Baker On UMass Troubles; Recruit Update

Dick Baker in a blog entry asks what’s wrong with UMass hockey.  Among other things he talks about Justin Braun playing too many minutes, opponents forechecking the Minutemen (though I would go as far as to say trap), and the constant revolving door on the first line.  All good points but the last one is especially troubling.  First off, I think the coaching staff switches up lines way too often.  Of course injuries and what is seen in practice can dictate a change from time to time, but they’ve been juggled way too often.  I don’t think the answer to one bad game, period, or shift is to completely reinvent the lineup.  There’s something to be said for trying to put the best suited players out there but there’s more to be said for consistency.  Especially when it comes to the top line.  I understand that they want to have a little more grit and defense on there, but Brett Watson on the line is not the answer.  Watson is a great player, one of the better defensive forwards to come through UMass.  But he shouldn’t be on one of the top offensive lines in hockey.  What does it say that even on that explosive line on Saturday he still registered zero shots?  My opinion?  I would put TJ Syner back on the first line or perhaps Mike Lecomte.


The Sioux Falls Stampede issued a release regarding Conor Allen’s commitment to UMass as did the USHL.

The New Jersey Rockets have news of the Chris Del Mauro committment as well.

Mike Pereira is off to a good start with his new team Avon Old Farms.  He scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Kent this weekend.  Both he and Conor Sheary have 3 goals and 4 assists early in the prep season.

Joel Hanley may be injured as he hasn’t shown up in a box score since the beginning of November.  That’s disappointing because he was having a strong season, averaging nearly a point a game as a defenseman.

John Parker scored a game winner for the Indiana Ice over the weekend.

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  1. Hanley had a shoulder injury IIRC. It was in one of the articles I was checking up on while looking for info on Melchiori.


    • Melchiori looks like he’s going to be a hell of a player. Thanks for the info on Hanley and it was good to meet you the other night at Beer Works.


  2. Ryan

     /  December 9, 2009

    Braun def. plays a lot of minutes but because of his size and skating ability he is our best defeseman. I think the author might have overlooked that UMass has been getting a lot of powerplays, and he is a key man on the PP along with Irwin, so as far as him playing a lot of minutes, I think it’s a good thing as long as he doesn’t tire out late. I feel a lot safer with him on the ice than say Rowe, but he does take a lot of penalties. Justin Braun = the Ben Blood of UMass Hockey!


    • The problem is there have been a few games where he has looked tired late. He looked exhausted in OT at Quinnipiac (even after the refs gave him that break with two minutes left in regulation).


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