Pivotal Hockey East Matchups With BU, UMass Lowell On Tap For The Minutemen This Weekend

Thu Feb 8, 2018
University of Massachusetts Hockey Game Notes
Games 30-31Massachusetts Minutemen (12-16-1, 6-12-1 HEA) at Boston University Terriers (15-11-2, 10-7-2 HEA) 
Massachusetts Minutemen (12-16-1, 6-12-1 HEA) vs. UMass Lowell River Hawks (16-12-0, 10-8-0 HEA)
Dates | TimesFriday, February 9, 2018 - 7:30 p.m. / Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 7 p.m.
LocationsFriday: Boston, Mass. - Agganis Arena (6,300) | Saturday: Amherst, Mass. - Mullins Center (8,373)
Series HistoryBU leads 62-11-6 | UMass Lowell leads 46-27-7
Live StatisticsFriday: SideArm | Saturday: SideArm
Watch LiveFriday: ESPN3 | Saturday: UMass All-Access
Listen (Radio)WHMP AM 1400/1240 FM 96.9/107.5
Listen (Online)WHMP Streaming Player | TuneIn App (mobile devices)
Game NotesMassachusetts | Boston University | UMass Lowell
Team RecordsMassachusetts | Boston University | UMass Lowell
Twitter@UMassHockey | @UMassAthletics | @TerrierHockey | @RiverHawkHockey
InstagramUMass Hockey | UMass Athletics
Tickets Friday | Saturday
Game PromotionsFriday: None | Saturday: Saturday Night Skate, Rally Towels (Students Giveaway), Alumni Night, Postgame Autograph Session

Quick Hits: UMass Topples Merrimack, 5-2
-  University of Massachusetts used a 2-0 start to propel the squad to a 5-2 victory over Merrimack at the Mullins Center on Tuesday evening.
- With the win, the Minutemen took the season series against the Warriors two games to one and matched the program's highest wins total since the 2012-13 season (12).
- At the 12:15 mark of a scoreless first period, freshman John Leonard put UMass on the board, picking up a puck from redshirt senior Niko Rufo and freshman Austin Albrecht and dancing his way into the slot before beating Drew Vogler for his ninth of the season.
- The Minutemen then pushed the lead to 2-0 on their first power play opportunity of the night. Freshman Phillip Lagunov found Rufo streaking towards the net for a redirection tally 15:10 into the opening frame. Redshirt sophomore Josh Couturier earned an assist on the play, as well.
- With just 30 seconds to play in the second period, the Warriors halved their deficit. Jace Henning set up a Ludvig Larsson strike from the top of the right faceoff circle.
- However, UMass promptly regained the two-goal cushion with Leonard adding his second of the night 26 seconds into the third.
- Then at the 1:13 mark, junior Brett Boeing fed senior Jake Horton at the point of an offensive zone draw and Horton drove the puck home for his first tally of the season.
- Larsson took a rebound up the ice to score Merrimack's second of the game on a 2-on-1 at 8:11, but the Minutemen responded with a power-play goal 1:25 later. Sophomore Jake McLaughlin connected for a blistering one-timer set up by Couturier and junior Austin Plevy.
- The Warriors finished the night with a 33-25 edge in shots and were 0-for-1 on the power play, while UMass was 2-for-5 with the man advantage.
- Freshman Matt Murray totaled 31 saves in net for the Minutemen and Vogler had 20 stops for Merrimack.
- Three Minutemen had multi-point nights, led by Leonard's two-goal effort, his second multi-goal game of the year. Rufo notched a goal and an assist for his fifth career multi-point game and Couturier had two helpers for his third career multi-point game.

Murray Picks Up Weekly Award
- Freshman goaltender Matt Murray was tabbed the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week on Jan. 22, marking the first career honor for the St. Albert, Alberta native, and the fourth different Minuteman rookie to earn the award this season as Murray joined previous honorees John Leonard (10/16), Oliver Chau (10/30) and Cale Makar (1/15).
- Murray picked up second shutout of the year on Jan. 19 at the Mullins Center, stopping all 29 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over No. 8/9 Northeastern and was named the game's No. 2 star. It was the first time the Huskies had been shut out this season.
- Murray made a total of 57 saves over the two games against Northeastern and currently holds a .903 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average over 17 games thus far in 2017-18. 

