View From Section U: With And Without Vatrano; Olczyk Hired By Niagara

The Massachusetts Minutemen will have a tough time replacing the contributions of Frank Vatrano this coming season after the star forward signed a contract with the Boston Bruins last Spring.  A couple weeks ago I quantified exactly how much Vatrano meant to the offense last year.  He accounted for almost 1 out of every 5 goals scored last year and over 10% of the total points on the team.  He took almost 20% of all shots taken by the Minutemen.  Without a doubt he will be missed and it is up to players like Dennis Kravchenko and Shane Walsh to step up and help fill the void Vatrano leaves.  But how much did Vatrano’s output factor into the strong numbers those two returners put up last season?  Probably less than you would think.

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Countdown: 32 Days ‘Til Dalhousie; Send Your Questions For UMail

The countdown until Massachusetts hockey’s exhibition game against CIS Dalhousie is at 32 days today.  That means it’s time to take a look at #32 for the Minutemen, sophomore goaltender Henry Dill.

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Countdown: 34 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

Under 5 weeks until the Massachusetts Minutemen take the ice against the Dalhousie Tigers in an exhibition match on October 10th.  That game in 34 days will give us the first look at this re-tooled Minuteman squad.  34 is also the jersey number of goaltender Alex Wakaluk who is set to start his third year for UMass.

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Brooks-UMass Pipeline Lands Minutemen Another Recruit

Yet another member of the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits has committed to join the Massachusetts hockey program once their junior career is finished.  Defenseman Cale Makar is the latest Bandit to commit to John Micheletto and his staff, due to arrive in Amherst in the fall of 2017.  Current Minutemen Maddison Smiley and Patrick Lee, incoming freshman Austin Plevy, and current Bandits Shane Bear and Kyler Nachtigall are the Brooks players who previously signed up to play at UMass in recent years.

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Countdown: 37 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

The countdown is on.  I know most sites would count down to the first regular season matchup, but that would create a lot of work in those last few days before the first game when I’ll be trying to focus posts on other topics.  Plus, it’s really the exhibition that will give fans the first real glimpse of the team to understand the full capabilities of this squad.  So when we countdown we ain’t talking about a game, not talking about a game, we’re talking about 37 days until practice. Practice.  Not talking ‘bout a game, talkin’ ‘bout practice.

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15-16 Preview: Massachusetts Hockey Points Lost/Returning

As we continue to shift focus to the coming season one of the main ways to analyze the prospects of the Massachusetts hockey team is to take stock of what they’ve lost during the season and what they have coming back.  As we know there were a number of key seniors who graduated, such as captain Troy Power and Zack LaRue.  But the biggest departures of course were underclassmen Frank Vatrano and Brandon Montour who following the season signed contracts with the Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks respectively.  However, there are still some key contributors coming back, like Dennis Kravchenko who will be looking to build off of a tremendous freshman season.  Let’s take a closer look at what the departures and returners mean on a number basis.

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View From Section U: Hockey Q&A With UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford

Hockey season is getting close!  There are just 58 days until the Minutemen take the ice against the Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs.  So with recruiting, NHL free agency, and the draft in the rearview it’s time to shift focus to the upcoming season.  The biggest offseason story for UMass hockey was the early departure of Frank Vatrano and Brandon Montour.  But probably the second biggest story affecting hockey was the appointment of Ryan Bamford to the role of Athletic Director in March.  It seems fitting then to kick off 2015-16 preview coverage on FTT with some first hand thoughts on the program from the new AD himself.

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UMass To Provide Cost Of Attendance To All Student-Athletes

Athletic Director Ryan Bamford sat down with Director of Broadcasting/Hockey Play-By-Play Announcer Cody Chrusciel to discuss his first 100 days on the job.  In the interview he broke the news that UMass will be providing Cost Of Attendance stipends as part of their scholarship packages for all of its student-athletes starting this year.

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Up To The Minute 8/10

It’s been almost two weeks since the last post so there’s a lot of miscellaneous UMass hockey stuff to catch up on.  So let’s get to it.

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2015-16 UMass Hockey Schedule Released

The Massachusetts hockey team released the schedule for the upcoming season.  Following an exhibition game against Dalhousie on October 3rd the Minutemen will open the season on 10/9 in the shadow of Pike’s Peak for a two game series with Colorado College.  The home opener will take place Friday, October 16th against Sacred Heart.

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