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Recruit Update; Getting Chippy

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
As I mentioned last week Boyle was hurt in Game 5 of his team’s second round series. Unfortunately he was not able to play again as his (and coach Darren Yopyk’s) Warriors were eliminated in the next game. Boyle did pretty well in the playoffs going 6-6-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .907 save percentage.

Mike Busillo – D – Hartford Jr Wolfpack (AtlJHL)
41 GP / 8 G / 19 A / 27 Pts / 97 PIM
Busillo’s season is over as his Wolfpack were eliminated by Walpole in the first round of the AtlJHL playoffs. He had a goal in three playoff games.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Shattuck St Mary’s (MN)
43 GP / 11 G / 42 A / 53 Pts / 66 PIM
Gillespie had 5 assists and 16 PIM in his last four games.

Zack LaRue – C/F – Markham Waxers (OPJHL)
50 GP / 33 G / 36 A / 69 Pts / 26 PIM
LaRue’s season has come to a close as his Waxers lost in the first round of the playoffs. He had a goal and four assists in five playoff games, including a game winner and a shorthanded goal.

Joseph Manno – South Kent Cardinal (NE Prep)
24 GP / 16 G / 27 A / 43 Pts
South Kent was upset in the prep playoffs despite being the top seed.

Steve Mastalerz – G – Kimball Union Wildcats (NE Prep)
35 GP / 24-7-4 / 1.63 GAA / .923 sv%
Mastalerz’s season is over after KUA lost in the first playoff game 4-3 in overtime.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
42 GP / 8 G / 7 A / 15 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh had one of his best games of the season on Sunday, scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 4-3 win for the Saints.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force (USHL)
50 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 181 PIM
Yevenko only played in one game this past week, picking up 14 penalty minutes for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. As a result, I believe, he was suspended for the following game.

It appears Greenfield Recorder writer Chip Ainsworth has written another column calling for Toot’s head but this one also mentioned Fear The Triangle in a disparaging way.  I say another column because Ainsworth has been beating his “Fire Toot” drum since about 2005 or so. When the team made the NCAAs in 2007 he chalked it up to the luck of having Jon Quick in the net and that a “trained seal” could’ve made the NCAA tournament with that team (seals apparently being naturally good recruiters) and kept right on drumming. The Recorder is a pay site but a full transcript is posted, for the time being anyway, at UMasshoops.com. However, just so they don’t send me some kind of cease and desist letter, I’ll only repost the part that mentions FTT:

But like the Energizer Bunny, McCutcheon keeps marching along with his broken drumstick of a coach because nobody cares. Beside this lemonade stand of a column, media scrutiny of McCutcheon’s and Cahoon’s foibles is practically nonexistent. Boston’s two daily newspapers think the roads turn to dirt out here, and the two regional papers report the scores and throw in an occasional feature, but have never gone for the jugular. Meanwhile the hockey team’s only dedicated blog — “Fear the Triangle” — should more aptly be called “Fear the Truth.”

First of all, “the two regional papers report the scores and throw in an occasional feature” is a slap in the face of Matt Vautour and especially Dick Baker.  Baker has brought the Republican’s coverage of the hockey team to a whole new level with his regular stories and especially the blog he started this past season.  Regular FTT readers know that I regularly share the insight and information that Baker has written regarding the team.

Secondly, maybe it’s just me but I think it’s pretty weak for a professional writer to call out a non-profit fan blog, written by someone in their own spare time, in one of his columns because he has a problem with the coverage. Of course if readers want to call me out, which has been done on occasion, I understand that because that’s part of the whole dynamic of the blog itself. You folks are my customers. Hell, I don’t even care if players call me out since I could never do what they do.  Though I would hope in the end they realize I’m just trying to help fellow fans follow them and the team.  But I think some guy cashing a paycheck as a writer, excuse me, award-winning columnist taking shot at a non-journalist who writes about team as a hobby is, as they say, bush league.  Sure, I’m a big boy and I can take it but at the same time I think he’d be unhappy if I went out of my way crap all over his MS Excel skills, inability to construct a proper ROI calculation from scratch, or  inability to accurately assess a company’s financial well-being.  All things I get paid for.

Thirdly, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think I’m pretty truthful and rational when it comes to my assessment of the UMass hockey program. Or at the very least as rational as can be considering I write from a fan’s perspective and therefore I fully realize at times emotion will come through in my writing. Not being a journalist or having aspirations to be a journalist frees me from having to purge emotional attachment from my posts. Regardless, I think I’m pretty fair. I have criticized and celebrated players, coaches, administrators, fans, marketing personnel, and anyone else associated with the team when I thought it justified. I will say do everything I can to keep my criticism in context and from being personal, especially when it comes to the players. But I guess in Ainsworth’s eyes I’m sitting here writing about the rainbows and daisies that surround the hockey program while actually fearing the truth.

Specifically regarding Cahoon and his status as coach of this program, I need only to point you back to last summer when he signed his most recent contract extension (news first reported here on FTT by the way) and the case I made that it was what was best for the program. Nothing has changed for me since I wrote that in September. The team went out and had pretty much the exact season I expected, so why would my opinion change? Next season when all these talented freshmen turn into sophomores is when my expectations increase.  I’ll get more into that at a later date.  I’ve already been composing in my head an early look at next season to publish sometime after the Frozen Four. But I just point that out to say that I have very specific expectations of achievement for the final two years of Cahoon’s contract and if they’re not being met believe me you’ll be hearing about it.

Lastly, one thing I should have done in my season recap when thanking all you readers is to also thank Associate Director of Media Relations John Sinnett who was nice enough to offer me some of the same access to the team that he offers to the real media. Because of that I was able to attend Hockey East Media Day, some practices, and a good number of the post-game press conferences after home games. And because of that I got to meet and speak with some of the people who cover the team and Hockey East like Dick Baker and Andrew Merritt (I’d already met Matty Vautour since we happen to make up two of just a handful of Colorado fans in the state/GO BUFFS!). You know who I didn’t get to meet or even see in all that time where I had the same access as the media? Oh yeah, Chip Ainsworth. Those who read his columns in the Recorder know why. He’s one of the many New England snowbirds who head south to Florida for the winter. One can just picture him sitting poolside, pina colada next to him, pounding away furiously on his laptop keyboard about his profound disappointment in the state of the UMass hockey program and its coach. Yet, his shadow rarely graces the inside of the Mullins Center. What profound insight he must have of the sport to be able to know more about the daily trials and tribulations of the Minutemen from his lounge chair a thousand miles away than those fans and reporters who go to every game. One piece of advice, oh wise hockey sage. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

The Springfield Falcons coach is already singing the praises of Paul Dainton after one practice.  I’m currently planning on attending Saturday’s Falcons-Sharks game in Worcester with some fellow UMass fans to see Dainton, Matt Irwin, and Cory Quirk.  Hopefully he gets time in net.  And I hope James Marcou recovers from his concussion soon as well.

This Bleacher Report post outlines how this year’s San Jose Sharks rookie crop, including Justin Braun, made it to the NHL.

The Portland Press Herald is reporting that Boston College defenseman Brian Dumoulin will be returning to Chestnut Hill next year. As much as I hate that UMass will have to face him again, I love to see college players staying in school.

CollegeHockey News has a very interesting analysis of this year’s tournament selection and placement.

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