BC Recap

Well, with four games under their belts, including one against the team that ended their season last Spring, there’s enough evidence to have an opinion on this year’s team.  And unfortunately my conclusion is that this team isn’t any better than last year’s.  The makeup of the team is a little different, but overall I haven’t seen anything through the four games to make me think they’ll be significantly better than last year.  Certainly what was seen in Conte Forum last night didn’t feel any different from what we saw last February or March.  Now obviously I didn’t expect with an offseason under their belts they were going in to beat an excellent BC team at home.  But I at least thought they would be able to compete with them a little closer than last year.  Instead they were dominated and for most of the time.

Now if there was going to be one weakness going into the game it would be goaltending, right?  After all, Jeff Teglia was making his first start of the year.  No.  In fact UMass got strong goaltending from Teglia.  What they didn’t get was offense.  For all the hype about how this UMass team was performing much better offensively, they looked just as anemic as last year.  They had only two shots during the entire second period.  The power play went 0 for 7 with just four shots on net.  And those that needed to score didn’t, with one goal coming from a freshman playing only his second shift in his UMass career and the second coming from a defenseman late.  Now some of the blame goes to the players who did not challenge BC goaltender Parker Milner.  They can also take the blame for taking way too many penalties.  Ten all in all, including 6 from the team’s co-captains.  That’s unacceptable.

But Toot Cahoon can take some of the blame as well.  After last weekend when the T.J. Syner/Danny Hobbs/Mike Pereira quickly established itself as one of the most productive lines in all of college hockey, he decided to split them up.  The result?  No goals, no assists.  Danny Hobbs who dominated last weekend generated just one shot.  I’m sure Toot was thinking he wanted to distribute the potent offense to more than one lines.  Instead he got four lines that cannot score at all.  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  I was in total shock when I heard before the game that the lines were being split.  I actually had to flag down Dick Baker to confirm it via the line sheet.  Would keeping the top line together have made a difference tonight?  Who knows.  Probably not given that UMass had to play shorthanded so often.  But changing the lines tonight was totally unnecessary.  UMass split last weekend because of goaltending, not offense.  So why change it up except for the sake of changing it up?

The one moment for UMass fans to cheer was Andrew Tegeler scoring a goal in the early moments of his first every game.  The goal also marked the first point for Oleg Yevenko.  Overall Tegeler played pretty well and almost came up with another goal in the third.  Beyond that, there honestly wasn’t a lot to cheer about.  It wasn’t an entertaining game for anyone with the constant whistles as a result of two no-name Hockey East refs sending players from both teams off every couple minutes.

Back to the drawing board for UMass.  Like last year they seem incapable of playing an all around good game.  When the offense is working they get poor goaltending and lose.  When the goaltending is good they can’t score.  When they get both, they’re unable to do little things, like clear the puck, to seal a win.  It’s still early in the year but so far this one is looking like a repeat of last season.  The only difference is UMass had a relatively workable schedule early last year.  They don’t have that luxury this season.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Jeff Teglia

Seems a little odd that the player of the game goes to the guy who gave up four goals, but if Teglia doesn’t play as well as he did this game is easily 6-2 of 7-2.  There was really only one of the four goals that I thought was soft and that’s when Johnny Gaudreau caught Teglia leaning the wrong way and put it between the post and his skate.  The other three goals were because BC forwards worked for it or the UMass defense was caught watching, like the first goal.  No one on defense for UMass looked good last night and Teglia had to battle to keep the game close.  Overall Teglia looked good.  Good enough to get at least one of the games in net against BU next weekend.

Here’s the recap from the Republican.

The Herald recap says Billy Arnold was the star.

Joe Meloni of College Hockey News has his thoughts.

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11 Comments

  1. paulie

     /  October 22, 2011

    It all starts at the top same thing over and over

  2. It was awful last night. No offense. No defense. No coaching.

    Here’s some observations I had:

    Teglia did keep the score reasonable. But I just dont like the way he plays in net. Its the first time Ive seen him play live, and it gives me butterflies watching him. Maybe his style is looking like that fish flopping around in the Faith No More video, but it just made me uncomfortable because that style will be taken advantage of by the better puck handling teams. He got lucky many times BC couldnt lift the puck up over him. He covered the ice real well, but the top is always wide open. I hope he keeps working with the goaltending coach to improve his style as he seems to have decent instincts in net.

