UMass hockey ready for Boston College; Coach’s contract official



Last modified: Saturday, November 10, 2012

AMHERST — After clearing their first hurdle of the 2012-13 season with relative ease, the University of Massachusetts hockey team faces a much bigger one when No. 3 Boston College comes to the Mullins Center, Friday at 7 p.m.

“BC is one of the top teams in the country. Beating UConn was a big win for us last weekend. We took care of business,” junior defenseman Adam Phillips said. “Now this is another step, a Hockey East game against one of the top teams in the nation. It’s definitely a bigger challenge for us.”

BC swept the Minutemen in the teams’ first-round playoff series last year, but UMass won both regular season games at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen are confident playing at home, especially with a sellout expected.

“It’s easy to get up for a game against BC. They’re always going to be ranked as one of the top teams in the country. You’re always going to have a good crowd. It’s always easy to get up for a game like that,” Phillips said. “The adrenaline is always going with all the students here. It’s fun playing here. Our team feeds off that. It gets us going a little bit. We definitely play better here.”

Junior forward Conor Sheary agreed.

“Any team that comes into our building we know we can beat. BC, last year we beat them twice at home. That’s huge for our confidence,” he said. “We’re approaching it like we would any game even though they have the high ranking. We’re going to go out and play our best.”

Boston College entered the season ranked No. 1 in the country and in Hockey East’s preseason poll. The Eagles fell to Northeastern, 3-1 Saturday night.

“Anytime you get into league play it’s going to be ramped up. We’re the best conference in the country so league play is always going to be a bigger grind, a bigger challenge for us,” UMass coach John Micheletto said. “We’re a week older, a week more experienced and hopefully a week better. I’m certain that Coach (Jerry) York is going to have his guys a little bit angry coming off last week’s result for them. I’m sure they’re going to be as sharp as always.”

BC returns 15 players from last year’s national championship team, including senior goalie Parker Milner, who was 29-5-0 with a 1.66 goals against average last year. Sophomore Johnny Gaudreau is their top returning scorer after notching 21 goals and 23 assists last year.

MICHELETTO CONTRACT OFFICIAL — Micheletto, athletic director John McCutcheon and chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy signed the coach’s five-year contract Tuesday.

The former Vermont assistant will be paid a $210,000 base salary.

Bonuses include:

∎e_STnS$3,000 for finishing in the top half of Hockey East

∎e_STnS$5,000 for advancing to the semifinals of the Hockey East tournament

∎e_STnS$10,000 for winning the Hockey East tournament

∎e_STnS$10,000 for each win in the NCAA tournament

∎e_STnSA month’s salary ($17,500) for winning the national championship

∎e_STnS$5,000 for team academic progress rate score of over 950

∎e_STnS$7,500 for team APR score over 980

If Micheletto leaves prior to July 17, 2014, he would have to pay UMass a $175,000 penalty. After that date and through the end of the contract, the penalty is $100,000.

“We know pretty much where the levels are in the league and nationally. We think John is going to do a good job,” McCutcheon said. “We thought that was a good offer and obviously he did too. Given his experience I think it’s a competitive contract and a fair one.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.


 


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