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Saturday Recap

Paul Dainton (photo by Karen Winger)

This appears to be a statement weekend by UMass. They proved that they are recovering from whatever ailed them since Thanksgiving, gaining their third win a row. They proved they can take advantage of games against teams near them in the standings, taking 4 points from Lowell as well as the all important tiebreaker. And they showed that they can succeed where past teams have failed, bringing back the Alumni Cup to Amherst for the first time in too long.

They also demonstrated that they can find a way to win against a good team even when they’re not at the top of their game. Better yet, they can find a way to win even when they play one of their worst periods of hockey all season, which we saw during the second period last night. In that period they managed only two shots on net and overall looked completely disjointed offensively. By the end of the second they had gone 0-for-3 on the power play generating exactly 0 shots on the man advantage. It’s tough to win with those kind of numbers. So what was the difference of the game? Paul Dainton. Dainton made 28 saves and single-handedly kept UMass in the game during stretches when they were simply unable to get anything going offensively. He kept them in it and when the third came the forwads played much better and were able to edge the River Hawks in the crucial final period.

One of the more bizarre penalty calls I think I’ve seen in my 16 years of watching this team happened in the third period when Patrick Cey was called for interference, just one of many instances where Lowell’s players were going after Marcou. James, however, was also called for embellishment on the play which seemed a little odd since he was hit hard enough to open up a cut on his chin that required him to leave the game briefly to get it stitched up. The question is, how is it diving when the hit itself draws blood? Thinking about it on the way home I think this was referee Tom Fyrer getting back at Marcou for something that happened earlier in the game. In the beginning of the second Maury Edwards was called for a five minute major for a high stick to Marcou. James was shaken up a bit and took some time to get off the ice with a little help from the trainer. But in the time it took to sort out the penalty and then the obligatory explanation to Blaise McDonald who was understandably not happy, Marcou cleared the cobwebs and was ready to return for the faceoff. Fyrer didn’t allow him back on the ice but Marcou was back on his line seconds after the faceoff was won. I have a feeling Fyrer thought James showed up him with this sequence of events and let him know this with the diving call in the third. It’s not the most upstanding of ways to officiate but I don’t think Fyrer has even been considered one of the better Hockey East officials anyway.

Last night’s win gave UMass its first four point weekend of the season and did it against what was supposed to be one of the best teams in Hockey East this year. I think BU’s fall from last year’s pinnacle has overshadowed what has transpired with Lowell’s hockey team. This is a team that returned everyone from last year’s squad that went to the Hockey East championship, was the preseason #2 in the league, and has two of the league’s better goaltenders at their disposal. So what’s their problem? Not the goaltending, as both Nevin Hamilton and Carter Hutton played very well this weekend, with the latter making one of the best saves I’ve seen this season early in the 3rd of last night’s game. They’re not the most offensive minded club but with their defense and goaltending they don’t necessarily have to be. Their problem is they’re completely undisciplined taking too many penalties at the worst possible time in games. It nearly cost them last week’s game at Northeastern and it certainly played a role in both games this weekend. If Lowell ends up missing the NCAAs for the 14th year in a row, they can look back at all those cheap, unnecessary penalties and think about the season that could’ve been.

As for UMass, it’s time to look ahead. They’ll have another key chance to grab some Hockey East points this weekend with Vermont coming to town for two games. UMass finds itself in third place in Hockey East just three points out of first, though UNH still has one game in hand on the Minutemen. They’ll have to remain focused and get at least three points from this weekend to set themselves up for the remaining schedule. It’s a little scary to think that after this coming weekend there will only be three games left in the friendly confines of the Mullins, so the team simply cannot let the opportunity pass to get points at home.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Paul Dainton
Without Dainton’s play, especially in the first two periods, this game gets ugly fast.

Δ

Matt Irwin credits Will Ortiz’s screen for his game-winner in the USCHO game story.

Thank equipment manager Josh Penn for spotting the Lowell player in the crease on the disallowed goal according to the Republican recap.

Here’s how things looked for the uncredited Gazette reporter.

Δ

Jon Quick get the shootout win over the Bruins yesterday afternoon.

WEEI.com had a nice feature on how Quick used to study Olympic teammate Tim Thomas’ style while a student at UMass.

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24 Comments

  1. Not to mention the crazy 10 minute “shooting after the whistle” penelty on Welman. Needless to say, the refs were a tad bit bad last night

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  2. smitty

     /  January 17, 2010

    Yeah, that was a pretty brutal call on Wellman. I don’t get it. But the impressive thing to me was, UMass got absolutely dominated in the second period. Toot said it best after the game. They weathered some storms. Huge two points for the Mass Attack.

