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2013 FTT Awards

Time to hand out some hardware (if I actually had real hardware and it wouldn’t be considered some kind of booster violation by the NCAA to hand it out).

▲ Fear The Triangle Player of the Year

I try to make this one simple.  Win or lose I pick a player of the game when I write my recaps.  Sometime it’s an obvious choice, sometimes not so much.  Sometimes it’s dictated by stats, sometimes it could be something intangible I saw.  Sometimes it’s for a specific play or sometimes it’s for the entire effort.  For my Player of the Year Award I add up each of those individual Player of the Game awards and that’s the winner.  Luckily in the four years I’ve been doing this I’ve never had to break a tie.  And that’s the case this year as senior co-captain Rocco Carzo led all other players with five POTG honors.

As I mentioned in my post for the seniors, Carzo’s career at UMass has come full circle.  This season he was able to make huge contributions on offense while also playing the same solid defense that we saw the last two years.  His nine goals were 4th best on the team and also tied for 4th in terms of total points.  Those nine goals also matched the amount he had scored in his previous three years combined.  But it was his consistent two way play that really helped the Minutemen this year, regularly having to go up against the best opposing players.

Here was the final count of the 2012-13 Player of the Game selections:

Carzo 5
Pereira 4
Gracel 4
Mastalerz 4
Allen 3
Guzzo 2
Rowe 2
Boyle 2
Hanley 2
LaRue 2
Walsh 1
Power 1
Czepiel 1
Sheary 1

 

▲ Fear The Triangle Newcomer of the Year

My preseason pick for this award was K.J. Tiefenwerth given his production in the EJHL.  But junior league performance isn’t always the best judge of how a player will do in college and the fact that I’m choosing Shane Walsh for this award shows that.  It was unknown just what kind of impact Walsh would have when he got to UMass.  He didn’t put up a ton of points in the USHL (28 in 72 games) and it appeared that guys like Tiefenwerth and Evan Stack would be more likely to contribute right away.  But that wasn’t the case.  When Walsh hit the ice in the Fall he immediately looked like he belonged out there.  He got his first goal against Boston University in just his third game and the next time out assisted on Darren Rowe’s game winning goal versus New Hampshire.  He missed most of the games in November due to injury and even at that early point in his career his presence in the lineup was missed.  By the end of the year he was a key part of the power play and noticeably improved along the way.  All in all Walsh ended the year with three goals and eight assists, numbers he’ll be expected to build upon during his sophomore year.

▲ Fear The Triangle Breakout Player of the Year

Branden Gracel had already been an integral part of the UMass offense through his first two years, totaling 11 goals and 23 assists.  However I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the type of season he was going to have this past year.  He led the team in goals (14), assists (20), plus/minus (+7), game winning goals (3), and shots (104).  His total points were 6th best among Hockey East players and he was 9th in goal scoring.  And then we get to probably his best skill; faceoffs.  While his 59.5% faceoff winning percentage was technically second in the conference behind UNH’s John Henrion, Gracel was at the dot 682 times compared to Henrion’s 153.  Gracel’s 406 faceoff wins was 10th best in the country.  Gracel’s season was nothing short of spectacular and is the favorite to be named MVP when team awards are handed out next month.

I won’t be doing any more recruit updates as I want to concentrate on my season recap posts.  However I did want to point out something I noticed on Chris Heisenberg’s recruiting site.  All four of the recruits who committed to former coach Toot Cahoon are now designated to come to Amherst in 2014 or 2015.  Mark Hamilton and Mike Iovanna were previously designated on the site to arrive next fall while Willy Smith and Casey Miller were designated for 2014.  Obviously when a coaching change takes place the status of the recruits is put into flux.  I have heard that one recruit had his scholarship offer withdrawn and was invited to walk-on.  I’m not sure if that’s what is happening here with everyone and the players are being given time to decide if they want to take that option or go elsewhere.  Or they could be asked to play a year of juniors to prove themselves before the scholarship is confirmed.  We’ll see.  Also changing on the site is Dennis Kravchenko is now due in Amherst this fall.  Previously it said 2013 or 2014.

Dick Baker had this feature in the Republican on Holyoke’s Kevin Czepiel ending his UMass career.

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View From Section U: Thank You Seniors!

Four Minutemen will be taking the Mullins ice for the last time on Saturday night.  I’m happy to take the chance to honor them.

