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UMass Hockey Welcomes Change to Mullins Center

The biggest change fans will notice is the switching of the player benches at the Mullins Center.

Mullins Center
Mullins Center
Jeff Cox

UMass will have a different look when it takes to the ice this fall. The Minutemen, under the direction of second-year head coach John Micheletto, had quite a bit of roster turnover during the offseason. In addition, the Minutemen will be playing their home games in a revamped Mullins Center.

According to the school, the team benches will be flipped so that UMass' bench is on the same side as the penalty box. The benches will still be on opposite sides of the arena. The attacking zones will be flipped, as well. There are some additional changes in the arena seating policies such as where the general admission seats will be and where the student section will be relocated.

The Mullins Center, which opened in 1993, is the largest rink in Hockey East with a capacity of 8,389 for hockey. Fellow Hockey East schools Merrimack and Providence are also undergoing renovations or improvements to their facilities this offseason.

In addition to the departure of four seniors, defenseman Conor Allen turned pro, signing with the New York Rangers. Micheletto cut four players, K.J. Tiefenwerth, Kevin Boyle, Rob Dongara and Eric Filiou. Boyle transferred to UMass-Lowell and Tiefenwerth to Quinnipiac. It is unclear where Filiou and Dongara will land.

Jeff Cox is a hockey reporter for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.