Three years ago, Head Coach Greg Carvel took over a UMass hockey team that went 8-24-4 the year prior. Today, they stand at 12-1, ranked number one in all of college hockey. After a tough first year and a huge rebound last year, expectations were higher than they had been in a long time for UMass Hockey. Maybe even unfairly so. But Carvel has taken this team far beyond said expectations.
With the best record in the country and arguably the most impressive résumé in the NCAA, UMass has already made statement wins against Ohio State and Princeton, along with a sweep of Providence. Outscoring teams 53-26 over the course of the season, the team has quickly made its case for belonging in the top spot.
The Minutemen, who the preseason coaches’ poll called the sixth-best team in the Hockey East, now own a three-game lead for first place in the toughest conference in hockey. The speed at which Carvel has turned things around is unprecedented. After implementing an entirely new culture, attitude, and set of expectations through the slogan “NewMass," University of Massachusetts is all the talk of college hockey.
Being in the stands to watch an elite team's rise from unranked to #1 overall in one of the most electric venues in college hockey has been easily my favorite weekend activity on campus. This past Friday night, I was joined by 7,123 other fans inside the Mullins Center as UMass beat UConn 7-4. There is no way of describing the environment in the building after coming back from an early deficit and hanging seven points on our biggest rival.
You’ll just have to experience it for yourself. Luckily for you there will be ten more opportunities to attend a regular season game in the Mullins Center this season, including marquee matchups like this Saturday vs #9 Quinnipiac.