▲ #3 Kevin Czepiel ▲

“Holyoke”.  Yep, somewhere in his freshman year I kind of gave him that nickname because I love to see Western Mass players on the Minutemen and thought having Czeips on the team should be recognized.  Usually having local kids on the team involves kids from the Springfield area.  But when Czepiel got to Amherst he was even more local, growing up not too far down I-91 and a former captain at Northfield-Mount Hermon.  Czepiel has had a very solid career at UMass, playing over 25 games in all four years.  A good puck handler he has been able to move around and fill different roles when needed.  At times in his career he played on the top two lines.  However he really excelled on the third and fourth lines where he was asked to shut down opposing scorers.  He did well doing that but opponents would also have to respect his ability to turn the puck around and make a nice pass to a linemate for a scoring chance.

Czeipiel went out and was a reliable forward no matter what line he ended up on.  He played hard.  He moved the puck well.  And stayed out of the box for the most part.  And he was a regular in the faceoff circle.  When the season started and the team needed someone to lead them, he and fellow senior Rocco Carzo stepped and ran the practices and were rewarded with the Cs on their chest.  The city of Holyoke, a former mill town, can be described as a hard-working, blue collar place.  And that’s probably a pretty way to describe Kevin Czepiel’s career at UMass.

▲ #12 Rocco Carzo ▲

Carzo has had an interesting time at UMass.  In his freshman year he played on a line with star forwards James Marcou and Casey Wellman and by all accounts did very well in the role.  He scored six goals that season, two of them game winners, to go with six assists.  His linemates were two of the most prolific scorers in Hockey East that season, with Marcou 4th best in the league with 51 total points and Casey Wellman accumulating the 3rd most goals with 23.  Carzo was deservedly named the team’s Rookie of the Year for his contributions.  Carzo had some big expectations going into that next season, but with Marcou and Wellman both gone to the pros, they proved tough to live up to.  In his sophomore and junior seasons he would end up scoring just three goals total.

Carzo’s path back to becoming an impact player on the squad started in the second half of last year when he was put on the third line with Troy Power and Patrick Kiley.  There were times in the last three months of the season when that line contributed the most consistently night in and night out.  And Carzo was a big part of that.  The resurgence of his career has carried into this year where, as co-captain, he has scored eight goals, 4th best on the team.  It hasn’t been the easiest of careers at UMass for Carzo.  But I was always impressed that, even when faced with unrealistic expectations, he consistently went out on the ice and gave a great effort, eventually finding the role on the ice that fit him best.  I’m glad to see him come full circle and as a senior regain the role of being an integral player on the team.

▲ #16 Eddie Olczyk ▲

Eddie Olczyk’s role was never questioned during his time as a Minuteman. His job as a third or fourth line winger was to go out there and minimize the impact of the opponent’s offensive stars.  And he’s done that consistently.  UMass has had a number of forwards recently who have been able to regularly make an impact on the outcome of games even while rarely scoring.  Brett Watson is perhaps the best example of this.  Olczyk followed in Watson’s footsteps in this regard.  After playing in 21 games his freshman year his playing time dwindled and he only played half of his sophomore and junior seasons.  However I was thankful to see him return to the lineup on a regular basis for his senior year, playing in all the games thus far.

Playing Olcyzk every game has not only helped the defense’s ability to keep the other team off the board, but has had the surprising benefit on offense too.  Through his first three seasons he had amassed just one goal, scored halfway through his freshman year.  But this year he’s tripled that number to three.  Three goals doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but two of them have been incredibly important.  The first came shorthanded in the win over Dartmouth to win the Ledyard Classic, easily the highlight victory of the season.  The most recent goal was this past weekend late in Friday’s game against UNH which temporarily gave UMass the go-ahead lead.  It’s never easy to be the namesake of a hockey legend that also happens to be your dad.  But at UMass Eddie Jr did a good job of making a name for himself as a dependable and hard-working shutdown forward.  And he should be proud for that.

▲ #17 Darren Rowe ▲

There was a time last season when most Minuteman fans probably thought they had seen the last of Darren Rowe in a UMass uniform.  After playing in 45 games in his first two years on campus Rowe seemed to fall out of favor with then coach Toot Cahoon.  In his freshman and sophomore years Rowe played well enough, but never seemed like a natural fit at defense.  He seemed to excel in the offensive zone, where he was able to leverage his puck handling skills and dangerous shot.  But on the defensive end he seemed to struggle.  In the offseason before his junior year I know that I personally advocated for him to move to forward to better take advantage of his natural instincts and strengths on offense.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead he sat in the stands for a good part of the season.  Yet somewhere along the way he was given a chance, made the most of it, and played the last two months of the season last year, though not really on an impactful basis.

