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Hacking For Hockey: Pond Club Golf Outing Registration Now Open

Information is available for this year’s Pond Club Golf Outing which will take place on June 13th at The Orchards, in South Hadley.  The event is a great opportunity to play on a premiere course with supporters, former players, coaches, and others connected to UMass hockey.  Last year the outing featured over 25 former players, including notables such as Jon Quick and James Marcou.  I’m not much of a golfer myself, but I do know enough to know a chance to play on a course like The Orchards, previous host to the Women’s US Open, is worthwhile in itself.  In addition to the golf is a breakfast to start the day and a cookout to end it, as well as a raffle, silent auction (where yours truly picked up a Brett Watson gameworn jersey to add to the collection last year) and a chance to beat Coach Toot Cahoon in a closest to the pin contest.  If you enjoy playing golf and you’re reading FTT, you should really sign up for this event. Of course all this goes towards supporting the program and the money raised at events like this or the Reverse Raffle earlier this month is essential to keeping this team competitive in Hockey East.

This past week’s announcement that the UMass football team will be upgrading its status and joining the MAC is a reminder that big time athletics needs big time supporters.  That’s true in football and it’s true in hockey.  It’s an arms race out there in Hockey East currently.  UMass has always had the luxury of a great academic reputation and good facilities to help its case, but every year the other schools in the conference are improving the state of their programs and UMass must do what it can to keep up and attract the best and brightest players to the team.  Recent years has seen upgraded facilities to the Tsongas Center in Lowell and new scoreboards and compressors to Boston College’s Conte Forum.  On the heels of completely overhauling Lawler Arena last year, Merrimack has announced it will be adding a second ice sheet and other practice facilities.  You get the picture.  It’s essential for UMass to get the support of its fans and community.  As a fan you can help the program be successful by buying season tickets, joining the Pond Club, and attending events like the Reverse Raffle an Golf Outing.  In addition you or your company can sponsor UMass hockey.  The department has put together this great informational page about the benefits of associating your company with UMass hockey.  I know that I’m personally proud to be connected to the program, if only as a fan, because of what it stands for and its history of developing individuals into excellent athletes and members of the community.  The page linked above also outlines the different levels of sponsorship available for the golf outing and the benefits that come with it.  You can just sponsor anything from a hole, to the various contests and raffles, to have the whole damn thing named after you and your company.  Whatever way best suits your brand.  Last year I sponsored the Golf Outing for the first time thinking it would be an excellent way to inform UMass hockey fans of this site.  Which it was.  But at the same time it was a nice way of feeling I had done something to help contribute to the success of the team.  Obviously I’ll never be able to score a goal or make a save for the team, and my cheering in the stands only lasts as long as my voice, but contributing to the team through events like the Golf Outing at least makes me feel like I’m doing what I can to see my team succeed.

Hockey East has a full compliment of coaches again with Lowell hiring former player Norm Bazin and Providence plucking Nate Leaman from Union where he turned that program from nothing to an NCAA tournament team.  Leaman will have his work cut out for him at Providence which has seen dismal attendance as a result of some very bad hockey in recent years.  Out of the two jobs one could easily argue that Lowell was more appealing given their facilities and support from their administration, despite Providence having more hockey tradition and success in its history.

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6 Comments

  1. justin

     /  April 23, 2011

    Looks like I was wrong about Leaman and PC. If he can turn Union into an NCAA team, I’ll be stunned if he can’t make significant improvements at PC. Of course HE is a different beast competition-wise, both on the ice and off the ice (the recruiting game).

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    • Difference is the ECAC seems up for grabs each and every year. There’s great parity in that league. That’s much different than going against the established powers in Hockey East with the worst facilities and no fanbase.

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  2. Can’t really get into details, but I had heard rumors that Leaman was definitely a candidate originally for UML. But he wasn’t one of the finalists. I do also think that Lowell was a better opportunity. As a UML alum, I’m hoping that Bazin does work out, and I desperately hope that they give him some of the same benefits that Cahoon has at UMass to make his job easier. I suppose we’ll see.

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  3. Tough to say … I mean I do like the fact that he’s an alum, so he has more of a “want” to see the program succeed. From my memories of him at Lowell, he was a really nice guy the few times I met him, seemed real, if you know what I mean. He’s recruited before for a small school that was DI in hockey only, so that will help him recruit at Lowell. He’s got a great arena to recruit to, he’s got an administration that wants to see him succeed and will give him as much help as they can (which hopefully means raising the recruiting $$ available), and he’s got a damn good school (IMHO) to recruit to. But … he’s never coached DI, so this’ll be interesting.

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    • Sounds a lot like our basketball hire with Derek Kellogg. Hasn’t exactly been an overwhelming success.

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