Maine Recap; Fenton Overseas

Bunyon hockey.  It mystifies me how this guy is allowed to officiate Hockey East games since when he’s not missing calls right in front of him he’s completely losing control of games resulting in the mess that we saw last night.  The sad thing is it wasn’t even one of his worst nights, that honor goes to a game a few years back in Orono where there was a combined 13 guys in the penalty box at one point.  Regardless it was good to see the Minutemen get the win and improve to 3-0-0 on the season as they’ve now taken eight straight from the Black Bears in Amherst.

Maine just could not handle the Marcous as James had a goal and three assists and helped set up his brother for his first collegiate goal on an impressive play where James was able to hold the puck in the slot for what seemed like forever before finally dishing it to a streaking Mike who put it home.  Mike also continued his solid play on defense last night and has certainly earned his spot as a regular defenseman.  I thought David Boehm and Kevin “Holyoke” Czepiel both played well in their debuts with Boehm picking up an assist on a Martin Nolet goal.  Czepiel has  good vision and it was easy to see how he led the EJHL in assists last season.  Matt Irwin could not extend his goal scoring streak but was able to contribute a couple of assists to the effort.  Rocco Carzo did not play the third with an upper body injury however I’m not sure how serious it is or if it will keep him out next week.

Obviously this game will be remembered for the Nolet hit on Maine freshman Adam Shemansky and the ugliness that followed.  I’ll be honest and say that I did not see the hit itself (I was watching to see if the Minuteman in the box would be coming off the ice or not) but those around me said it was probably deserving of a penalty.  Toot says as much in today’s Gazette.  The word on Shemansky is that he was stable and was moving his arms and legs but had some neck pain.  Hopefully it won’t be anything too serious and he’ll be able to get back on the ice soon.  There’s nothing worse in sports than seeing a player leave the ice/field on a stretcher.

What amazed me most though was with 12 minutes left in the game and Maine playing well and only down by a couple goals their team decided to give up on trying to get the tie or win and decided to get revenge on Nolet and the Minutemen for what they thought was a dirty hit instead.  Wouldn’t the best way to stand up for Shemansky be to come back and win?  Well, not according to Joey Diamond who decided to hit Nolet after the whistle and essentially ended the game for Maine right there and then.  He should’ve taken a clue from Nolet who as they both stood in the penalty box after the scuffle pointed to the scoreboard to remind Diamond what he should’ve been focused on, the fact that his team was losing.  What followed was pure and complete ugliness as Maine players continued to go after the Minutemen after the whistle, even with Nolet firmly planted in the box for the rest of the game, and the UMass players trying to stand up for themselves.  All the while Bunyon and Fyrer sent people off without ever really trying to reestablish control.  There are very few games, especially with UMass leading, that I can’t wait to end.  Last night’s was one of them.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – James Marcou
A goal and three assists last night now puts Marcou tied for 4th nationally in points, but I bet he’s happier about setting up his brother’s first UMass goal.

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Here’s the recap from the Gazette where Toot discusses the Nolet penalty and Matt talks to Jim Marcou, James and Mike’s father about their night.

I’m very disappointed to see the Republican didn’t even send a reporter to  he Mullins.  Who do they think they are?  The Herald or Globe?  I’m not even bothering with their “staff reports” recap.

Here’s a lengthy recap from USCHO.

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Last week I expressed surprise at how far Vermont had risen in the polls despite the fact that they had a loss, well they were taken back down to earth last night by Merrimack who beat them 5-2 at Lawler.  UNH beat Northeastern in the only other Hockey East game while Lowell came from behind with three third period goals to beat Colgate 5-3.  Boston College and Notre Dame played their usual matchup before their football teams meet today with BC taking the game 3-2.  Providence exploded for eight goals over Bowling Green.  Wow.

Denver looks like the real deal as they beat Minnesota and now have two shutouts in three games.

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The Republican has a feature on P.J. Fenton now playing overseas in Germany.

9 Comments

  1. justin

     /  October 24, 2009

    Was there any doubt who the better team was? How did the team look overall? From the radio call, it seemed that UMass was the better team, it sounded like they controlled play in the pre-nonsense portion of the game.