    Refs- Most of the calls were legitimate (from my mediocre view of the ice). Wife kept saying how it seemed like every minute there was another penalty. UMass looked like an inferior team with the penalties they took. The Syner 10 min penalty… dumb move, but I can understand his frustration. But he is the captain and needs to lead.

    Defense- How do you leave a player wide open in front of the net? How do you constantly forget about the trail player coming down the center of the ice? The defense played poorly, but my biggest problem was our forwards not getting back on defense. Over and over again as BC began a 3 on 2 out forwards skated like it was a bag skate. No heart. No emotion, not trying to bust their ass down the ice.

    Offense- Can ANYONE on this team, other than TJ Syner, carry a puck up ice and not lose control of it? Can anyone make a pass tape to tape? The offense will never be any good if we cant control the puck and pass properly. Sad thing is this is common for UMass teams.. the only teams that were able to pass and carry the puck properly were the successful ones. This team goes nowhere this year if they cant pass or carry the puck.

    I liked the fact we were hitting pretty good. Seemed to take BC off their game… Then again I dont feel like BC played a good game. They seemed to be playing down to our level most of the game, and were trying to be too cute, trying to make the nice play instead of just attacking. Plus they took some of the dumbest penalties i’ve ever seen. Snowing the goalie? Really? Punching out guy in the head? This is what bad teams do.

    This team has a lot to work on. Not that I expected a whole lot this season, but I expected them to show some improvement. I just dont see it yet.

  3. Carson

     /  October 22, 2011

    i think breaking up hobbs-pereira-syner was an extremely stupid idea…especially against a team like BC where we knew we would need offense. i think a line of sheary-gracel-whoever (larue? power? tegeler?) could eventually provide relatively consistent secondary scoring if we stick with it and let them develop some chemistry.

  4. mel

     /  October 22, 2011

    Looks to me like this team will be a bottom feeder this year. I know I will get jumped on for this, because I don’t have a replacement in mind, but I really believe it starts from the top and it is time to shake things up and bring in some new blood. This team looks no different than last year and that is not acceptable. People were saying Merrimack got lucky with Dacosta. Well, he is gone and the team is off to a good start again this year. How can a school with an MDC rink have what appears to be a better program and better future than the state university with top notch facilities? Barring a turnaround, this should be Toot’s last year. But, since they signed him to an extension, it probably will not be,

  5. Justin

     /  October 22, 2011

    Solid if not mildly depressing write-up.

    This post concerns me for two reasons. Firstly that you feel you have already gotten an idea of this team after 5 games- I’m not doubting you (and I trust your acumen), but that’s tough. There’s always room for improvement over the course of the season, but for you (and others) to feel transported right back to last year is not a good sign. Also, the Meloni piece is really sad that he finds the talent level so low at UMass. The argument from the most patient of UMass hockey fans has long been that the coaching staff has been recruiting well, but if that’s not true, ugh.

    It sure looks like a rough run over the next 4 games. Distinct possibility that this team is looking at 1-6-1 (although I think we steal a game from BU), and at that point we’ll see what this coaching staff can do with their team.

  6. Bullmoose

     /  October 23, 2011

    Offense was anemic, but one has to remember that BC has very good defense… They really swarmed our guys…

    Ugh, another depressing weekend for UMass sports (well, except for women’s soccer…)

    Also, I think that was a second point for Yevenko, as I recall that he got one at NU… maybe that was taken away from him…

    • Anon

       /  October 23, 2011

      I think that the Hobbs/Pereira/Syner line should be put back together. Pereira played a good game going up and down the ice and really was the only guy developing plays out there against BC. What are your thoughts on the line changes? What do you think should be done?

  7. Anonymous

     /  October 23, 2011

    no way cahoon should have changed lines…who changes a leading scoring line in the nation? who? my god does toot understand his job is to win hockey east games…not just show up and “play well” and “try to improve for the next game”??!!
    if holy cross can beat bu at their house, we better at least split this weekend!

  1. Around Hockey East 10/25 | Husky Hockey
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