Jan. 31, 2013
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Looking for a season sweep of the Minutemen, the No. 9/11 Boston University men's ice hockey team will kick off February with a cross-state visit to Amherst to take on Massachusetts on Friday (Feb. 1) at 7 p.m.
The Terriers, who are tied with New Hampshire for second place in the Hockey East standings, are coming off a three-point weekend against Providence.
The Minutemen have been played seven of their last eight games away from the Mullins Center and will be hosting an opponent for just the second time since Dec. 8. Most recently, UMass split a road weekend at Vermont, posting a 3-2 win on Friday before losing by the same score the following night.
Back on Oct. 26-27, freshman Matt O'Connor backstopped the Terriers to a sweep in a home-and-home series with the Minutemen by scores of 5-2 and 3-2. The latter game took place in Amherst with senior Sean Escobedo providing the game-winner with just 1:22 left in regulation.
Sophomore Cason Hohmann tallied two goals and an assist in the first game while freshman Danny O'Regan registered two points in each victory (2g, 2a). Junior Matt Nieto has tallied 12 points (4g, 8a) in eight career games against the Minutemen.
O'Regan was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month on Tuesday. He led all Division I freshmen in points during January with 11 on four goals and seven assists. He had four multi-point efforts in the month, including a career-best three points twice.
BU holds an impressive 52-10-5 advantage. However, half of UMass' 10 wins have come in the last 20 meetings. The Terriers are 19-6-3 in the 28 meetings that have taken place at the Mullins Center.
UMass stands in seventh place in the league standings with 13 points. The Minutemen are paced offensively by junior Branden Gracel, who leads the squad in points (22) and goals (11). Classmate Conor Sheary has 17 points on the strength of a team-best 12 assists. Three others have registered 14 points each.
Sophomore Kevin Boyle has earned 16 starts in goal for UMass and has collected seven of the team's wins in adding to posting a .900 save percentage and a 2.60 goals-against average.
The Minutemen rank second in the nation - trailing only Western Michigan - at the faceoff dot, winning 54.5 of their faceoffs. They rank second among Hockey East squads on the power play, converting on 19.5 percent of their chances, which is good for 18th nationally.