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Recruit Update; Getting Chippy

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
As I mentioned last week Boyle was hurt in Game 5 of his team’s second round series. Unfortunately he was not able to play again as his (and coach Darren Yopyk’s) Warriors were eliminated in the next game. Boyle did pretty well in the playoffs going 6-6-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .907 save percentage.

Mike Busillo – D – Hartford Jr Wolfpack (AtlJHL)
41 GP / 8 G / 19 A / 27 Pts / 97 PIM
Busillo’s season is over as his Wolfpack were eliminated by Walpole in the first round of the AtlJHL playoffs. He had a goal in three playoff games.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Shattuck St Mary’s (MN)
43 GP / 11 G / 42 A / 53 Pts / 66 PIM
Gillespie had 5 assists and 16 PIM in his last four games.

Zack LaRue – C/F – Markham Waxers (OPJHL)
50 GP / 33 G / 36 A / 69 Pts / 26 PIM
LaRue’s season has come to a close as his Waxers lost in the first round of the playoffs. He had a goal and four assists in five playoff games, including a game winner and a shorthanded goal.

Joseph Manno – South Kent Cardinal (NE Prep)
24 GP / 16 G / 27 A / 43 Pts
South Kent was upset in the prep playoffs despite being the top seed.

Steve Mastalerz – G – Kimball Union Wildcats (NE Prep)
35 GP / 24-7-4 / 1.63 GAA / .923 sv%
Mastalerz’s season is over after KUA lost in the first playoff game 4-3 in overtime.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
42 GP / 8 G / 7 A / 15 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh had one of his best games of the season on Sunday, scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 4-3 win for the Saints.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force (USHL)
50 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 181 PIM
Yevenko only played in one game this past week, picking up 14 penalty minutes for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. As a result, I believe, he was suspended for the following game.

It appears Greenfield Recorder writer Chip Ainsworth has written another column calling for Toot’s head but this one also mentioned Fear The Triangle in a disparaging way.  I say another column because Ainsworth has been beating his “Fire Toot” drum since about 2005 or so. When the team made the NCAAs in 2007 he chalked it up to the luck of having Jon Quick in the net and that a “trained seal” could’ve made the NCAA tournament with that team (seals apparently being naturally good recruiters) and kept right on drumming. The Recorder is a pay site but a full transcript is posted, for the time being anyway, at UMasshoops.com. However, just so they don’t send me some kind of cease and desist letter, I’ll only repost the part that mentions FTT:

But like the Energizer Bunny, McCutcheon keeps marching along with his broken drumstick of a coach because nobody cares. Beside this lemonade stand of a column, media scrutiny of McCutcheon’s and Cahoon’s foibles is practically nonexistent. Boston’s two daily newspapers think the roads turn to dirt out here, and the two regional papers report the scores and throw in an occasional feature, but have never gone for the jugular. Meanwhile the hockey team’s only dedicated blog — “Fear the Triangle” — should more aptly be called “Fear the Truth.”

First of all, “the two regional papers report the scores and throw in an occasional feature” is a slap in the face of Matt Vautour and especially Dick Baker.  Baker has brought the Republican’s coverage of the hockey team to a whole new level with his regular stories and especially the blog he started this past season.  Regular FTT readers know that I regularly share the insight and information that Baker has written regarding the team.

Secondly, maybe it’s just me but I think it’s pretty weak for a professional writer to call out a non-profit fan blog, written by someone in their own spare time, in one of his columns because he has a problem with the coverage. Of course if readers want to call me out, which has been done on occasion, I understand that because that’s part of the whole dynamic of the blog itself. You folks are my customers. Hell, I don’t even care if players call me out since I could never do what they do.  Though I would hope in the end they realize I’m just trying to help fellow fans follow them and the team.  But I think some guy cashing a paycheck as a writer, excuse me, award-winning columnist taking shot at a non-journalist who writes about team as a hobby is, as they say, bush league.  Sure, I’m a big boy and I can take it but at the same time I think he’d be unhappy if I went out of my way crap all over his MS Excel skills, inability to construct a proper ROI calculation from scratch, or  inability to accurately assess a company’s financial well-being.  All things I get paid for.

Thirdly, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think I’m pretty truthful and rational when it comes to my assessment of the UMass hockey program. Or at the very least as rational as can be considering I write from a fan’s perspective and therefore I fully realize at times emotion will come through in my writing. Not being a journalist or having aspirations to be a journalist frees me from having to purge emotional attachment from my posts. Regardless, I think I’m pretty fair. I have criticized and celebrated players, coaches, administrators, fans, marketing personnel, and anyone else associated with the team when I thought it justified. I will say do everything I can to keep my criticism in context and from being personal, especially when it comes to the players. But I guess in Ainsworth’s eyes I’m sitting here writing about the rainbows and daisies that surround the hockey program while actually fearing the truth.

