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Miscellaneous Monday

It has been a few days since my last post. I’ve been on a bit of a FTT sabbatical which ironically enough consisted of watching a lot of hockey and drinking some good beer. Time to catch up on what’s going on with UMass hockey and the rest of Hockey East.

Paul Dainton picked up his first professional win on Saturday night against the Worcester Sharks, stopping a 12 game winless streak for the Falcons.  Dainton had 39 saves and even picked up an assist in the effort.  He was able to keep former teammates Cory Quirk and Matt Irwin off the board and got the win over former Lowell goaltender Carter Hutton who got lit up for 4 goals in 11 shots before being yanked.

Chase Langeraap is writing a blog covering the beginning of his professional hockey career for the UMass Athletics site.

Alex Berry was named the Norfolk Admiral’s representative of the AHL Man of the Year.  Berry is being recognized for his participation in a variety of causes in the Norfolk area.  Truly he’s doing an excellent job carrying on the legacy of dedicated community involvement that we’ve seen develop in Amherst in recent seasons with the UMass program.  Berry is now up for the league-wide award for the AHL.  Congratulations to Alex, a great representative of the University of Massachusetts.

I likely would’ve been at Dainton’s first win in Worcester if I didn’t end up deciding to head up to Manchester for the Northeast Regional at the last minute.  I attended the games with my father, a Merrimack grad, who quite frankly has learned everything he knows about Warrior hockey from yours truly.  Still it was fun to bring him up there to watch his alma mater make their first NCAA appearance since 1988.  First off, we started the afternoon at the Strange Brew Tavern, which I recommend for those looking for a good place for a beer in Manchester.  They have an excellent selection of northern New England brews and I enjoyed some Smuttynose, Woodstock, and Trout River during my visit.  Saturday was my first visit to Verizon Wireless Arena, which I thought was a pretty nice minor league venue aside from what seemed like some narrow concourses.

I was certainly surprised by what occurred in the first game between UNH and Miami.  The Wildcats had a very solid year, but the way in which they shutdown a very talented Miami team was extremely impressive.  I had looked forward to seeing Hobey Baker finalists Carter Camper and Andy Miele for the Redhawks but they did not live up to their reputations that day.  Both showed good moves and hands but like the rest of their team were unable to put quality chances on net all night and UNH came away with the upset.

The stories of the second game was a great Merrimack crowd and how their team was killed by bad goals.  The Merrimack crowd was impressive, many sporting jerseys or specially made t-shirts.  They were spurred on all night by the University of Dayton hoop band which Merrimack had rented for the last three weekends.  They were energetic and entertaining but I found it sad that now even Atlantic 10 basketball foes can claim they have a better hockey band than UMass.  Anyway, onto the game, the Warriors played great.  Unfortunately Joe Cannata let in some soft goals as well as a couple flukes.  The softie from way out to cut Merrimack’s lead 3-2 was really the killer.  The game-winner in overtime was simply a great effort by Notre Dame.  I have no idea what Anders Lee thought would happen when he laid out and poked the puck towards the net, but it’s that kind of desperation and extra play that wins games.  Jeff Jackson’s timeout five minutes into an overtime period dominated by the Warriors was the smartest move I saw all day.

UNH could not continue their tough defense the next day against Notre Dame who moved onto the Frozen Four.  And with Boston College getting embarrassed in their first round game the Frozen Four will unfortunately be without any Hockey East representation after dominating the tournament for the last three years.

Hockey East has seen a flurry of early defections to join Maine’s Gustav Nyquist and BU’s David Warsofsky who signed with NHL teams last week.  Boston College will be without Paul Dainton’s newest teammate Cam Atkinson who signed with Columbus and Jimmy Hayes who signed on with the Blackhawks.  Eagle fans are likely worried that Chris Kreider may be leaving Chestnut Hill early as well.  Merrimack’s Stephane DaCosta has not signed as of yet, but  all reports say he’s on the verge of signing a free agent deal with any number of clubs and has already secured an agent.

Don’t forget, the Reverse Raffle is this Friday.  You cannot beat this event.  For $115 you and a friend can hang out with other fans, coaches, parents, and everyone else associated with the program, eat some good food, drink some good beer, win some cool prizes (I just kicked in a $50 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card myself), and maybe even walk away with $4,999.  Best of all, the program walks away with money too from this fundraising event.  Don’t you hate how BC, BU, UNH, and Maine always seem to have all the money and support in the conference?  Well here’s your chance to help level the playing field (ice?) for UMass hockey while having a good time as well.  Hope to see everyone there.

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7 Comments

  1. Bullmoose

     /  March 28, 2011

    How was Merrimack able to ship the Dayton band to NH? Serious question. (I know that an non-serious answer would be that they flew.) Isn’t Dayton in Ohio? Kinda a long way from New Hampshire. Or were they in the northeast for another engagement?

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    • Come on. You should know that private schools need to spend that tuition and endowments on something.

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  2. Anonymous

     /  March 29, 2011

    loving seeing all these players leaving early, anything on kreider rocks? wish tommy cross went with em.

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    • I haven’t heard anything specific about Kreider. A couple months ago everyone assumed he was going. Not sure if that sentiment has changed. He wasn’t named one of the captains, not sure if I should read anything into that.

      Surprised Cross was named captain. He takes a lot of dumb penalties.

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  3. Anonymous

     /  March 29, 2011

    Nice to see a group of UMass jerseys cheering on Dainton Saturday night. He played great, and was awarded third star.

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    • I’ll take partial credit for that. I suggested the trip to watch Dainton vs the Minutesharks but bailed when single day tickets for Manchester went on sale. The Fight Mass guys still were able to make it however.

      Unfortunately the Bluejackets signing RPI’s York yesterday likely means less playing time for Dainton.

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    • lol, being noticed

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