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Vermont Preview; Walsh Traded

Vermont Catamounts 1-4-3 (1-3-2) T-8th Hockey East

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Massachusetts Minutemen 0-6-3 (0-3-3) 10th Hockey East

Turkey Tuesday is upon us which means it’s time for the traditional tilt against Vermont.  The teams should be well rested with neither playing in the last ten days.  That last game was a big one for the Catamounts however as they picked up their first win of the season with a 5-3 decision over Boston College.  UMass comes into the game looking to get into the win column themselves.

Picked to finish 6th in Hockey East, Vermont’s season thus far has been a disappointment for Catamount fans with just that lone win to their name.  They’ve played everyone close however, gaining three ties thus far and losing a game to Maine in overtime.  They’ve only allowed more than three goals once and that came in their season opener against Denver.

Offensively the Catamounts are led by Wahsontiio Stacey who with 6 goals accounts for nearly one third of his teams’ total to date.  Only one other player has more than two goals and that would be sophomore Chris McCarthy.  Obviously shutting down Stacey would go a long way, but another player to keep an eye out for is Connor Brickley.  Brickley was taken in the 2nd round of this year’s NHL draft after having a strong year in the USHL last season.

Defensively the Catamounts are led by Drew MacKenzie and Kyle Medvec who I’ve thought to be one of the more underrated defensemen in the conference in the last few years.  Of course in net will be Rob Madore who the Minutemen have only been able to defeat once.  Despite his record, Madore has a decent .917 save percentage.

Looking at Vermont’s stats there are a few areas of concern for the Minutemen.  Despite their record, Vermont has been pretty even with their opponents in terms of shots taken.  And one especially troubling stat that jumps out is that UVM has scored 6 more goals than their opponents in the first period.  UMass on the other hand has scored 9 less in the opening period.  It is absolutely critical that the Minutemen come out firing and try to get that first goal tonight.  Neither the UVM power play or penalty kill is particularly dominant, but UMass has made nearly every opponent’s special teams look good so far.  Vermont is only averaging 4.4 penalties per game versus 6.2 for UMass.  They’ll have to look to play with more discipline and not give the other team the advantage by being in the box.

It’ll be interesting to see how UMass comes out in this game.  At the start of the season there was little practice time for all the newcomers to learn the system and their teammates before being thrust into the meat of the season’s schedule.  With the extended time off it perhaps has offered Coach Cahoon a chance to step back and cover some aspects of his strategy in more detail or perhaps work to refine his lines.  If anything hopefully the team has had a chance to catch their breath and refocus.  There is still a lot of hockey to be played and a lot of points to be won in Hockey East.  UMass and UVM have only played 6 conference games so far while five others have already played 8 or more.  These games in hand could be a huge advantage to the Minutemen if they’re able to get things on track starting tomorrow.

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Here’s a look at this week’s polls and Hockey East awards.

Dick Baker looks at Paul Dainton moving up the UMass statistical ranks.

The Collegian has a lengthy story on Darren Rowe and how he went from the West Coast to East Coast.  The Mullins is a relatively small arena?  It has the largest capacity in Hockey East.

Mike Pereira is once again on the watch list for next year’s draft.

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Recruit Shane Walsh was traded from Tri-City to Dubuque.

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Here’s another piece on Greg Mauldin, this time from the MetroWest Daily.

Casey Wellman answers fanmail on the Wild website.

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3 Comments

  1. Scott Mc

     /  November 23, 2010

    Seeing as you have mentioned Mr Wellman’s name I thought it appropriate to reevaluate my earlier musings…..Casey has settled in to a nice rhythm in the land of the Wild. His numbers are not great but he is getting plenty of playing time and seems to have fit into the NHL pace. I stand corrected….also Mr Gerbe has found himself with the big club, we will see how long it lasts.

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