Randomness

There’s not too much going on in the world of UMass hockey these days, but here are a few links and stories that UMass fans may find interesting.

San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson was specifically asked about Justin Braun and his role with the Sharks going forward and had some good things to say.

Casey Wellman and the Houston Aeros are tied with the Binghamton Senators at 1 game apiece in the AHL Finals.  Wellman has one goal so far in the series.

Alex Kerfoot, a ‘94 who is being recruited by the UMass coaching staff, will play next season for the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is actually going for his second cup of season.  Shane Walsh and the Dubuque Fighting Saints, of which Chiarelli is a part owner, helped get him his first with the USHL’s Clark Cup.

Toot Cahoon, energy resource analyst.

Less than two weeks remain until the Pond Club Golf Outing.  There’s still plenty of time to sign up to play.  If you don’t or can’t play, you can always sponsor the tournament personally or through your business (or blog!) and still attend the cookout afterward and socialize with those associated with the hockey program.  Click on the image to the right for more information.  See you there!

The UMass community is remembering Bob Paquette after he passed away over the weekend.  A UMass alum, Bob built his radio career in the valley and will remembered by many as the host of Morning Edition on WFCR public radio.  He also was very active around UMass, from speaking at commencement to doing PA duties at hockey during those early triangle-era seasons.

Recruit Update: Walsh Wins The Clark Cup

Congratulations to UMass recruit Shane Walsh who helped his Dubuque Fighting Saints win the Clark Cup, given to the USHL champions.  Walsh played a big role in the clinching game, assisting on the game winning goal and putting the icing on the cake with the 6th and final goal of the 6-1 win.  Lots of coverage of the Saints championship run can be found on their website.

Some news on Walsh, confirming something I had heard earlier in the year, is this report that Walsh will be spending another year in Dubuque to work on his game.  This really stems back to when he broke his leg last Spring in the EJHL playoffs.  It hindered his offseason workouts and as a result he got off to a slow start in the USHL.  Getting traded mid-season didn’t help that adjustment either, although it did give him a chance to be a champion.  I think with a USHL season under his belt and the ability to have a normal off-season of conditioning and development should pay dividends in the long run.

Here’s the last recruit update of the season:

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
Boyle’s team was eliminated in the second round of the BCHL playoffs after he got injured. He 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)
49 GP / 13 G / 42 A / 55 Pts / 76 PIM
Gillespie’s season is over after Shattuck won the Tier-I Under 18 National Championship earlier this month in Simsbury, CT. Gillespie was the 12th leading scorer in the tournament, netting two goals and three assists in the six 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.

Andrew Tegeler – F – Junior Bruins (EJHL)
44 GP / 19 G / 21 A / 40 Pts / 38 PIM
Tegeler’s Bruins were eliminated in the EJHL playoffs.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
49 GP / 9 G / 7 A / 16 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh had a goal and two assists in 10 playoff games as his Saints won the USHL championship.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force (USHL)
52 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 197 PIM
Yevenko had 4 PIM and no points in his three playoff games. His Force were eliminated in the USHL playoffs by Walsh’s Saints.

A cup is not in Justin Braun’s future as his San Jose Sharks were eliminated by the Canucks last night on one of the flukiest goals you’ll ever see.  Braun played just one game in the playoffs, coming in the first round when he took on the Kings and Jon Quick.

Casey Wellman is still playing however after his Houston Aeros find themselves in the AHL’s Calder Cup Finals.  Wellman has picked up his play of a late, including two goals in their Game 7 with Hamilton.  The finals start on Friday.

Blake Kessel is leaving UNH early to play for the Islanders.  Probably a good thing for UMass but a bad thing overall for college hockey.

With the recruits done with hockey for the season and UMass alumni wrapping things up look for some more in depth coverage in the coming weeks on FTT as I begin to focus on the 2011-12 season.

I’ll also pass along any information I get at this year’s Pond Club Golf Outing next month.  There’s still time to for you hackers to sign up, just click on the logo to the right.

More Fenway News

The Hampshire Gazette’s Matt Vautour has confirmed that UMass will indeed by playing at Fenway Park.  He also reports that UMass will likely play Vermont, not Maine as originally reported.  I think a UMass-UVM/Maine-UNH doubleheader works much better for all the fanbases.

The Boston Herald also has a story on the event (featuring a picture of Joel Hanley).

Meanwhile, Mike McMahon, who originally broke the story, mentioned on Twitter that January 7th will be the likely date of the games.  That means UMass will need to reschedule their game at Providence for that day and will likely lose a home game against Vermont that would’ve been played in the Mullins Center.

Recruit Shane Walsh’s Dubuque Saints have a chance to clinch the USHL championship tonight.

Former Minuteman J.R Zavisza, who played for UMass from 1999 to 2002, is the new head hockey coach at Loomis Chaffee prep school.