Specifically regarding Cahoon and his status as coach of this program, I need only to point you back to last summer when he signed his most recent contract extension (news first reported here on FTT by the way) and the case I made that it was what was best for the program. Nothing has changed for me since I wrote that in September. The team went out and had pretty much the exact season I expected, so why would my opinion change? Next season when all these talented freshmen turn into sophomores is when my expectations increase.  I’ll get more into that at a later date.  I’ve already been composing in my head an early look at next season to publish sometime after the Frozen Four. But I just point that out to say that I have very specific expectations of achievement for the final two years of Cahoon’s contract and if they’re not being met believe me you’ll be hearing about it.

Lastly, one thing I should have done in my season recap when thanking all you readers is to also thank Associate Director of Media Relations John Sinnett who was nice enough to offer me some of the same access to the team that he offers to the real media. Because of that I was able to attend Hockey East Media Day, some practices, and a good number of the post-game press conferences after home games. And because of that I got to meet and speak with some of the people who cover the team and Hockey East like Dick Baker and Andrew Merritt (I’d already met Matty Vautour since we happen to make up two of just a handful of Colorado fans in the state/GO BUFFS!). You know who I didn’t get to meet or even see in all that time where I had the same access as the media? Oh yeah, Chip Ainsworth. Those who read his columns in the Recorder know why. He’s one of the many New England snowbirds who head south to Florida for the winter. One can just picture him sitting poolside, pina colada next to him, pounding away furiously on his laptop keyboard about his profound disappointment in the state of the UMass hockey program and its coach. Yet, his shadow rarely graces the inside of the Mullins Center. What profound insight he must have of the sport to be able to know more about the daily trials and tribulations of the Minutemen from his lounge chair a thousand miles away than those fans and reporters who go to every game. One piece of advice, oh wise hockey sage. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

The Springfield Falcons coach is already singing the praises of Paul Dainton after one practice.  I’m currently planning on attending Saturday’s Falcons-Sharks game in Worcester with some fellow UMass fans to see Dainton, Matt Irwin, and Cory Quirk.  Hopefully he gets time in net.  And I hope James Marcou recovers from his concussion soon as well.

This Bleacher Report post outlines how this year’s San Jose Sharks rookie crop, including Justin Braun, made it to the NHL.

The Portland Press Herald is reporting that Boston College defenseman Brian Dumoulin will be returning to Chestnut Hill next year. As much as I hate that UMass will have to face him again, I love to see college players staying in school.

CollegeHockey News has a very interesting analysis of this year’s tournament selection and placement.

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30 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  March 22, 2011

    dont waste your breath with that moron.

    • Yeah, probably shouldn’t have wasted my time with a response, but I’ve never been very good at turning the other cheek.

      • Jason W.

         /  March 22, 2011

        I never believed in not responding when someone attacks unprovoked. Especially when its an “award winning” writer who has no reason to attack. He deserves to be smacked around. And embarrassed.

        • Well in addtion to his shot at FTT, to insinuate his “colleagues” Matty V and Dick Baker aren’t doing their jobs as journalists is completely unnecessary as well. I hope they give him a piece of their mind next time they see him aga….wait a second….nevermind.

  2. heavydrexler

     /  March 22, 2011

    Why do you not have a rating at the bottom of your posts so I could rate this 5 stars from 25 different IP addresses?

    • Because I don’t want you throwing off my stats.

      Shouldn’t you be mad about him saying there’s only one dedicated blog to the hockey team?

      • Argueably, Fight Mass covers more than just Hockey, while FTT is dedicated to primarily Hockey, so maybe he doesnt see fight mass as a hockey blog, but something more like minutemen nation where he covers all sports.

        I will admit fight mass is mostly hockey though, and theres a good chance has hasn’t found it since it is fairly recent.

        • Shut up with your logic, this is a huge slap in the face in several ways. In fact, I’m sure I am insulted in ways I have yet to realize.

  3. justin

     /  March 22, 2011

    Nice.

    What a dink Chip is. Keep doing what you’re doing- It’s your objective yet passionate analysis that makes you one of the go to guys for UMass hockey info.

    • Oh believe me, if I’m ever disuaded from writing this blog, Chip Ainsworth is not going to the reason. Thanks Justin. Glad you find it worthwhile. I really respect your knowledge of the game.

  4. Jason W.

     /  March 22, 2011

    So what is Chip trying to do here? $h!t all over everyone he can? Are there any bridges left for him to burn?