Fast forward to this season and perhaps no one has benefitted from the offseason coaching change than Rowe.  Just a year and a half after many thought his UMass career was done he has played in all but one game this season.  Not surprisingly, it’s been his offensive skills that have gotten him the most attention.  And for good reason.  UMass does well when Rowe gets on the scoresheet.  Of UMass’ 11 wins, 6 have come when Rowe registers a point.  In fact the team has a winning record when he does so.  He’s had a number of key goals this season as well.  He scored a power play goal against Bemidji State in the Ledyard Classic, had three points against Providence in January, and had the overtime winner against #9 New Hampshire in November, one the season’s most memorable wins.  Rowe certainly helped add excitement to this season and his resurgance became one of the best storylines on the year.

I didn’t go back to previous years Seniors’ posts, but I’m sure I probably express the same sentiment every year.  That is that I have the utmost respect for the guys that pull on the UMass sweater every weekend.  College is full of demands and distractions.  It can be tough for anyone to make it all the way through and finish their senior year.  To juggle the classes, a social life, and then add on an insane amount of games, practices, and all the other time that goes with being a DI athlete is commendable.  I honestly don’t know how they do it.  But they do and represent the University of Massachusetts well whlie they do it.  I love my alma mater and am proud to tout and represent UMass whenever possible in my personal and professional life.  But these guys actually go out and represent the students and alumni with “UMass” emblazoned across their chest.  And for that they should be recognized.

The last few years have not been fun for UMass fans who no doubt hoped for more wins and better finishes within Hockey East.  But imagine what it must feel like for these seniors.  No player envisions their senior night coinciding with a fight just to extend their season another weekend or two.  I’m sure these guys probably envisioned things turning out much differently when they were ranked 15th in the country in January of their freshman year and the future looked bright.  But the team collapsed at the tail end of that season, Marcou, Wellman, and Irwin left, and the program has had a tough time returning to a successful footing since.  But not for lack of effort.  Let’s remember that these four guys have gone out there and played hard, done their best, and represented Your State U to the best of their abilities.  I’ve always thought Senior Nights at Boston College must be a lot of pomp and circumstance as they count the national championships won by their outgoing players and pat themselves on the back but I’ll take the guys who have had to grind it out for every win, every ounce of recognition, and have battled just to dress for games during their career.  And that’s pretty much how you have to describe this senior class.  Holyoke, Rocco, Eddie, and Darren, thanks for your dedication to Massachusetts hockey.

I know this has been a tough season to follow as a fan.  I also understand that the short term prospects for the team are currently working against them.  But I would hope that the true UMass hockey fans will do all they can to make it to the Mullins on Saturday, if only to clap and thank these four individuals for wearing the maroon and white.  They’ve earned it.

Merrimack will definitely be without defenseman Kyle Bigos on Friday.  Should make for an awkward (though fitting?) senior night for the Warriors.

Paul Dainton is back in the valley.

Boston College Preview

Massachusetts Minutemen 7-11-2 (4-8-1) 8th Hockey East

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#2 Boston College Eagles 13-4-2 (10-3-1) 1st Hockey East

The Massachusetts hockey team looked like they were going to turn over a new leaf at New Years as they won the Ledyard Classic against stiff competition.  But last week they got swept in a weekend series at the hands of Providence, a team they need to beat if they have any hopes of accomplishing something of significance this season.  Now, if they want to jumpstart their season they’ll have to face a wounded Boston College team in Chestnut Hill tomorrow night.

BC is struggling as of late.  Well, struggling for them.  Since the last day of November the Eagles are 3-3-2.  One of those losses came to rival Boston University.  One was an absolutely drubbing at the hands of Minnesota by the score of 8-1.  And then last weekend they ended up splitting a weekend series with New Hampshire.  Of course for the most recent games they were without coach Jerry York who is recovering from eye surgery, as he will be tomorrow.  As said, this is a wounded Eagle team.  They’re not playing up to the level they’re used to as they’re without their legendary coach and they’ve had to deal with some injuries (Patch Alber) and absence (Johnny Gaudreau).  However, BC struggling at this time of year is nothing new.  The scary part is this is usually right when they turn it all around and start a streak that carries them to the NCAA title.