Minutemen On TV
- Three of UMass' remaining five regular season games are being televised. The Minutemen's home game on Feb. 15 vs. Boston College is  included in UMass' Eleven Sports package and will air on NESN, as well.
- The Feb. 9 matchup at Boston University and the Feb. 22 game at UConn will be available on ESPN3.

Makar Honored By Hockey East
- Freshman defenseman Cale Makar was selected as the Pro Ambitions Hockey East Rookie of the Week on Jan. 15, marking the first career award for Makar and the fourth time a member of the Minutemen has received a weekly honor this season.
- Makar brought his hot scoring touch back from his gold medal run with Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, potting goals in each of his first two games back with the Minutemen to help UMass to a three-point weekend (1-0-1) on the road at Vermont.
- The Calgary, Alberta, native logged three points on two goals and an assist over the two games and was +2 with four blocks and a team-high 12 shots on goal.
- Makar opened game one against the Catamounts, a 2-2 tie, with his second tally of the season, which was his first career power-play goal. He followed up with his second career multi-point game in the Saturday matchup with two more special teams' points, assisting the game-opening shorthanded goal for the Minutemen and scoring a shorthanded empty net goal to put UMass up by two in the closing minutes of the 6-3 win.
- Makar was tabbed the No. 2 star of the game in the victory over UVM and is currently fifth in scoring for the Minutemen on the season with 15 points (3g, 12a) in 24 games and a team-best +9 rating.

Medal Collectors
- Freshman defenseman Cale Makar became the second Minuteman in program history to win gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship when Team Canada defeated Sweden, 3-1 in the Gold Medal Game on Jan. 5 in Buffalo, New York. The Calgary, Alberta native joined former UMass forward Stephen Werner (2002-06), who won a Gold Medal with Team USA in 2004.
- Makar finished the tournament with three goals and five assists for eight points and was +5 over seven games. He led all defensemen in scoring at the World Junior Championship and was the lone Canadian player to be named to the World Junior Media All-Star team. Following Canada's semifinal win over the Czech Republic, Makar was tabbed one of Team Canada's three Players of the Tournament, as voted by Canada's coaching staff, as well.
- UMass equipment manager Josh Penn also took home a medal from the WJC has he was on staff with Team USA, which earned bronze in the tournament.

Going Streaking
- With a pair of assists on the power play at #19 Union on Dec. 10, freshman Mitchell Chaffee capped a seven-game point streak, the longest streak for a member of the Minutemen since the 2014-15 season.
- During the seven-game stretch, Chaffee posted nine (4g, 3a) of his 14 points on the season and a +8 rating. It also included a three-game goal scoring streak (Nov. 24 to Dec. 1).
- Chaffee's tally at New Hampshire marked his 11th goal of the year, the most by a UMass freshman since 2013-14 and ties the fifth-most goals by a freshman in the program's Hockey East Era, trailing only Stephen Werner (16 in 2002-03), PJ Fenton (13 in 2004-05), Greg Mauldin (12 in 2001-02) and Michael Pereira (12 in 2010-11).
- Chaffee is currently second on the team in scoring with 20 points through 29 games on a team-high 11 goals to go along with nine assists. He ranks tied for sixth in Hockey East in freshman scoring (20 points) and is tied for ninth in goals in the league (11). He is fourth nationally in goals among freshmen.
- Niko Hildenbrand's assist at Maine on Jan. 16 capped five-game point streak for the sophomore, a career best. More than 60% of his points this season have come in the 2018 calendar year (3g, 4a). 

Top Of The Class
- As a team, UMass leads the nation in freshmen scoring in goals (47), assists (78), points (125), power-play goals (15), goals per-game (1.62), assists per-game (2.69) and points per-game (4.31).
- The Minutemen are 25 points and 14 goals ahead of Bowling Green (100) and Boston University (33) for the national lead in those categories.
- UMass' 47 goals are the most by a freshman class in the program's Hockey East era and second all-time to the 1993-94 freshman class' 162 goals. This current crop of freshmen are third all-time in program history in assists and points. The 2002-03 freshman class had 88 assists and 127 points.

