoring protection permitting simply 1.33 targets in step with sport. The Minutemen also are in the country’s best 10 in profitable 56 p.c in their face-offs (No. 8) and killing 88.9 p.c of consequences (No. 9).

Kyle Grabowski may also be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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