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Recruits, Polls, & Awards

Given three games in the next five days the weekly post cadence is being compressed so tonight we’ll take a look at how the recruits are doing, the big Hockey East news in the polls, and find out if Eichel swept the conference awards for last week.

There won’t be a separate preview for the Turkey Tuesday Tilt.  For reference you can read last week’s preview of the Vermont game and my thoughts following Saturday’s game.  Despite the offensive eruption that occurred on Saturday, it’s still Vermont’s defense and goaltending that will likely decide the game.  Brody Hoffman made some key saves early on Saturday that helped set the tone for the Catamounts.  Still I don’t think too many UMass fans will be focused on what’s going on with the Cats and will be more concerned with how their team reacts to getting beaten 11-1 just days ago.  Personally I think we’ll likely see a very different UMass team than what they witnessed on Saturday.  Will it be enough to get the win?  I don’t know.  But even a hard-fought, close affair will be a vast improvement.

Brandon Montour – D – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) – Dec 2014
15 GP /4 G / 14 A / 18 Pts / 30 PIM /-3
Montour had to sit out Waterloo’s lone game this past weekend due to a suspension for hitting from behind.

Brandon Egli – D – Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 2015
15 GP / 0 G /2 A / 2 Pts / 17 PIM
Egli had an assist this past week.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2015 or 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy is still nursing an injury that is delaying his debut for the Kings.

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015
24 GP / 21 G / 13 A / 34 Pts / 41PIM
Keats continues to dominate the BCHL with two goals and an assist in two games this past week.  Keats is 2nd in the BCHL in goals, 3rd in points, and 3rd in PPG.

Austin Plevy – C – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2015
26 GP / 16 G /26 A / 42 Pts / 48 PIM
Plevy had another big week, scoring three goals to go with an assists in three games.  Plevy is 4th in the AJHL in goals, 2nd in assists, 1st in points.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
27 GP / 0 G / 13 A / 13 Pts / 37 PIM
Bear had an assist in his last three games.

Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (NAHL) – 2016 or 2017
3 GP / 0 G / 0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM / –2  Des Moines (USHL)
7 GP/ 2 G/ 1 A / 3 Pts / 2 PIM / 0 Wenatchee (NAHL)
Last week I reported that Conzo had four goals in his first few games with his new team.  It appears the NAHL website double counted one of the games.  So he actually has two goals and an assist since moving leagues.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
27 GP / 6 G / 6 A / 12 Pts / 39 PIM
Nachtigall had a goal and and two assists in his last three games.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Team Wisconsin U18 (Elite)/Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016
21 GP / 12 G / 12 A / 24 Pts / 8 PIM  Team Wisconsin U18
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Madison Memorial
Madison Memorial’s season kicks off on November 28th.

John Leonard – F – Springfield Rifles (Mass Selects)/Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
14 GP / 21 G / 11 A / 32 Pts  Springfield Rifles
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts  Springfield Cathedral
Cathedral’s season starts December 13th.

The big news around Hockey East today is that Boston University gained the top spot in this week’s USCHO poll.  It didn’t take second year head coach David Quinn long to get BU back to where they were customarily used to in college hockey.  It’s unknown if they can remain so highly ranked for the rest of the year, but you have to be impressed to see them bounce back from being the 9th best team in Hockey East last year to tops in the nation in such a short time.

Lowell moved up a spot to #4 after taking three points at Notre Dame.  Boston College stays at #12 despite beating UMass and Maine during the weekend.  The Catamounts 11 goal effort over the Minutemen wasn’t enough to make up for their loss to UConn in the voters’ eyes and they dropped a couple spots to #13.  This weekend’s opponent, Quinnipiac, stayed pat at #14.  Providence dropped to #20 despite beating UNH this past weekend.  The Friars and Wildcats were supposed to play two but Friday’s game was postponed due to ice problems.

Elsewhere in Hockey East Merrimack and Northeastern split a series that saw the Warriors lose one of their goaltenders.  Maine got swept by BU and BC in a trip to the Hub.  The Terriers dominated UConn 5-2 on Saturday.  #1 BU will be action on Tuesday as well taking on Harvard, because it’s not like they’re already slated to play in the Beanpot or anything (oh wait, they are).

USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll

November 24, 2014

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Boston University (42) 8- 1-1 988 3
2 North Dakota ( 3) 9- 3-1 889 2
3 Minnesota ( 1) 7- 3-0 825 4
4 Massachusetts-Lowell 8- 2-3 806 5
5 Miami 10- 4-0 764 7
6 Michigan Tech 10- 2-0 748 1
7 Minnesota State ( 3) 9- 3-0 746 9
8 Minnesota-Duluth ( 1) 9- 5-0 615 8
9 Colgate 9- 4-1 575 6
10 Denver 8- 3-0 572 10
11 Nebraska-Omaha 7- 2-1 435 13
12 Boston College 7- 5-0 425 12
13 Vermont 8- 3-1 423 11
14 Quinnipiac 8- 3-1 319 14
15 Bowling Green 10- 3-1 292 18
16 St. Cloud State 5- 6-1 249 16
17 Union 6- 5-1 214 15
18 Harvard 5- 1-2 147 NR
19 Northern Michigan 7- 2-1 141 17
20 Providence 5- 5-1 115 19
Others receiving votes: Robert Morris 96, St. Lawrence 48, Merrimack 30, Yale 17, Penn State 15, Ferris State 4, Notre Dame 2.


  Conference     Overall
    GP W-L-T   PTS GF-GA     GP W-L-T GF-GA
1 Vermont 10 6-3-1   13 34-19     12 8-3-1 39-20
  Boston University 8 6-1-1   13 33-16     10 8-1-1 37-18
3 Mass.-Lowell 7 5-0-2   12 28-10     13 8-2-3 49-32
4 Merrimack 7 4-3-0   8 16-13     13 8-4-1 36-26
  Providence 7 4-3-0   8 11-10     11 5-5-1 20-24
6 Boston College 6 3-3-0   6 18-16     12 7-5-0 39-31
  Notre Dame 6 2-2-2   6 12-15     14 6-6-2 39-37
8 Connecticut 6 2-3-1   5 11-14     13 3-6-4 22-31
  Northeastern 8 2-5-1   5 17-28     12 2-9-1 22-41
10 Maine 7 2-5-0   4 17-25     13 3-9-1 28-45
11 New Hampshire 5 1-4-0   2 8-16     11 4-7-0 29-30
  Massachusetts 7 1-6-0   2 16-39     10 3-7-0 30-48


Jack Eichel won the Hockey East Player of the Week Award with UConn and Providence also represented in this week’s superlatives.

Updated previews from UMass Athletics and Vermont.

The Burlington Free Press preview talks about forgetting about Saturday.  Sounds good to me!

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Weekend Update, Polls, & Awards

Do you like splits?  Well this past weekend in Hockey East was for you.  The biggest story of the weekend was that Northeastern got its first win of the season at home against UNH after losing in Durham the night before.  Vermont got blanked in Providence 3-0 on Friday but rebounded with a 2-1 win on Saturday.  What I found most surprising about that series is that the Friars, the #3 team in the country to start the season, only got 2300 fans to each of the games.  That’s disappointing and surprising, despite the slow start for the team.

Merrimack hosted Notre Dame this past weekend and after losing a tough one in overtime on Friday bounced back to a surprising 4-1 win on Saturday.  Even out of conference we saw a split has Penn State dominated #4 Lowell by a score of 4-1 on Saturday after losing 5-3 the night before.  In a split against two different teams this past week Boston College continued to struggle on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to Harvard but travelled out to East Lansing and beat the Spartans by the same score Friday.  No split for Boston University as they travelled up to Orono for a 3-1 victory in their only game of the weekend against Maine.  And in the “Well, that’s college hockey…” result of the week UConn followed up its three point week against BC and BU by getting shutout 2-0 against Sacred Heart.  What’s interesting about that game is that it was played at prep’s Taft School in honor of Jason Pagni, a force in Connecticut hockey and someone who meant a lot to UMass great Jon Quick.