Chau Chipping In
- Jump-started by a four-point weekend against Merrimack that earned him Hockey East Rookie of the Week recognition back in October, freshman Oliver Chau currently leads UMass in scoring with 21 points on the season on eight goals and 13 assists. UMass is one of six teams in college hockey (including AIC, Bentley, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Quinnipiac), being led by a freshman in scoring this season and is the only team in the country currently whose top-five scorers are all freshmen.
- On Oct. 28 on the road at Merrimack, Chau posted a three-point effort with a goal and two assists for a new season high and third multi-point game of the season. He logged his first career multi-goal game with a pair of tallies in UMass' 6-3 win over Quinnipiac on Nov. 25.
- He currently ranks 21st in the nation among freshmen in points per-game (0.72), tied for 17th in goals (8), tied for 18th in points (21) and tied for eighth in power-play points (10).
- In Hockey East, Chau is tied for fourth in freshmen scoring with 21 points.

Wischow Earns Player Of The Week Honor From Hockey East
- Sophomore goaltender Ryan Wischow was named the Hockey East Player of the Week on Nov. 27 after leading UMass to a weekend sweep of Quinnipiac. It marked Wischow's first weekly honor of his career.
-  Wischow, who was the first UMass neminder to garner Player of the Week recognition since Jonathan Quick did so in 2007, posted a pair of wins as the Minutemen swept a weekend series against the Bobcats. He logged a 2.00 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage over the two contests, making a total of 79 saves.
- Wischow stopped 47 shots in UMass' 6-3 win over the Bobcats in the Saturday contest after opening the weekend with 32 saves in a 2-1 win on the road at Quinnipiac.
- Wischow's performance against Quinnipiac capped a stellar month of November for the netminder, which saw him go 3-0-0 over four games with a 1.93 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage, making 126 saves.

Stellar Homecoming For Leonard
- After stealing the headlines following a three-point effort in his first game at the Mullins Center, Amherst native John Leonard was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week and the UMass Student-Athlete of the Week on Oct. 16.
- Leonard helped UMass to a 2-0-0 weekend with the first two multi-point games of his career.
- He registered two goals and three assists over the two contests for a five-point week, starting the weekend with a pair of helpers in a 5-4 win at Union. He followed up with a three-point night against AIC, factoring in all three of the Minutemen's goals with two goals and an assist, including his second game winner of the season.
- He currently ranks ninth nationally among freshmen in points-per game (0.80) and has 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists thus far this season.

A Baker's Dozen
- With 13 freshmen on the roster, UMass has the largest freshman class in all of Division I hockey this season. Air Force and Alaska Anchorage follow, each with 12 freshmen.
- The class is comprised of eight forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders. The group hails from three different countries with five from the United States, seven from Canada and one from Finland. Amherst native John Leonard is the closest to home, while Eetu Torpström, at 3,962 miles from Kuopio, Finland, is the furthest.

League Imports
- Though new to the Minutemen, two additions to the UMass roster for 2017-18 are not only veterans of college hockey, but of Hockey East.
- Redshirt sophomore Josh Couturier, who sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules, suited up for the Maroon and White for the first time this past fall. As a freshman at Boston College in 2015-16, Couturier saw action in 33 games and contributed six points for the Eagles on two goals and four assists. He passed his freshman year total of six points 14 games into the season and currently has two goals and 10 assists on the year through 29 games.
- In the offseason, UMass also added graduate transfer Niko Rufo to its 2017-18 roster, eligible to play immediately. Rufo, a forward from Stoneham, joined the Minutemen from Providence College and is in his final year of collegiate eligibility.
- At Providence, Rufo tallied 10 points on four goals and six assists in 56 games over four seasons, with a career-high 18 games played in both 2015-16 and 2016-17. He appeared in 11 games during the Friars' national championship season in 2014-15.
- Rufo equaled his season career high in a Friars' uniform (2g, 2a in 19 games in 2016-17) in just the third game of the season for the Minutemen. He is sixth on the team in scoring currently with 14 points on eight goals and six assists, having surpassed his career points (10) and goals totals (4) from Providence in just 13 games.