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  3. Jeff

     /  January 17, 2010

    The 2 minute shooting after the whistle was legit – although rarely called. The extra 10 was Welman saying something to the ref.

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  4. Ben (Flag Guy)

     /  January 17, 2010

    Those fans are so dirty. One guy came up to me as he was leaving and started swearing in my face, its like wow what a sore loser. Also the lowell fans are so pissed on the USCHO fan forum its kindof funny.

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  5. Jeff

     /  January 17, 2010

    What is funny about the Lowell fans, one of them on USCHO was more concerned about the ‘seeya asshole’ than the game. Yet their fans drop f-bombs at us on their way out as sore losers. And thats not the first time their fans have done that…

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  6. Adam

     /  January 17, 2010

    I know this might seem a little anti- Umass spirit, but i do think we need a little changing to our cheering. I am not saying that we should clean up, or class up. But if we are going to be classless, vulgar crazys, we might as well be original. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe every single one of our common cheers is not ours. The goal song is used by atleast three hockey east teams, I guess “see you a##hole” is unique, but things like sieve started I believe in Michigan. Wouldn’t it be cool to be original in our distastefulness?

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    • Alan

       /  January 17, 2010

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped swearing in unison altogether? It’s classless and makes us look like morons, and does a disservice to our beloved alma mater.

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    • Ryan

       /  January 17, 2010

      sieve was originally a wisconsin chant

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      • Alan

         /  January 17, 2010

        Well, our fans don’t chant, “sieve” anyhow, so there.

        Things I could do without:
        (in no particular order)

        -F*** -insert opponent here-
        -see ya asshole (can’t we just end it at see ya? not terribly creative, but it gets the message across.)
        -the (non)-sieve chant. when i was an undergrad, we actually chanted, “sieve!” where the knuckledragging fans now chant “fuck em up go umass!” wow! how thoughtful!

        this stuff has been bothering me for years. i love that mullins has become a tough place to play, and that opposing fans dread coming to our rink. you should always expect some friction when you visit an opponent’s rink. however, there’s no reason for them to be fearing for their safety at the mullins.

        change starts at the grassroots level. how do you get 4,500 students to stop chanting the f-word? you need to get a solid group of die-hards that go to every game to step up and police the student section.

        anyone?

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  7. I agree with cleaning up the fan behavior. Especially with Vermont coming in this weekend, I’m sure there will be plenty of “Fuc* Vermont” cheers. The goal song/chant will always be there and that’s fine but the random “f this” cheers are not needed.

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  8. Matt

     /  January 18, 2010

    Good luck trying to police the student section. Frankly, most students like it the way it is, it just sounds like a dumb gripe on your part.

    No offense intended, but I rather like how vulgar it is

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  9. I understand most students like it but when you sit on the other side of the arena as I usually do, it sounds stupid and a lot of visiting parents (and UMass parents for that matter) say it represents UMass poorly. You can pick whether or not to believe that but it is true.

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  10. Ben (Flag Guy)

     /  January 18, 2010

    I see why it would be nice to get the students to stop swearing, but I think it’s a lost cause since most people don’t care and aren’t in their right mind when they come to a game.

    Personally, if I find a chant to be inappropriate or stupid I just don’t participate. Also I often replace the f bomb with rough which seems to work well for me.

    In a way, the attitude makes hockey what it is. It’s an aggresive game and caters to a certain fan base. BU, UNH, BC are all just as bad if not worse and northeastern throws food on visiting fans, so I’ll take swearing over food fights (or NCAA violations like cowbells, airhorns, and pep bands that play during gameplay (Lowell))

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    • Ryan

       /  January 18, 2010

      BC doesn’t have any student fans, the “superfans” are all studying or too tired from the ACC lose they most likely took in basketball the night before to come to a hockey game.

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  11. Anyone who has attended a game at Maine can attest that it is more than possible to create an intimidating atmosphere without resorting to vulgarity and threatening behavior.

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  12. ganderson

     /  January 18, 2010

    I have been attending college hockey games since the early 1970’s- I may be the cranky old codger on this site, but I’d observe the following:

    1. At Williams Arena (that’s what it was back then) during the Herb Brooks era it was was considered one of the tougher venues in the WCHA- I particularly remember the call AAAAAAMO chant when Michigan State came to town (RIP Amo Bessone) We were obnoxious, but not vulgar.

    2. The sieve chant originated in Madison (home of the world’s WORST hockey fans)- reason enough to retire it in my view. ANd doesn’t it detract from our own lads’ abilities? I can score on a sieve!

