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Holbrook’s Kuhn shines on ice for UMass Boston

Mike Kuhn is scoring in dramatic fashion for UMass-Boston.

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Mike Kuhn is scoring in dramatic fashion for UMass-Boston.

Holbrook’s Kuhn shines
on ice for UMass-Boston

Mike Kuhn played in just 13 games his freshman season on the men’s hockey team at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He missed all of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury. In his return to the ice last season, he was a contributing factor in a 19-6-2 campaign, but he was nearly a non-factor offensively, connecting for a pair of goals with five assists.

This season, the 24-year-old junior from Holbrook has delivered seven goals and six assists for the Beacons (13-4-2, 6-4-2 ECAC East), who are ranked 12th nationally in the Division 3 polls.

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And not only is he scoring, but he is doing so in dramatic fashion.

Two of his goals have come while the Beacons were short-handed, and three of his tallies have been game winners. He also has one power play goal.

“My coaches said that I had a great year last season, but I knew I didn’t produce and that’s what I wanted to work on for this year,” said Kuhn, a 2008 graduate of Blue Hills Regional in Canton. “I’ve been working hard and doing the little things and finally it has just kind of clicked this year.”

Despite his struggles to find the net last season, he has a pedigree as a scorer. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Kuhn surpassed 100 goals at Blue Hills, and is one of only five players at the school to reach the 200 point mark. He was the Warriors’ team MVP as a senior, and also earned MVP honors in the Mayflower League.

After graduation, he played one season for the South Shore Kings, and then spent a year with the Boston Bulldogs in the AJHL, where he registered 22 goals and 30 assists in 38 games.

“He’s really coming on strong this year in the scoring column,” said
UMass-Boston coach Peter Belisle.

“Last year he got a full season under his belt and it was the first year he played in every game. He established himself as a role player and as more of a grinding forward.

“This year we started him in that role but he has flourished and earned power play time because of his big goals. He’s really changed his role with us.”

Kuhn didn’t find his scoring touch immediately.

He was pointless in UMass-Boston’s first five games before recording a pair of assists in a 3-1 win over Johnson & Wales at the end of November. Kuhn netted his first goal of the season a night later in a 5-2 win over the University of New England.

Kuhn tallied his third game winner against Saint Anselm on Jan. 17, the ninth game out of 11 where he produced at least a point. Kuhn has been held scoreless in his last three games, all UMass losses, including a pair of losses last weekend in a showdown with nationally-ranked Babson.

Kuhn, a criminal justice major, has one season of eligibility remaining because of his injury two years ago. He works year-round at the Baseball Tavern at Fenway Park, although his shift is lighter during hockey season.

A 2008 recipient of the Boston Bruins Sportsmanship Award, he is known as a relentless forechecker who isn’t afraid to mix it up in a battle for the puck.

“I just think he’s finding a new confidence and that has led to rediscovering his scoring touch,” said Belisle. “When we recruited him out of Junior A he put up good numbers. We knew it was in him. I just think in his first year or two he had the injury bug and last year he was getting chances but was snakebitten. It’s not a huge surprise that he’s putting up big goals for us. But this is nice to see.”

Here and there

Shannon Brady (Scituate) proved to be the difference in leading the Bowdoin women’s basketball team to a 73-53 win over Colby on Jan. 25. The sophomore forward, last year’s New England Small College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had two steals and a block in the win. Brady paces the Polar Bears in scoring (14.8 points per game) and her shooting percentage (58-percent) is second in the NESCAC behind to Duxbury’s Michela North (61.6 percent), a freshman at Tufts. . . .

Ari Renwick (Westwood) scored a game-high 19 points with a career-high seven steals to lead Roger Williams to a 60-46 victory over Nichols. The junior guard was 6 of 11 from the floor and made all four free throws. After making just three career starts before this season, Renwick has started all 18 games for the Seahawks (14-4, 8-2 Commonwealth Coast Conference). She is averaging 12.7 points per game (second on the team) and leads the squad with 32 steals and is second with 40 assists. Renwick had a 24-point effort, with five steals and five assists in last week’s win over Salve Regina. . . .

Mansfield’s Michael Lofton , a junior forward for Bridgewater State, posted a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds in a 60-59 loss to Salem State.

John R. Johnson can be reached at jjohnson49@gmail.com.
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