 Firsts On Firsts On Firsts
- In UMass' season opening weekend at Arizona State all 13 freshmen dressed for at least one of the two contests with 12 seeing their first collegiate action.
- Six freshmen collected their first collegiate points in the season opener at Arizona State: Austin Albrecht (assist), Marco Bozzo (goal), Mitchell Chaffee (goal), Mario Ferraro (assist), John Leonard (assist) and Cale Makar (assist).
- Redshirt sophomore Josh Couturier assisted on the squad's final tally in game one for his first point in a UMass uniform.
- On night two at Arizona State, freshmen provided two of the four goals for the Minutemen, with Jake Gaudet opening the scoring with his first of his career and John Leonard collecting the game-winner for his first career tally.
- Freshman Oliver Chau notched an assist in game two for his first career point and redshirt senior Niko Rufo logged a goal and an assist at Arizona State on Oct. 7 for his first career multi-point game.
- Freshman Matt Murray made his collegiate debut in net at Arizona State on Oct. 7 and earned his first career win. He collected his first collegiate shutout on Oct. 27 vs. Merrimack.
- Chau picked up his first collegiate goal early in the second period at Union on Oct. 13 and George Mika netted his on the power play midway through the third. To date, 47 of 77 UMass goals on the season have been scored by freshmen, including 37 of the last 60 goals.
- Freshman Philip Lagunov's assist on Niko Rufo's goal at Union on Oct. 13 marked his first collegiate point. He scored his first collegiate goal on Jan. 6 at UMass Lowell on the power play.
- In UMass' weekend series against Merrimack on Oct. 27-28, three rookie defensemen, Makar, Eetu Torpström and Ferraro registered their first collegiate goals, while Couturier picked up his first as a member of the Minutemen.
- Albrecht scored the game winner against #8/7 Providence for the Minutemen on Nov. 9 for his first career tally.
- Gaudet picked up his first three assists of his career in back-to-back nights of UMass' sweep of Quinnipiac (11/24-25).
- Junior Brett Boeing scored his first in a UMass uniform on Dec. 5 at UConn.

History Made At The 2017 NHL Draft
- It was a historic weekend for UMass at the 2017 NHL Draft as the Minutemen saw incoming freshmen Cale Makar and Mario Ferraro become the two highest draft picks in program history. Makar was selected No. 4 overall by the Colorado Avalanche and Ferraro was taken 49th overall by the San Jose Sharks.
- Makar became the first Minuteman to be selected in the first round. His No. 4 selection tied for fourth all-time in Hockey East history, as well. Prior to the 2017 NHL Draft, current Anaheim Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour had been UMass' highest draft pick going in the second round, 55th overall, to the Ducks in 2014.
- Makar amassed 135 career points on 35 goals and 100 assists over 111 regular season contests with the Brooks Bandits over the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and added 37 points (9g, 28a) in 46 career postseason games with AJHL titles with Brooks in 2016 and 2017. His laundry list of honors includes: 2016-17 AJHL Top Defenceman, 2016-17 AJHL Most Valuable Player, 2016-17 AJHL Playoff MVP, 2016-17 AJHL All-League Team, 2016-17 Western Canada Cup Top Defenceman and All-Tournament Team, 2016-17 RBC Cup Top Defenceman and Most Valuable Player (the first player to ever be named RBC Cup MVP in back-to-back seasons), 2016-17 CJHL Most Valuable Player and 2016-17 RBC National Junior A Player of the Year.
- Ferraro played his final season of junior hockey in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Des Moines Buccaneers and totaled 41 points on eight goals and 33 assists over 60 regular season contests. He garnered USHL First All-Star Team and USHL All-Rookie Team accolades after tying for first among USHL defensemen in goals and ranking second in points and assists.

Minding The Net
- Ryan Wischow is the lone returning goaltender for the Minutemen, but brings a wealth of experience into his sophomore season after seeing nearly 70% of the time in net for UMass in 2016-17.
- As a freshman, Wischow played in 27 games, starting 26 of those, for a total of 1461 minutes and logged 700 saves.
- The Green Bay, Wisconsin, native recorded a 31-save shutout in his collegiate debut against Colorado College on Oct. 7, 2016 to become the first goaltender in UMass' Division I history to post a shutout in his career debut.
- On December 13, 2016, Wischow made a career high 52 saves at Princeton, the most saves for a UMass goaltender in a regulation game since 2001.