Mike McMahon had an interesting Q&A with Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna about the impact of the new Big 10 hockey conference and potential expansion.

Report: UMass To Play At Fenway Park

Mike McMahon, the respected writer who covers Merrimack and college hockey for the Eagle Tribune, reported on Twitter today that UMass is scheduled to play at Fenway Park next January as part of a double-header.  The two games would feature UMass versus Maine and UNH versus Vermont.  The specific date is not known, nor is how it would affect the schedule that has already been reported (where UMass and Maine don’t play in the month of January).

This is great news for the program and will surely be a fun time for its fans.  Matt Vautour had reported earlier that UMass was originally scheduled to play in Fenway in 2010 until the league decided to play a women’s game preceding Boston College-Boston University.  News came out a few weeks ago that the Red Sox were interested in setting up another rink this coming winter even without the draw of a Bruins game and the Boston Herald reported that UNH and Maine were rumored to be participants.

Personally I think the better matchups would be UMass against Northeastern and rivals Maine and UNH, but just as long as Your State U is involved I’m not going to complain.  McMahon did not name his source for the report, but it should be noted that he is also publishing a Q&A with Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna today as well, so the information may have come from the top.

Be sure to keep an eye on his blog, Warrior Rink Rat, for more information and I’ll be sure to pass along anything more I find out on here, Facebook, or Twitter.

(McMahon has reported that Bertagna was not his source. – mc)

Auvenshine Commits To UMass; Recruit Update

UMass has picked up a late commitment from 6’2”, 195lb  forward Emerson Auvenshine for this coming semester.  Auvenshine has spent the past two seasons playing for the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL.  This past season he had 11 goals and 11 assists in 54 games and had 106 PIM for the Bobcats.  He’s originally from Easton Rapids, MI.

I wasn’t able to find too much information out there on him, but Paul Teeple, the Bobcats’ Director of Broadcasting, was nice enough to pass along a few things.  Auvenshine initially did not make the Bobcats roster when he arrived in Bismarck a couple years ago, but stayed and town, continued to practice and work hard and eventually made the squad when another player left the team.  Obviously he stuck ever since eventually becoming an assistant captain for the team this past season.  Teeple called him a high energy guy who has the ability to score some clutch goals as well, like this series clincher from this year’s playoffs.  Auvenshine scores the gamewinner at about 1:10 into the video:

While the NAHL is not at the level of other leagues like the USHL and arguably the EJHL, UMass has had success with players from that league, such as Anthony Raiola who put in some quality minutes towards the end of this past season.

I’ll post more on Auvenshine as I come across it.  I also have to take a closer look at the roster, because I thought pretty much all the slots had been taken at this point.  This could signal that there will be some roster turnover now that students are done with classes.

Onto the regular recruit update.  Shane Walsh’s Dubuque Saints are currently tied 1-1 for the USHL championship against Sioux Falls.  Walsh got the assist on the game winning goal in game 2 of the best of five series.  Games 3 and 4 will take place this weekend.

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
Boyle’s team was eliminated in the second round of the BCHL playoffs after he got injured. He 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)
49 GP / 13 G / 42 A / 55 Pts / 76 PIM
Gillespie’s season is over after Shattuck won the Tier-I Under 18 National Championship earlier this month in Simsbury, CT. Gillespie was the 12th leading scorer in the tournament, netting two goals and three assists in the six 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.

Andrew Tegeler – F – Junior Bruins (EJHL)
44 GP / 19 G / 21 A / 40 Pts / 38 PIM
Tegeler’s Bruins were eliminated in the EJHL playoffs.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
49 GP / 9 G / 7 A / 16 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh picked up his first point of the playoffs, a key one, this past weekend.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force (USHL)
52 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 197 PIM
Yevenko had 4 PIM and no points in his three playoff games. His Force were eliminated in the USHL playoffs by Walsh’s Saints.

A video tribute to the seniors is up at UMassAthletics.com.

Kind of odd that a kid from Danvers who played for the Junior Bruins will be rooting for the Lightning tonight.  But we’ll cut Alex Berry some slack since he does play for Tampa Bay’s affiliate in Norfolk.  Here’s a great recap of how Alex is faring in pro hockey from his local paper.  (By the way, brutal spelling of Amherst…)

Parker Heading To Maine

Over three years ago New Jersey native John Parker first committed to play at UMass.  This past winter his prospects of playing in Hockey East looked slim when Parker and the UMass coaching staff mutually agreed to part ways when he balked at the prospect of moving from forward to defense.  Well at the 11th hour, and probably with a little help from his USHL team’s owner who also is a big Maine supporter, Parker has secured a spot to play for the Black Bears next fall.  Good luck to him in Orono, except of course when he takes on the Minutemen.