  Conference     Overall
    GP W-L-T   PTS GF-GA     GP W-L-T GF-GA
1 Vermont 8 5-2-1   11 22-16     10 7-2-1 27-17
2 Boston University 6 4-1-1   9 25-12     8 6-1-1 29-14
  Mass.-Lowell 5 4-0-1   9 23-7     11 7-2-2 44-29
4 Merrimack 5 3-2-0   6 11-8     11 7-3-1 31-21
  Providence 6 3-3-0   6 10-10     10 4-5-1 19-24
6 Notre Dame 4 2-1-1   5 9-10     12 6-5-1 36-32
7 Maine 5 2-3-0   4 14-18     11 3-7-1 25-38
8 Connecticut 4 1-2-1   3 7-8     10 2-5-3 17-24
  Northeastern 6 1-4-1   3 12-23     10 1-8-1 17-36
10 New Hampshire 4 1-3-0   2 8-15     10 4-6-0 29-29
  Boston College 4 1-3-0   2 9-12     10 5-5-0 30-27
  Massachusetts 5 1-4-0   2 12-23     8 3-5-0 26-32


Minnesota got swept by Minnesota-Duluth this past weekend which means we have a new #1 team this week.  That team is Michigan Tech.  Michigan Tech!  If Union winning the championship last year and the Huskies of Tech being the top team in the country isn’t a huge affirmation to the fact that any team in college hockey, even success-challenged UMass, can climb to the top I don’t know what is.  North Dakota stays at #2 and BU climbs all the way to #3 with their 6-1-1 ranking.  Needless to say David Quinn is the early favorite for coach of the year.

Minnesota drops to fourth after getting swept by the Bulldogs while Lowell’s loss to Penn State drops them a spot to #5.  Saturday’s opponent Vermont dropped one spot from tenth to eleventh after splitting at Providence. Friday’s foe BC is just behind them at #12, dropping out of the top ten with their recent struggles.  Vermont’s split with Providence dropped them one spot but Providence’s split with Vermont dropped them three spots to #19.  Merrimack is set to break into the Top 20 next week if they can build on their 7-3-1 start.

USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll

November 17, 2014

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Michigan Tech (24) 10- 0-0 940 5
2 North Dakota (12) 8- 2-1 916 2
3 Boston University (14) 6- 1-1 913 3
4 Minnesota 7- 3-0 830 1
5 Massachusetts-Lowell 7- 2-2 731 4
6 Colgate 8- 3-1 726 6
7 Miami 8- 4-0 686 7
8 Minnesota-Duluth 8- 4-0 663 13
9 Minnesota State 7- 3-0 574 9
10 Denver 6- 3-0 509 11
11 Vermont 7- 2-1 477 10
12 Boston College 5- 5-0 439 8
13 Nebraska-Omaha 6- 1-1 394 14
14 Quinnipiac 7- 2-1 283 20
15 Union 6- 5-1 249 12
16 St. Cloud State 4- 5-1 248 15
17 Northern Michigan 6- 1-1 205 18
18 Bowling Green 8- 3-1 177 19
19 Providence 4- 5-1 163 16
20 Robert Morris 7- 1-2 108 17
Others receiving votes: Merrimack 61, St. Lawrence 54, Ferris State 53, Harvard 44, Notre Dame 22, Penn State 19, Yale 15, Michigan 1.

Apparently spending a week growing Movember mustaches isn’t enough for UMass players to get a mention in the Hockey East Weekly Awards.  Important to note that Vermont sophomore goaltender Mike Santaguida was defensive player of the week.  Meaning it’s not just Brady Hoffman that Catamount opponents have to plan for.

The big news around UMass hockey today was that Austin Plevy signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Minutemen next fall.  This link includes a profile and commentary from Coach Mick on Plevy.  Those who have followed along with FTT’s recruit updates know that Plevy, a former Merrimack recruit, is one of the top scorers in the AJHL and will likely be able to contribute right away for the 2015-16 season.  Plevy is currently leading the Viterra Cup standings, which measures the accumulation of each player of the game designation around the AJHL.