Despite recent struggles the Eagles are still quite formidable on offense.  Their 3.42 goals per game is tops in the league, with Gaudreau the leader in both goals (12) and total points (26) despite missing a few games representing Team USA.  Not too far behind him in terms of goal scoring are seniors Pat Mullane and Steven Whitney, who has half of his 10 goals on the power play.  BC is far and away the best power play unit in the league at 25%.  UMass is second best converting 19.8% of their chances.

On defense the Eagles have been, well, mediocre.  Their 2.58 goals given up per game puts them in the middle of Hockey East.  Some of that is due to the youth of their defense.  Some has to do with losing guys like Alber to a soccer injury (no seriously).  Senior Parker Milner is still putting up solid numbers however with a 2.43 goals against and a .921 save percentage.  Though their blueliners can be young, Mike Matheson is certainly one to keep an eye on as he has four goals to go with 10 assists and is a +14 on the season.

UMass has already lost two games to BC this season but they did play the Eagles tough in both.  In fact they absolutely should have won the first, bringing a 3-0 lead into the third before ultimately falling 5-4 in overtime in just the second game of the season.  In early November at Chestnut Hill the Minutemen would again play well and again have a third period lead until losing when Patrick Brown scored with under four minutes left.  Between this season’s efforts and the fact that UMass took the regular season series from BC last season shows that the Minutemen are capable of playing with this team.  The question is if they can put it all together, play mistake fee, and play well on both sides of the puck to win.

Last weekend they did well offensively on Friday but played pretty horrible defense and ultimately could not complete a valiant effort at a comeback.  On Saturday they did well on defense, limiting Providence to minimal opportunities, but could not finish offensively despite over 40 shots on net.  The Eagles are young defensively but they’re not without talent.  With a veteran goaltender to back them up UMass will have to find a way to make the most of their offensive opportunities.  They’ll also have to play damn good defense.  If Gaudreau was jetlagged from the tip back from Russia he didn’t show it, scoring a goal to go with a couple assists in his first game back.  This team is extremely dangerous on offense but the Minutemen did find a way to hold this team to just three goals through five periods earlier this season.  They’ll need some of that tomorrow.

Beer The Triangle
I suspect that pre-game will find me at Cityside, which has a solid beer selection but probably is better known for their food and locale.  However no trip to BC is complete without a stop in at the Publick House.  Best beer bar in Boston?  Yeah, I’ll say so.  For some reason the Publick House has decided to give up on this crazy invention called the interwebs and no longer have a web page.  So I guess we’ll all be pleasantly surprised when we get there and find what they have on draft.

I want to send along some get well soon wishes to BC coach Jerry York.  I’m actually disappointed that I won’t be able to witness the celebration for his gaining of the win record.  There’s a lot to dislike about Boston College.  Jerry York is not one of those things.

The Republican preview centers on the on the fact that the senior Minutemen have never won at Chestnut Hill.

The boys over at BC Interruption are glad to start a soft spot of their schedule this weekend against the Minutemen.

Here’s the Hockey East weekend preview from College Hockey News.

I was ecstatic to hear the news tonight that the WCHA accepted Alabama-Huntsville to join their league next season.  UAH may be geographically challenged but they have a lot of tradition and certainly were worthy of a lifeline to keep their program going.  College hockey needs more teams not less and so glad that it appears the Chargers will be sticking around.

Lastly, I think it’s apparent that I have a soft spot for Minutemen players who hail from Western Mass.  I was neither born there nor live there currently but I consider Western Mass home and love to see the local hockey talent end up playing in the Mullins Center.  There have been a bunch to do so from Rob Bonneau to T.J. Syner.  But in the vein of celebrating the WMass players and WMass locales I somehow got into calling Kevin Czepiel “Holyoke” after his hometown during his freshman year.  I thought it was a fun way to celebrate the gritty, blue collar nature of the town with the gritty, blue collar nature of Czepiel’s play.  It has stuck, at least for me and the Section U crew, and so I wanted to make sure to share this video the athletic department put together of “Holyoke” showing UMass fans Holyoke:

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Quinnipiac Recap

Quinnipiac lived up to their reputation as a defensive force and as a result got a 2-2 tie yesterday at the Mullins Center, despite the Minutemen outplaying them for long stretches in the middle of the game.  For most of the first period the Bobcats did an excellent job of getting in every passing lane and disrupting each rush by the Minutemen into their zone.  As a UMass only managed five shots in the opening period.  Luckily one of those shots resulted in a shorthanded goal by Conor Sheary, setup by an excellent play by Kevin Czepiel to gather the loose puck and center it for a skill assist.  That goal tied the game at one apiece after the Bobcats took an early lead just a few minutes into the game.

