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Friday Recap; Guzzo Commits

James Marcou (photo by Karen Winger)

Even though the end result was not what they desired, you have to admire this UMass hockey team.  They gave their full effort and if not for an extremely poor stretch towards the middle of the 2nd period, they win the game last night.  But giving up three goals in just over two minutes time was too much for UMass to come back from and they once again head into a game needing a win or their season is over.  Can they elevate their game with their backs against the wall yet again?

Where did last night go wrong?  Let’s revisit the weekend preview I wrote yesterday.  First off, I said avoid penalties.  Well, they didn’t and this is what sunk the Minutemen’s chances last night.  The team took four penalties last night.  What happens when you do such a thing against a great team like BC?  The Eagles convert on three of them.  Good night, end of story.  If UMass wants to win tonight they can’t take penalties. 

Yesterday I also wrote there were going to be times when BC would be swarming and UMass would have to weather the storm.  I thought they did this pretty well.  What really got them in trouble were just basic defensive breakdowns.  BC scored a couple of goals that were on simple passes across the slot that beat Dainton.  If the defense gets in the way of those passes, it’s a very different game.  Despite the numbers I felt Paul Dainton played solid.  It’s tough to fault him on many of the goals and he certainly did all he could to keep UMass in the game early.  I would hope we see him in net again tonight.  It will be interesting to see what Jerry York does in net though.  I was surprised to see Milner in instead of Muse to begin with.  We’ll see what his decision he makes for the potential series clincher.

It’s tough to feel too badly about last night.  They went toe-to-toe with the best team in the league and nearly pulled off the upset.  They played very well and if not for some correctable mistakes, they win the game.  Tonight is all about adjustments.  They know what went right, they know what went wrong, and most importantly they know they can play with these guys.  Now it’s just time to take that next step.  It’s now or never.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – James Marcou
Not only did he contribute greatly to UMass’ near comeback with a goal and two assists, he also tied FTT favorite Rob Bonneau on the all-time assist list with 94.

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While the results of yesterday’s quarterfinals went pretty much as expected, I’m not sure how they got there is how I imagined.  After being down 4-2 to Vermont UNH scored the final five goals for the 7-4 win.  Merrimack nearly pulled off an upset but BU’s late goal in the 3rd gave them the 3-2 win.  Lowell snuck past Maine 2-1 up in Orono.

Nationally there were a couple interesting games.  First, Niagara upset Bemidji State in the CHA semifinals meaning the CHA will now get two teams into the tournament and eliminating another at-large spot for those teams on the pairwise bubble.  And Quinnipiac and Union played a five overtime game, the longest in NCAA history in the ECAC quarters.  Quinnipiac ended up the victor.

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Dick Baker has the story for the Republican.

Toot Cahoon also speaks about the mistakes made on the weak side defense in the Gazette recap.

Toot says mistakes from both team led to the type of game seen in the Herald recap.

ESPNBoston has a game story as well.

Here’s a BC-centric recap from the Globe.

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UMass has picked up a verbal committment from Steven Guzzo of the Oakville Blades from the Ontario Junior Hockey League.  Guzzo, a 6′ 190lb center, had 29 goals and 41 assists in 56 games for the Blades.  His team is about to start the finals of the OJAHL championship.  He’s described as a hard-working two way center.  One person I spoke to compared him to Tim Vitek, with perhaps more upside offensively.

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