Friday Recap; Calling All Triangles

It would be very cool if in one of these “must-win” games the team has been playing basically all month long that they actually play as if they concerned with the results and understand the consequences.  So far however, I haven’t seen it.  Where’s the desperation?

It wasn’t on display last night in North Andover as the Minutemen were once again unable to do anything meaningful on offense, managing just one goal against the conference’s worst defense.  And that lone score came on a two man advantage.  Down just two goals going into the third period and in desperate need of a win the Minutemen managed just four shots on goal.  One, two, three, four!  The defense?  Well let’s just say a guy not named DeCosta or Barton doubled his season total of goals with a hat trick last night.  The UMass blueline is very porous nowadays.

There were sparks of good play here and there.  A T.J. Syner breakaway.  Brett Watson with a poke check.  Kevin Kessler going down on the ice to disrupt a pass.  But overall the team looked like they wanted to be anywhere but at Lawler Rink tonight.  By the end of the game the good number of UMass fans in attendance felt the same.

You know what, I just can’t write about this game anymore.  If you’ve seen any number of the last 7 games, you saw what happened last night.  Mediocre effort, zero execution.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – James Marcou
James gave himself a nice birthday present with a goal last night, but I’m giving him the POTG award for something he did later on in the third.  In one sequence one of his linemates, Wellman I think, put the puck on net and it was stopped by the goaltender.  But then Marcou did something amazing.  With the puck sitting in front of the goaltender he skated directly towards the crease at full speed and tried to jam the puck into the net while it was just lying there.  It’s almost as if he “crashed” the net.  Crazy stuff.  I had heard about such things before but I had forgotten what it looked like.  He wasn’t succesful, but it was pretty remarkable.  I think the team should do more of it.


In the tradition of Paul Revere, Billy Dawes, and Samuel Prescott, I am officially alerting the Minuteman militias.  “The Triangles are coming!  The Triangles are coming!”

I’m sure many people have started reading the Fear The Triangle blog in the past year without really knowing what the phrase even means.  Well I guess it’s time to fill you in.  The triangle of course refers to the old pennant jerseys introduced by former coach Joe Mallen when the program was resurrected in 1993.  That year also marked my first year at UMass and when I first started following the team.  Many of the friends whom I watch the game with started following the team around the same time or a few years later, but we all remember those Mallen years vividly.  Or should I say we all remember those years, unfortunately.  That was some pretty bad hockey bad then.  Not only did UMass lose regularly, they lost in epic fashion at times.  It wasn’t easy being a UMass fan back then, but we had fun and stuck with the team anyway.  Flash forward to 2006.  The team had long since abandoned its triangle jerseys and somewhat abandoned it’s losing ways.  Kinda.  The 2006-2007 squad got out to a good start with a 6-1-1 record.  But then it all came apart.  The team proceeded to go 2-6-2 over the next 10 games, with the last being a 2-1 loss at, of all places, Lawler Arena at Merrimack.  Seeing UMass basically undo all they had accomplished earlier and reverting back to the form of the Mallen years, I had a desperate idea.  If the team was going to play like the team of old that wore triangles, then we were going to play the part as fans.  A call was put out to the hardcore group of fans; it was triangle time.  Our newish block logo UMass jerseys were put away and the old 90’s era jerseys were taken out of mothballs and worn to the very next game.  What do you know, a 4-2 win at home over Merrimack.  Well that was pretty cool, so we had to wear them again right?  UMass plastered Lowell 5-1.  In fact UMass would go 5-1-1 over the next 7 games.  The season was back on track and amazingly enough at end of it all UMass had its first NCAA berth and first tournament win.  In subsequent years, in trying times when the prospects of the season look dire and the team looked downright horrid, the triangles were brought out and for the most part the team would enjoy some success. 

Some teams have rally hats.  Some have rally towels.  Hell, some even have rally monkeys.  UMass, for whatever reason, has rally triangles.

Well, losers of 6 of 7 and being dominated by a 9th place Merrimack team by the score of 4-1 sure sounds like a triangle-clad team to me!  Therefore the gauntlet is being thrown down.  If you have a triangle buried somewhere in your closet or know someone who does, make sure to locate it and don it tonight.  At best whatever magic it contains may just help the team get out of its funk.  At worst, we’ll all be dressed appropriately for the level of play on the ice before us.  Who knows.  Maybe the team will in fact win.  Maybe they’ll go on a little run.  Maybe they secure a place in home ice and the pairwise to end the season.  Maybe UMass opponents will know what it means to fear the triangle.


In the Republican recap Toot Cahoon says recent performance is not related to the January swoons of years past. 

The Gazette game story mentions that Dan Meyers will in fact get the start on Senior Night.

The Eagle Tribune has the story of Stephane DeCosta’s father flying in from France to surprise his son last night.


Collegehockey247, a new college hockey Rivals site, has ranked the Top 50 players for the 2010 class.  Incoming recruit John Parker comes in at #44.

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  1. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it tonight, but I’ll have my triangle with me if I’m there.


  2. Just a quick note, it is “Da Costa” not “DeCosta”. Nice post about the triangles. Hang in there, things can change quickly in this league…


  3. Calling All Triangels


  4. Jason W.

     /  February 20, 2010

    Sadly none of my clothes fit from the Mallen era so I have no magic or karma I can add…

    I just hope its a worthwhile trip from Newton out to Amherst tonight for me. At least I can thank the seniors for their contribution to our school and our team.


  5. Alan

     /  February 20, 2010

    Not going to be there tonight, especially when I can watch them lose for free on TV.


  6. Jason W.

     /  February 21, 2010

    And of course it was a waste of a trip. No offense again. Defense hangs Meyers out to dry. That about sums it up.

    Thanks to the seniors for your contributions during your 4 years at UMass. Too

    Hopefully they will still make the hockey east tourney.


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