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Weekend Preview
October 26, 2006
RESTED MINUTEMEN FACE STERN TESTS AT UNH, MAINE
UML, BU, PC in HE tilts; NU, BC, UVM on the road; MC hosts Brown
(Download Release in PDF Format)

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Senior captain Matt Anderson and the Minutemen hit the road to face New Hampshire and Maine this weekend.
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The UMass Minutemen spent last weekend pushing each other around in the squad’s annual Maroon & White Scrimmage. This week, Coach Don “Toot” Cahoon’s charges can’t afford any rust on their blades, as they prepare to tangle with two of the league’s more formidable opponents, based on early season returns. Tonight, the Minutemen visit Durham, NH, to take on a Wildcat team that scored two impressive victories against Colorado College last weekend. Then, following a travel day to Orono, UMass faces undefeated Maine.

The Black Bears and the Wildcats combined for one of the most impressive road weekends ever for Hockey East, with Maine taking two games from highly ranked North Dakota, and New Hampshire winning a pair against Colorado College. Maine’s feat, fueled by balanced scoring and airtight defense, propelled the Black Bears to the top of national polls, where Coach Tim Whitehead’s crew is sitting on a perfect 5-0-0 record.

The Wildcats also enter the weekend undefeated in regular season play, after the twin wins in Colorado Springs. The only hiccup on UNH’s schedule was a preseason exhibition loss to St. Francis Xavier, which seems to have motivated Coach Dick Umile’s squad. After grabbing a tight 4-3 win over Colorado College in their season opener last Friday, the ‘Cats steamrolled the Tigers the next night, 7-2. That sweep pushed UNH to No. 8 in the polls. Tonight’s game is the league opener for UNH and UMass. Maine’s match Saturday against UMass will be the league opener for the Bears.

Northeastern and Boston College, meanwhile, are on the road. In a rematch of last year’s epic NCAA title game, Coach Jerry York’s 5thranked Eagles will lock horns with defending national champion Wisconsin for two games in Madison. Boston College displayed resiliency last weekend, rebounding from a lopsided loss to Notre Dame to knock out York’s former team, Bowling Green, and they’ll need that same tenacity against the 2nd-ranked Badgers.

Northeastern’s task isn’t any easier, as the Huskies head to Ann Arbor to take on perennial powerhouse Michigan. The 6th-ranked Wolverines are always a threat to put points on the board, and the Northeastern D will need to be as stingy as it was last Saturday, when it whitewashed Union, 5-0, for junior Adam Geragosian’s (North Andover, MA) second career shutout.

Closer to home, UMass Lowell is slated to play Boston University and Providence in a pair of league tilts. On Friday, BU hosts the River Hawks, who are coming off their strongest showing of the young season, a 7-4 win over Niagara in the Mutual of Omaha Stampede. Coach Jack Parker’s 4th-ranked Terriers, after tying Rensselaer in their season opener, have shown some gumption, taking two tough contests from Northeastern (4-3) and Merrimack (4-1). The next night, the River Hawks host the Providence Friars, who are looking to get back on the winning track after losses to Bowling Green and Notre Dame last week. Coach Tim Army will be looking for more offensive production, as the Friars only tallied three goals in the last two games.

Merrimack is also looking for a winning formula, though the Warriors had a solid showing against the Holy Cross Crusaders on Tuesday, carrying the play in the last two periods before bowing, 2-1. On the bright side, freshman Andrew Braithwaite (Kingston, ON) was strong in the nets for Coach Mark Dennehy. The 19th-ranked Vermont Catamounts, coming off two heartbreaking, one-goal losses to Michigan Tech, travels to New Hampshire to battle 17thranked Dartmouth on Sunday.

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