    I’d care and listen to this joke of an “award winning journalist” if he attended enough games to actually form an opinion. To form an opinion based on boxscores, game reports and notes from other people is weak, especially for an “award winning journalist.”

    I dont always agree with whats written here, but I love the hard work and dedication put into it by a FAN. One who follows this team all over New England. And for this dedication he gets $h!t on by a hack “award winning journalist.” I’d expect this from a Lowell Blog, not a so-called professional writer.

    • Thanks Jason. And in the future feel free to comment if you disagree with what I write here. I’m always interested to see how other people are viewing the games/program. I do everything I can to let people use the comment section freely to discuss their opinions of the team.

      • Jason W.

         /  March 22, 2011

        One thing I love is reading you recaps for games i’ve attended and seeing how differently we viewed the same game. Makes me question what I was really seeing. :-)

  5. Gamester

     /  March 22, 2011

    Are you sure this isn’t the CHB (Shaugnessey) mailing one in for a different paper for a few extra bucks? I mean, Provencher up at the Union Leader had to turn to pimping for extra cash

    All joking aside, its a fan blog and I think you are pumping the best information out there (hat tip to Baker though, but the only reason I know about that is FTT). I think at times you’ve actually been harder on the team and toot than I would be, but I am a notorious homer for my teams.

    Who’s hurt, prospect analysis, updates on Umass in the pros, indispensable game day tweets when I’m on the road— all FTT innovations that did not exist prior to your blog (at least to my knowledge) and left me really in the dark about the team.

    Put it this way– I wouldn’t spend a cent for mail in in sports writing (I’m looking at you, once proud Boston Globe) but I would pull out my wallet to support FTT- Enough said.

    • Thanks Gamester. Just glad I’m able to help you and other fans follow the team more closely.

  6. For the record, I have never read Chip’s blog, nor has he gotten any traffic through the UMass Hockey Facebook page that I run.

    And now that he is wasting his effort calling out other blogs, I don’t think I will be starting anytime soon.

    • Well if you notice I never thought his UMass hockey coverage merited a link from FTT either. However if I ever add a feature about the weather in Florida, I’ll keep him in mind.

  7. Bullmoose

     /  March 22, 2011

    I’ll chime in. Really appreciate the work (yes, I said the work, because it is hard work) that you do on this blog. The world of UMass hockey wouldn’t be the same without this website. To be frank, I have no idea how you manage to stay employed and married while doing all that research and travel that goes into writing this blog. Keep up the good work and ignore the punks!

  8. Bubba

     /  March 22, 2011

    I’ll also add a few points. As a person who was once very much a die hard fan of the team, I think you offer a service that was badly needed. You give a fans account with a passion that a paid report shouldn’t be offering. Obviously Mr. Award winner doesn’t understand he should not so obviously shown the axe he has to grind with Don Cahoon.

    I appreciate your coverage and understand it is from a ‘fan’ bias, however in my opinion, it doesn’t cross into maroon colored glasses territory. I don’t know how you find the time to offer not only so much in quantity of coverage but also so much quality.

    As a person who has had to step back from my UMass hockey ‘addiction’ I have realized that since I am geographically far from the team and can’t make the vast majority of the games, I also need to step back from judging the team, maybe that is a lesson Mr. Chimp can learn. (what?? I thought name calling was ok with Chip) ;)

    Keep up the good work FTT

    • Glad I can help one of the original Section Uers keep track of the team, Bubba.

  9. massattack

     /  March 23, 2011

    Im not Toot’s biggest fan, but you have been more than fair. This blog is phenomenal. Keep up the good work

  10. Anonymous

     /  March 23, 2011

    This doesn’t really go with any of the comments but I believe Mike Donnellan no longer goes here; that could be why he didn’t play much but I’m not sure why he left or when. If I find out more I’ll post it.

    • Thanks. I’ve heard those same rumors but also haven’t been able to confirm anything. It wouldn’t surprise me. He came here to play hockey and hasn’t been able to. Hopefully he lands on his feet (skates?) somewhere else.

  11. Puck Pagan

     /  March 24, 2011

    As most of you know I am not a big Toot fan, however I know Chip. I am not sure what has caused his vitriol however I do know that he is a trust fund baby and likes his budweiser. He gets away with writing what he wants because he does not need the money but the recorder does need somebody to fill space in their rag.

    • jjmc85

       /  March 24, 2011

      Perhaps they should talk to Rocks about reprinting Fear the Triangle posts instead?

      • Or they could go back to employing someone who actually knows a thing or two about UMass sports like George Miller.

    • “likes his Budweiser”

      Ah I see, he has a disdain for self-described beer snobs like myself. ;)

  1. This Week in Disrespect: Chip Shot « Fight Mass – is it Friday yet?
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