Casey Wellman struggled through most of his teams playoff games going into last week’s game 7 against Milwaukee in the AHL second round, scoring just one goal in 10 games.  But goal number two was a big one, a gamewinner late in the game to help the Houston Aeros clinch the series.  His Aeros are now up 1-0 on the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Eastern Conference finals.  Wellman had an assist in the series opener.  Minnesota Wild blog Hockey Wilderness grades Wellman’s first full year of pro hockey.

Oh the NHL side of things, Justin Braun continues to be the odd man out in the defensive corps, not dressing for any of the series against the Red Wings.

Recruit/News Update

Shane Walsh and his Dubuque Saints have make the USHL finals.  They’ll play Green Bay (Justin Braun’s former team) for the Clark Cup in a best of five series starting Friday.

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
Boyle’s team was eliminated in the second round of the BCHL playoffs after he got injured. He 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)
49 GP / 13 G / 42 A / 55 Pts / 76 PIM
Gillespie’s season is over after Shattuck won the Tier-I Under 18 National Championship earlier this month in Simsbury, CT. Gillespie was the 12th leading scorer in the tournament, netting two goals and three assists in the six 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.

Andrew Tegeler – F – Junior Bruins (EJHL)
44 GP / 19 G / 21 A / 40 Pts / 38 PIM
Tegeler’s Bruins were eliminated in the EJHL playoffs.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
49 GP / 9 G / 7 A / 16 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh went scoreless in his two games this week. His Saints beat Sioux Falls in four games.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force (USHL)
52 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 197 PIM
Yevenko had 4 PIM and no points in his three playoff games. His Force were eliminated in the USHL playoffs by Walsh’s Saints.

A couple former coaching staff members are in the news.

The IIHF has an interesting article on former Minuteman assistant coach Bill Gilligan, now the head coach of the Austrian National Team.

According to College Hockey News, Princeton was reportedly interested in talking to former UMass grad assistant Darren Yopyk for their head coaching vacancy, but he ended up running into visa problems.  Yopyk has a graduate degree from UMass and most recently was the head coach for incoming goaltender Kevin Boyle with the Westside Warriors in the BCHL.

UMass has a new marching band director.  Hopefully the topic of creating a long overdue hockey pep band is brought up to him soon.  No, I take that back.  Hopefully the task was put forth as a necessity before he was even hired.

Recruit Update

Shane Walsh is the only recruit left playing:

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
Boyle’s team was eliminated in the second round of the BCHL playoffs after he got injured. He 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)
49 GP / 13 G / 42 A / 55 Pts / 76 PIM
Gillespie’s season is over after Shattuck won the Tier-I Under 18 National Championship earlier this month in Simsbury, CT. Gillespie was the 12th leading scorer in the tournament, netting two goals and three assists in the six 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.

Andrew Tegeler – F – Junior Bruins (EJHL)
44 GP / 19 G / 21 A / 40 Pts / 38 PIM
Tegeler’s Bruins were eliminated in the EJHL playoffs.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
49 GP / 9 G / 7 A / 16 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh went scoreless in his two games this week.  His Saints are up 2-0 in their series against Sioux Falls.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force (USHL)
52 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 197 PIM
Yevenko had 4 PIM and no points in his three playoff games. His Force were eliminated in the USHL playoffs by Walsh’s Saints.

The Junior Bruins put out a release on Andrew Tegeler’s commitment to UMass.  Also, USHR reported that Clarkson, Maine, Providence, Army, Lowell, and UConn all had interest in the Bruins forward.

The Attleboro Sun had an article on hometown hero Peter Trovato and his dedication to helping the children of fallen servicemen and women with his Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund.

Miscellaneous Monday

I’m back from a great weekend back on campus.  I got to enjoy lacrosse dominate Delaware on Senior Night and the first Spring Game of the new era of UMass football, both proceeded by some excellent tailgating and catching up with UMass friends old and new.  It’s a little disappointing to think that probably I won’t be attending another sporting event on campus until mid-September’s football game against Rhody, however there is next month’s Pond Club Golf Outing to look forward to.

Just a few links to share today.

Goaltender Gabe Grunwald who visited UMass will be heading to Wisconsin in the fall of 2013 instead.

Maine alum Jimmy Howard and his Detroit Red Wings find themselves down 0-2 to the San Jose Sharks and Howard has found himself the target of some loud opposing fans.  But according to this story it doesn’t bother him because he had to play in tough environments in college, specifically mentioning UMass along with BU and UNH.

Recruit Shane Walsh is quoted in this New England Hockey Journal piece on how New England players are helping Dubuque succeed in the USHL.

Obviously everyone’s thoughts today are on the fact that Osama Bin Laden was finally made to pay for the evil he unleashed on the United States almost ten years ago.  Many were lost on 9/11 and the UMass community was not spared by the tragedy, losing a number of alumni and staff.  So a big Fear The Triangle stick tap and hearty thanks to Navy SEAL Team 6 and all those who have served our country and done their part to gain justice for those victims.