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    • No, it was pretty evident that UMass was the better team. Though Maine looked pretty good after Shemansky went off and really upped the tempo. That’s why it was weird that they abandoned the game itself and decided to become headhunters instead. They could’ve made it interesting.

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  2. Did Bunyon do last year’s BC game in Novemeber when we upset them? That game was out of hand as well.

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    • Bennedetto and Cronin were the refs for that one (no, I didn’t remember that I looked it up).

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  3. justin

     /  October 24, 2009

    Well, Bunyon struck again, ruining the Michigan/BU tilt tonight. Random calls, inconsistancy on what was a penalty, make-up calls, the dummy killed any flow of the game. Michigan was the better team in 5v5, but Bunyon sure wouldn’t want anyone to think he won’t throw you in the box.

    He really can ruin a game experience.

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  4. HazMatKat

     /  October 25, 2009

    First off I would like to say AWESOME PAGE -kudos for the great job you are doing here

    Regarding the game- this game was disgusting from an officiating perspective as well as a sportsmanship approach. I am not knocking the UMass guys as they were playing a clean game thru the early part of the game and I actually commented on that to a fan sitting beside me. I do not know if Maine felt that they came into the Mullins Center with something to prove or if the young team is just a bunch of goons but if you looked at the first period there were way TOO MANY bodies flying around the ice- Early into the second period it looked for like the IceCapades with the way bodies were colliding and twirling around each other – It took a nasty hit and one injured player for the officials to realize they needed to rein in the game because it was clearly getting out of hand at that point. The one point I would just like to make here is WHERE was the officiating before this – ? It took SEVERAL cheap shots from the Maine players against UMass to provoke UMass to respond, however the early half of the game the officiating was clearly one-sided in UMass’ favor – you can’t blame players for getting pissed and attempting cheap shots when the calls constantly go the other way – As for Nolet pointing to the scoreboard, that was just tasteless on his part – I don’t like to bash this guy as he has been my favorite player on the team BUT why do that in light of the hit that e put on the Maine player -sorry dude you made yourself out to look like a goon on this one
    ~ til next week!

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    • Alan

       /  October 25, 2009

      Kat, I tend to agree on the Nolet pointing, but nobody really knows what was said. Besides, it was hilarious (over the radio, anyways.)

      Hope to see you all for two next weekend against PC!

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    • Hi Kat,

      Thanks for the good words about the blog, glad people are enjoying it.

      Where was the officiating before the game went to hell? Well the officiating was in Lowell, Durham, and North Andover. That’s where the Hockey East officials were on the night while we got stuck with Bunyon. I don’t think he was biased, he just happened to be inept in our favor to that point. I’ve probably seen half a dozen games officiated by him that end up ending this way with all the penalties for exactly the reason you cite, there’s zero consistency in how he calls a game.

      Personally I didn’t think Nolet pointing at the scoreboard was classless, I thought it was funny. Espeically given Maine could’ve gotten back in the game with the way they were playing. Instead Diamond put getting revenge ahead of his team winning. The point at the scoreboard was at least a reminder of that.

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  5. Wardy

     /  October 25, 2009

    To me watching on the scoreboard video link it looked that Whitehead and the Maine coaching staff made a conscious effort this week to get Maine to play desperation hockey after starting their season in brutal fashion (2 losses at Union, split at home vs. Michigan State) and perhaps catch a UMass team they thought would be fat, dumb, and happy before going into their tradional buzz-saw game in Durham. They came out and tried to out-physical UMass because they couldn’t keep up the combo of UMass’s speed & skill. When that didn’t work they used the Nolet hit as an excuse to take out their frustrations and goon-up the joint led by PIM leaders Diamond and O’Neill. Diamond (Long Beach, LI) was talking trash at Nolet the entire time skating to the box and in the box so it was fitting when Nolet pointed to the scoreboard after UMass scored on the PP thanks to Diamond’s extra minor. But that’s just Maine further sinking into the abyss. Think about it they’re the only HEA team to truly look “horrible” so far this season. Even Providence and Merrimack have had some very good moments early.

    Good win by UMass holding serve at home and getting out of a goon game with a W and more conference points.

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