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Friday Recap

Well it wasn’t a win but all in all it wasn’t too bad of a showing for the Minutemen last night as they fell 5-3 to #15 Minnesota.  I thought they moved the puck very well for most of the game.  There were a few missed passes where you can see the players haven’t been on the ice together enough to be on the same page.  But for the most part they were able to move the puck when needed and importantly, keep possession in the offensive zone.  I think this will key to keep the puck on that end of the ice because quite frankly, the defense looks shaky.  If not for a couple defensive breakdowns and the inability to finish their offensive chances, UMass wins this game.

Individually I thought Mike Pereira showed why he was such a highly rated recruit.  He was seemingly everywhere, netted a goal, and easily could’ve had two more if he didn’t miss two open nets.  Danny Hobbs I thought played well, especially in the sequence on the penalty kill where he was able to take time of the clock on the offensive end taking on three Minnesota players.  T.J. Syner certainly showed that he will be the goto guy on offense.  I thought Branden Gracel looked very active on offense, but need to work on finishing.  Darren Rowe looked great on forward during the power plays but still needs work as a defensemen.  I think once Joel Hanley is back we’ll see Rowe up front like we saw in the exhibition game.  I thought Paul Dainton had an OK game, but the second goal he let in resulted from him being too far outside of his net and not being able to get back and set in time.  The fourth goal is probably one he’d want back as well.

I think for UMass to win tonight. they pretty much have to stick to what went well last night.  The butterflies should be pretty much gone for the freshmen and I hope to see a little more consistent play from them therefore.  Someone I’d really like to see stepup tonight is Rocco Carzo who didn’t have much of an impact on the game last night other than his work in the faceoff circle.  The offense looks fine, if they can finish.  Defense looks like it’s going to be one game at a time.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game
The first POTG of the year goes to Mike Pereira who scored a goal and an assist in his UMass debut and came extremely close to scoring two more.  He has great vision on offense and was great at getting where he needed to be to set up the scoring chances.  Syner was a close second.

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Here’s the recap from UMassathletics.

As well as one from the Republican.  Dick Baker also has an analysis column highlighting some of the positives from last night.

The Minnesota Tribune says there were only about 5,000 in attendance for the Gopher’s opener.

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Elsewhere in Hockey East, Lowell got stomped by Maine 8-2, while Providence upset Northeastern.  In non-conference games BU beat Wisconsin out at the Icebreaker while Vermont dropped a game to Denver at home and UNH fell to Miami 6-3.

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UMassathletics has coverage of the Pond Club benefit featuring country singer Lee Ann Womack.

A note for those planning on watching the game again on Fox College Sports.  The Boston Herald has informed me that there’s a football game prior to the broadcast that’s scheduled to run until 8:30pm.  So the hockey game will likely get picked up in the middle of the game.  So don’t go to far from your radio/computer if you’re wanting to know what’s going on.

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3 Comments

  1. justin

     /  October 9, 2010

    I actually didn’t think the D looked bad. They obviously broke down a couple of times, and had some struggles on the PK, but considering they hadn’t really played together and were on the road (even in an unhostile environment- nice fan support there, huh?), I thought it was ok. The more they play together (and the freshman play), they better they’ll get at covering up the holes. I loved how aggressive they were on the offensive end, stepping up to keep the puck in the zone. When that doesn’t work it can lead to odd-man rushes, but they kept those to a minimum. I thought Connor Allen looked like he belongs out there- real solid first game.

    Offensively, I thought the returning vets (hobbs/langeraap/keane) looked solid, Syner looked like he could be a force this season, Pereira did show why he was so highly respected coming in (gotta bury those goals though kid), and I really liked what I saw from Peter D’Angelo.

    I’ve shat on Toot for years about playing too conservatively when he recruits small and fast kids, but last night he really played his cards right. Overall offensively they did what they should- used their speed and played aggressively, and they could have put up more goals than they did. They really made the Goofers work hard in their end of the ice. Credit to the coaching staff- let’s just make sure it continues throughout the season.

    Obviously the team is going to need some work in the defensive zone (forwards just as much if not more than the D), but I hope we see the same effort and game plan tonight, ’cause that could lead to a split, or at least a Mallenesque “Moral Victory.”

    All in all, nice opener to the season.

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    • No, all good stuff. Thanks. I too liked Toot’s gameplan. Very aggressive forechecking,even on the PK.

      Like

  2. justin

     /  October 9, 2010

    Jesus- sorry to write a book in your comments section.

    Like

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