Speaking of UMass spending their bye week on their mustaches, the UMass team, spurred on by head coach John Micheletto has fully embraced Movember, where guys grow facial hair to raise awareness of prostate cancer.  Although as someone who goes through every day with facial hair I never really know what to do when November rolls around (do I shave and start from scratch?  do I just mold the usual goatee into something else entirely?) this is a great cause and one that hits home since I faced a prostate cancer scare myself a few years back myself.  Clicking on the above Collegian link will show you that Mike Busillo should already be crowned the Movember champ for UMass.  Friday’s game against BC will feature some mustache themed contests.  I encourage everyone to donate to Coach Mick’s Movember page for this cause.

UMass athletes, coaches, and administrators have created the following video in support of the “It’s On Us” campaign to battle on-campus sexual assault:

Its on us–UMass


Finally, here’s a must read about a Union hockey player who finally got to meet the person whose life he helped save last winter before a game this past weekend.

Polls & Awards

Minnesota remains atop the USCHO poll this week but they’re sharing some first place votes with #2 North Dakota and #5 Michigan Tech.  Boston University is tops among Hockey East teams at #3 after beating Boston College and tying UConn this past week.  Lowell is just behind them at #4, jumping a couple spots after taking three points from Northeastern.  BC slides from third all the way to eighth after losing to UConn and BU last week.  The Eagles now have a three game losing streak.  They’ll play Harvard on Tuesday and then travel to Michigan State (who might as well be an affiliate member of Hockey East at this point) before they come to Amherst on the 21st.  Vermont’s sweep of Maine lifts them to #10 in the poll, giving Hockey East four teams in the top ten.  Providence’s split with Merrimack drops them four spots to #16.

UConn grabbed two of the weekly Hockey East awards after their win over BC and tie against BU.  BU’s Jack Eichel won just his first weekly award of the season despite dominating statistically so far.  Frank Vatrano and Dennis Kravchenko were named Top Performers for their efforts against AIC.  Zack LaRue was recognized in the milestones for his first multi-goal game and “Minuteman Freshman” also got a nod too for his assist.  That dude is great, I’m not sure where we’d be without him.  (I’m guessing they meant Dominic Trento)

UMass is 11th in the SB Nation Hockey East power rankings.

Vatrano’s four game point streak is mentioned in their weekly Notes and Numbers piece.

Cornell coach Mike Schafer was suspended a game for saying some not so nice things about Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold after losing 1-0 to the Bobcats.  Funny that the guy who seems very concerned about player safety wanted UMass to play on slush last year.

It’s a bye week for the Minutemen but FTT will still be active.  We have two weeks of games to catch up on with our recruits.  And on Wednesday or Thursday I’ll take an early look at how the Minutemen have fared against expectations so far this season.

Polls & Awards

Minnesota is still the top team in the land in this week’s USCHO poll despite losing a game over the weekend to St Cloud.  Boston College is the top Hockey East school at #3, moving up two spots despite splitting with Denver.  The Eagles’ opponent this week, Boston University, moves up to #5 after their split with Providence.  Just behind them is Lowell at #6, moving up from #8 last week after dominating New Hampshire over the weekend.  BU got to move up a spot for their split against Providence, but for some reason Providence fell three spots to #12 after taking one of two from the Terriers.  Vermont slipped to #14 after only managing a single point out in Notre Dame this past weekend.  The Irish are right behind them at 15th.  Out of conference I would say the highlight of this week’s poll is Michigan Tech, which swept in-state giant Michigan this past weekend.  The Huskies rocketed up the poll to ninth and even managed a first place vote.

No Minutemen were honored in this past week’s Hockey East awards.  Black Bear Liam Pecararo was selected as Rookie of the Week after scoring the game winner on Saturday to go with a couple of assists on Friday.

The Collegian has their recap of this past weekend’s losses.

UMass falls to second to last in the SB Nation Hockey East Power Rankings.  Ditto for the WEEI Power Rankings.

Conor Allen has been called up to the NY Rangers where he could potentially be playing on a pairing with Mike Kostka, who was called back up to Broadway last week.  Allen played three game for the blueshirts last season.

Polls & Awards: Dill Named Hockey East Rookie of the Week

Congratulations to freshman goaltender Henry Dill who was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week for his effort this past weekend.  Dill had a .932 save percentage on a weekend that was highlighted by his 42 save effort in the Friday win against Northeastern.  You’ll notice in the linked release that Dill is also among the leaders of the Army ROTC Three Stars Award.  Zack LaRue was named a Top Performer as well.  It’s the second straight weekend that the Massachusetts hockey team has had someone recognized by the league as Steven Iacobellis was named Player of the Week previously.