The Minutemen appeared to make some adjustments during the first intermission because they were able to move the puck and overcome the Bobcats’ stifling defense much better in the second.  However, they were still only able to get one goal during that period past Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell, despite 17 total shots.  Still Rocco Carzo’s power play goal gave the Minutemen the lead going into the final period.

However in the third period Quinnipiac would seize the momentum as they were able to clamp down on the UMass offense yet again.  They were able to translate that momentum into a tying goal when defensemen Mike Dalhuisen threw a puck to the net that somehow got in just under the crossbar.  From then on Quinnipiac surged while, yet again, the Minutemen faded.  By the time overtime started UMass looked very tired out there, reminiscent of earlier games where they lost late leads.  Luckily, the Bobcats were not able to find the back of the net in the extra frame, but it wasn’t for lack of trying as the puck rarely made it out of the UMass zone.

I guess a tie against a ranked team is a positive for this team, but it was tough not to walk out of the Mullins a little disappointed.  UMass showed in the second period that they were the better skilled team yet an inability to finish combined with what has become a familiar third period and overtime malaise prevented them from getting a nice signature out of conference win.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Kevin Czepiel
I thought Czepiel battling being aggressive on the penalty kill, taking the puck away from the Bobcats, and having the wherewithal to center the puck to Conor Sheary was the play of the game.  Therefore I’m giving him my player of the game as well.

The Republican dubs the game a “sloppy affair”.

View From Section U: If You Can Play, You Can Play

I want to take the opportunity of my first View From Section U column of the season to publicly express my support for the You Can Play project.

For those who may not be aware, the You Can Play campaign was started by the family and friends of Brendan Burke, the former Miami RedHawk team manager who tragically died in a car crash in 2010.  Though he passed away at the young age of 21 he had already become a pioneer at the time of his death and the You Can Play iniative carries on Brendan’s mission; to fight against homophobia in sports.  The message is simple, if you can play, you can play.  Really, I think that says it all and to me it’s something that goes beyond just sexual orientation.

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As I said, it’s a simple message.  Therefore I don’t think I need to go on and on about why I think it’s important and worthy of my support.  The message speaks for itself.  I will note however that I happen to work in Canton, Mass, Brendan’s hometown, and I quite regularly will see the BB shamrock logo seen in the above video on cars around the area.  When I see them I instantly think of Brendan and his courage.  The courage it took to tell his father Brian Burke, the gruff general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the rest of his family that he was gay.  The courage it took to come out to his team, not knowing how such an admission would go over in the tough guy environment of a hockey locker room.  And the courage of going public with his story and taking on the role of an advocate for equality in sports.

My admiration for that courage and my belief in the values of equality and respect is what spurred me on to use my soapbox of Fear The Triangle to officially show my support for You Can Play.  While doing so I would like to call on the team and players that connect me to the sport of hockey, the UMass Minutemen, to do the same.  I’ve always been proud of the fact that hockey players from different locales and from different ethnic backgrounds have been able to come to Amherst and not only play hockey here but excel at it and become the very faces of the program.  And why shouldn’t they have done well at UMass because after all if they could play, they could play.  I would love to see UMass Hockey join these other college programs and professional players and organizations and support the You Can Play campaign to support equality and respect in sport.

I really enjoy this article by the Republican’s Harry Plumer about Kevin Czepiel being named one of UMass’ captains this year.  Part of the reason is that I love when UMass is able to bring in the local hockey talent from the valley.  It’s become a bit of a joke now but believe me when I decided to call Czepiel  with the moniker “Holyoke” in posts and social media early on in his freshman year it was because he does a great job representing that blue collar town in Western Mass as a total blue collar hockey player.  I think it’s really important for the UMass hockey team to not only represent the campus, but the entire surrounding area at the same time and Czepiel does a great job doing both at the same time.  Also interesting in that article is the fact that he was also recruited by Clarkson, Union, Providence, and Merrimack, something that did not come out when he was first recruited.

