Notebook: UMass women’s lacrosse on the verge of history; Hockey alumni honored by AHL

  • Anaheim Ducks' Brandon Montour skates before the start of an NHL preseason hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) Matt Vautour

  • Boston Bruins’ Frank Vatrano (72) is congratulated by teammates Lee Stempniak (20) and John-Michael Liles (26) after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Friday, April 1, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst) Billy Hurst

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 4/7/2016 8:20:58 PM

AMHERST — After speaking at UMass’ weekly sports luncheon Wednesday, women’s lacrosse coach Angela McMahon said she honestly wouldn’t usually know how many consecutive conference games her team had won.

But since she’d just been asked about the streak, McMahon said she knew her team’s 38 straight Atlantic 10 victories tied the longest conference winning streak ever in her sport.

She’ll get the chance to break the record Friday at 6 p.m. against George Mason in Virginia.

“I think it’s a testament to all the teams that we’ve had, and the alumni that started that run,” McMahon said. “It’s up to the players to keep that going with all the work they’ve put in. As you go along and the wins accumulate, there comes a point where you don’t want to be the team that lets all those alumni down. There’s a little bit of tradition.”

The Patriots are playing the best they ever have since joining the conference in the summer of 2013. GMU is 7-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

“Every conference game is going to be a tough game because there’s a target on our back,” McMahon said. “George Mason is playing well. They’re balanced in their scoring. They play really good defense. We have to play a full 60 minutes and play well to hopefully come away being successful.”

UMass will stay in the Mid-Atlantic and play at George Washington at noon Sunday.

HOCKEY ALUMNI HONORED — One-third of the AHL’s postseason all-league team was former Minutemen. Frank Vatrano, who is currently with the Boston Bruins, had 33 goals and 16 assists in 33 games for the Providence Bruins.

His former UMass teammate Brandon Montour had 11 goals and 41 points in 63 games for the San Diego Gulls, the top minor league team of the Anaheim Ducks.

CHALLENGE FOR MEN’S LACROSSE — UMass (4-5) won’t have an easy task trying to get back to .500. Towson (9-1, 1-0 CAA), which is No. 6 in the Inside Lacrosse poll and No. 7 in the USILA rankings, is the seventh ranked team the Minutemen have played this season.

UMass is trying to bounce back after a loss at Delaware. Towson has won four straight since losing to Johns Hopkins on March 12.

SOFTBALL — After struggling in nonconference play, UMass (9-18, 3-2 Atlantic 10) has started to find itself in league play.

Led by A-10 Pitcher of the Week Meg Colleran, the Minutewomen host Saint Joseph’s in a three-game series this weekend — a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday. Games start at noon each day.

The Hawks (12-14-1, 1-4-1) have struggled since the start of league play.

BASEBALL — UMass (5-11, 1-2 A-10) will try to get to or above .500 in league play with three games at St. Bonaventure: Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday at 1 and Sunday at noon.

The Bonnies (12-10-1) are 0-3 in the Atlantic 10.

UMass’ first round Beanpot game vs. Boston College, which was rained out Wednesday in Amherst, will now be April 13 at Boston College.

The Beanpot semifinals and consolation games are April 20 in Northboro.

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




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