    3. I’ve been a UMASS season ticket holder since day 1- I like the fact that the student section is now full or nearly so, but I don’t like the vulgarity. I certainly am not a choirboy, and have dropped an f-bomb or two in my day, but I do believe it reflects poorly on the University and the UMASS hockey community. It’s a question of time and place- what’s acceptable with one’s pals at the bar or in your house or apartment is not always in a public venue- and whether they do it at BU or BC is not relevant- besides, how clever is “see ya **&%$” ? I’m old fashioned enough to not like the “SUCKS” when the opposition’s introduced either- what happened to the old “reading the newspaper” trick- although I guess nowadays you’d have to put your laptop over your face…

    4. I’d be in favor of a bench minor for obscenity- I think it’d stop pretty quickly- I was at a number of MLB parks this summer where the ushers actively discouraged swearing and other “pottymouthedness”. I understand that that’s more difficult when it involves the entire student section. I do know people who don’t come to games because of the dirty cheers.

    5. And as if I haven’t tagged myself as enough of an old fart- I really dislike the atmosphere of the modern arena- not just hockey either. I think I’m smart enough to know when to cheer, and I don’t need to be bombarded by the lasted brain melting tune from “The Smashed Foreheads”. It’s obnoxious- I blame the Chicago Bulls- they were the ones to introduce the ear-splitting in-game environment. And… why is there no band!!!???.

    6. Finally Dainton ‘s the key- if he plays well this team could go a long way.

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  13. Anonymous

     /  January 18, 2010

    I think after the first minor for See-ya Asshole negating a power play, the fan’s would get the hint.

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  14. Honestly, the only thing I think that needs to be curbed is “eff (insert team name here),” and more for its lack of creativity than anything else. The “eff em up” is only bad if you actually know what they’re saying; I sat in Cahoonaville for much of my freshman year (06-07) and I was convinced that “hey you suck” was followed by “sieve sieve sieve…” instead, because that’s what people around me did. It’s so garbled and disjointed that, from the other side of the arena, I imagine it’d be easy to explain to the youngins that the fans are saying something else. Hell, my first visit to Agganis I believed that they changed it to “rough ’em up” even though that’s definitely not the case from what I hear. And as for “a-hole,” you hear that on basic cable these days. I simply don’t understand the outrage about profanity like that when it’s so widely present everywhere else.

    And really, the attendance figures are pretty freakin’ good, so I don’t think the university wants to cater to a handful of malcontents who refuse to attend games due to naughty words at the risk of alienating the student fan base they’ve worked so hard to foster. What do you think is more appealing to potential recruits, a lot more adult families and kids on one side of the arena, or a lot more screaming students (read: attractive college-age females) on the other? I think that’s why they tried to have it both ways with the “be respectful, keep it clean” campaign – believe me when I say that Mullins security is definitely cracking down more on “individual swearing,” particularly the farther you get from section S, but the chants themselves are getting nothing more than a passive finger-wag.

    I’ll probably write more on this subject on Fight Mass at some point, maybe next week after I talk it over a bit more with some of the other “vocal leaders” of the student section, since it’s a really fascinating subject that doesn’t really get a lot of thought on our part.

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    • You’re right, attendance figures have been great the last few years. But something to consider is that athletics is still a business for UMass and while they already have revenue from the students whether they show up or not (thanks for the athletic fee you pay) they still need season ticket holders and walkups to help pay for the high costs of the program and the athletic department in general. While I’m sure they’re happy about the tremendous support the students have shown recently if it gets to the point where their behavior is found to be keeping true paying customers home, I bet they’ll take some action to make the atmosphere better for all who want to attend. UMass simply cannot afford to alienate those are willing to give them money.

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  15. ganderson

     /  January 19, 2010

    Max- I agree with much of what you say- I know that much of what is said on the student side can be heard on basic cable- but should that be our standard? And it’s not the screaming it’s the vugarity, and it you’re going to be vulgar, be clever. There use to be a WCHA ref named Don Wilkie- our chant from the second deck at Williams was “A horse’s tail is soft and silky; lift it up and you’ll find Wilkie” – OK not the most clever thing in the world, but suggestively vulgar rather than out and out gross.And I guess my point is that the atmosphere can be loud, raucous and obnoxious without being dirty. And I think (without any polling data whatsoever) that there are more fans that don’t go because of the vulgarity, than there are fans who say to themselves, “If I can’t swear, I’m not going”.

    And while I’m at it, I know that these are phenomena not limited to the Mullins Center or UMASS, they’re a part of modern culture- Tom Wolfe’s particularly good on the vulgarity of the modern college campus. I just don’t like it, that’s all!

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  16. Josh

     /  November 30, 2011

    @ganderson – Sorry, but the “sieve” chant originated long before they started doing it at UW. They’re just the first morons who thought it was a good idea to do it after each and every goal regardless of the situation (empty net goal, down 8 goals, etc). Now they do it constantly. Even after they are scored on. Truly clueless fan base.

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