The USHL had this official release regarding transfer Ben Gallacher committing to UMass.  But at the same time I won’t have to update his stats from junior hockey for a while as the league suspended him ten games for a repeated cross-check in this past Saturday’s game.

I think I missed passing along the initial rankings, but CHN’s Scott McLaughlin has UMass as 7th in the league after this past weekend of Hockey East play.

Do yourself a favor and read this heartfelt tribute to former Merrimack coach Chris Serino by Mike McMahon.  Just want to reiterate that thoughts are with Serino’s family, including sons Anthony and Nick, two former UMass student-athletes.

The Boston Herald also had this in-depth bio piece on Serino.

Gallacher To Transfer To UMass; Captains Named; Recruit Update

USHR reported yesterday that former Ohio State defenseman Ben Gallacher will be transferring to Massachusetts next fall.  He will be able to play immediately as he is sitting out this year by playing for Green Bay of the USHL.  Like UMass’ other transfer Rob Dongara, Gallacher will have three years of eligibility left when he starts next year.

Gallacher arrived in Columbus highly rated, a fourth round draft pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL draft.  However by the time he got there the coach who recruited him, John Markell, was no longer there and Gallacher did not see eye to eye with the new staff.  So after scoring one goal to go with 11 assists with the Buckeyes, he left school last spring.  It was thought he would end up in major junior or even the AHL with the Panthers farm team.  Major junior seemed like a logical option since his father owns the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.  That didn’t happen though and he ended up in the USHL where he could retain his eligibility and look for another college.  According to USHR Boston College, Michigan, Western Michigan, and Michigan Tech were all interested in adding him as a transfer.  But this past Saturday he gave his commitment to assistant coach Joey Gasparaini who went out to watch him play after Friday’s win.

Gallacher, 5’11” 185lbs, gained a reputation as a skilled puck-moving defenseman in the AJHL playing for the Camrose Kodiaks.  His last year in his native Alberta he had five goals and 22 assists in 37 games.  This year for Green Bay he is pointless after two games in the books.  Overall this looks like a great pickup for the program and staff, their second addition to go with Dennis Kravchenko.   Gallacher will join Mark Hamilton as incoming defenseman next year.  Darren Rowe is the only defenseman who will be graduating this coming spring.  Interestingly Gallacher is the second tranfer from Ohio State for the program with the first being John Toffey who played for UMass from 2003 to 2005.

Hockey’s Future has this profile of Gallacher.

Here are some of his highlights from junior hockey:

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Here’s video of him talking about being drafted by the Panthers.

Before we get into the weekly recruit update, there is some other big news today.  Tonight on his radio show coach John Micheletto named seniors Kevin Czepiel and Rocco Carzo as this year’s captains.  Congrats to them both.  I thought Carzo looked very captain-like on Friday, so not much surprise there.  Czepiel is a little more surprising since he wasn’t mentioned in the earlier captain chatter.  But if you’re looking for someone that has worked hard to earn every minute of playing time he gets, Czepiel fits that mold.  That’s two straight years with a Western Mass native wearing the “C”, as T.J. Syner was a captain last year.  There were no mentions of assistant captains.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2013
5 GP / 1 G / 1 A / 2 Pts / 5 PIM / -1
No points for Gillespie in his one game this past weekend.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Hamilton is due to return to Salisbury again this season. Prep hockey will start up at the end of November.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
All signs point toward Iovanna returning to Malden Catholic this year.

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
6 GP / 3 G / 3 A / 6 Pts / 4 PIM / 0
Kravechenko had a power play goal and an assist in a 6-5 win over Fargo on Saturday.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
It’s expected that Miller will return to KUA again after helping the Wildcats to a New England Prep championship last year.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
4 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 4 PIM
Smith may be injured as he didn’t play again this past weekend and it doesn’t appear that he’s playing for their Empire team either.

Sorry to hear that former Merrimack coach Chris Serino passed away from cancer yesterday.  Serino also coached future Minuteman Mike Iovanna at Malden Catholic.  Chris is also the father of UMass baseball players Nick and Anthony Serino.

Congrats to Eddie Olczyk Sr. who was enshrined in the USA Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday.  ESPN has this article about what hockey means to the Olczyk family which includes quotes from Eddie Jr.

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