Minnesota received all the first place votes in this week’s USCHO poll.  Boston College’s win over UMass Saturday helped them move up a spot to #5 with rival Boston University just behind them at #6.  BU’s wins over Michigan and Michigan State lifted them up six spots from the previous week’s poll.  Lowell dropped one spot from 7th to 8th after splitting with the Michigan schools.  Providence dropped from 5th to 9th after only salvaging a tie in a trip out to North Dakota for a two game series.  A 4-0-0 start has helped Vermont to their #13 ranking.  Notre Dame is ranked as #20 this week after a sweep of Niagara that saw them outscore the Purple Eagles 13-3.

According to the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll, Lowell has annexed Providence College because UML is ranked both #8 and #9.  I’m sure there’s some kind of law about not operating a public college outside of the commonwealth’s borders so this act of aggression on the River Hawks’ part is probably only temporary.  If not it’s going to create havoc with the HEA playoff tiebreakers.

The Collegian has their summary of the past weekend’s split.

Polls & Awards: Iacobellis Named HEA Player of the Week

Congratulations go to Massachusetts sophomore forward Steven Iacobellis for being named the Hockey East Player of the Week.  While Iacobellis was named the team’s Rookie of the Year last season, this is the first Hockey East weekly honor for Iacobellis who had two goals and two assists in Saturday’s win over Michigan State.  Patrick Lee was named one of the weekly Top Performers for his three point weekend that included the game winner in the waning seconds of Saturday match.

Iacobellis was also named co-UMass Athlete of the Week with running back Shadrach Abrokwah.

Hockey East owns an entire block of this week’s top ten in the USCHO poll with Providence, Boston College, and Lowell coming in as the 5th, 6th, and 7th schools respectively.  The Friars didn’t move in the poll after playing an exhibition game against the USA Hockey U18 team this past week.  BC moved up a slot with their 6-2 win at RIT while Lowell jumped two spots after gaining a win and a tie against Quinnipiac.  Boston University’s win over UMass keeps on giving as the Terriers have still only played that one game on the season yet slid up to #12 in the poll.  Vermont has joined the rankings at #17 after starting the season 3-0-0.  Notre Dame, Merrimack, New Hampshire, and Northeastern are all getting votes.

Like the USCHO poll, the Minnesota Gophers are the top team in the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll.

The highlights from this past weekend have been posted on UMass Athletics.  They’re worth a watch.  From Friday’s highlights I was impressed by Shane Walsh’s long cross ice set up to Keith Burchett’s first goal as well as the nice job by Dennis Kravchenko and Zack LaRue on the shorthanded goal.  On Saturday, the Lee gamewinner is certainly the big highlight, but the second goal of the game shows some excellent puck movement and a nice job by Lee in collecting a loose puck to start the whole play off.  On that sequence is some of the best passing I’ve seen from UMass in recent memory so make sure to check it out.

Here’s the weekend recap from the Collegian.

And here are some weekend thoughts from the Spartan viewpoint at The Only Colors.

Jeff Cox of SBN College Hockey has UMass at #10 in his Hockey East power rankings.

USHR is reporting that former UMass and BU recruit Liam Coughlin is now committed to Vermont.  Coughlin was all set to join UMass this semester until he backed out of his commitment in April for BU, which he had dubbed his “dream school”.  Well that dream didn’t last long as he was already on the outs with BU by the end of the summer.

Polls & Awards

Not unexpectedly UMass is no longer receiving any votes in this week’s USCHO poll.  Providence dropped from third place to #5 with their opening weekend split at Ohio State.  Boston College dropped three spots to #7 after losing to Lowell, who was the big winner in the polls this week, jumping from #17 to #9.  With their decisive win over the Minutemen Boston University improved 6 spots to #14.  All in all 10 difference Hockey East teams are receiving votes in the polls, only UMass and UConn are not.

And here’s the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll.

No mentions for UMass in this week’s Hockey East awards.

I missed this last week, but College Hockey News had their Hockey East Preview.

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