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Preview: #3 Merrimack


Hockey East Preview: #3 Merrimack Warriors

2010-11 Storyline: Da Costa, Cannata lead Merrimack to first NCAA tournament berth in 23 years.

2011-12 Storyline: Merrimack able to stay competitive despite loss of Da Costa.

Player To Watch: Joe Cannata

Player Missed Most: Stephane Da Costa

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Josh Meyers

Random Fact: Da Costa, a Paris native, majored in French while at Merrimack. I still find that hilarious.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot: The Tap (Haverhill Brewery)

Honestly, it was tough to decide who to pick 3rd between Merrimack and New Hampshire, since they’re both very similar. Both are losing big goal scorers in Da Costa and Thompson. Both have some talented forwards waiting in the wings. Both have the top goaltenders returning in the conference. Merrimack gets the nod because they’re really only losing Adam Ross on defense. So not only do you have a goaltender like Cannata, but virtually everyone in front of him comes back, including up and comers like Jordan Heywood.

On offense it’s easy to point to the fact that the Warriors lose Da Costa, Joe Cucci, and Chris Barton. But the fact is Jesse Todd, Ryan Flanigan, and Mike Collins all scored as many, if not more, goals than those three. Add in a guy like Josh Meyers who was second in the BCHL in goals last season and you have a very potent offense despite the losses. Also, let’s remember that Merrimack had to play a chunk of the season down the stretch without Da Costa, who was injured, and did fairly well. This was just a precursor to what we should expect this season.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: Honestly, they shouldn’t unless a team picked below them plays above and beyond what’s expected.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: The defense lets no one one past them in that postage stamp they call a rink.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. ??
3. Merrimack Warriors
4. New Hampshire Wildcats
5. Maine Black Bears
6. Massachusetts Minutemen (preview 10/5)
7. Vermont Catamounts
8. Providence Friars
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

UMassathletics has a video featuring this year’s “Navy Seal” training.

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Preview: #4 New Hampshire Wildcats


Hockey East Preview: #4 New Hampshire Wildcats

2010-11 Storyline: UNH fails to reach Frozen Four despite home ice advantage in the tournament.

2011-12 Storyline: Despite losses, New Hampshire doesn’t rebuild.  They just reload.

Player To Watch: Matt Di Girolamo

Player Missed Most: Paul Thompson

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Grayson Downing

Random Fact: Those who watched UNH in the past few years would not necessarily associate the name “Van Riemsdyk” with defense, but that changes this year as James’ younger brother Trevor come to Durham as the top defenseman in the EJHL.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game  Spot: Portsmouth Brewery

Let’s face it, UNH lost a lot in the offseason; Paul Thompson, Mike Sislo, Blake Kessel, Phil DeSimone just to name a few.  But they do still have a few things going for them.  The goaltender returning with the best stats from last year in Matt Di Girolamo is certainly a good place to start.  He certainly surprised most who follow Hockey East when he gave the Cats solid play right out of the gate.  But he established himself as the real deal by coming up big in net all season.

On offense things are probably actually better than they appear for a team that’s losing a 28 goal guy and a 15 goal guy in Thompson and Sislo.  Look for guys like John Henrion, Kevin Goumas, and Stevie Moses to step up their games.  Freshman Grayson Downing, coming to UNH from the Westside Warriors where he was teammates with Kevin Boyle, will likely contribute right away.   If the Cats do have an area of concern it could be on defense.  The younger players will have to make significant strides to try to replace the steady play of guys like Matt Campanale.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: The defense struggles and Di Girolamo is unable to compensate.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: The forwards who have been waiting in the wings explode on the scene now that they’re on the first line.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. ??
3. ??
4. New Hampshire Wildcats
5. Maine Black Bears
6. Massachusetts Minutemen (preview 10/5)
7. Vermont Catamounts
8. Providence Friars
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

Looking around the rest of the college hockey world:

Denver was picked to win the WCHA.

Notre Dame is tops in the CCHA.

One of UMass’ non-conference opponents, Yale, got the nod in the ECAC.

Preview: #5 Maine Black Bears


Hockey East Preview: #5  Maine Black Bears

2010-11 Storyline: Hobey Baker Finalist Gustav Nyquist not enough to bring Maine to the NCAA tournament.

2011-12 Storyline: The Black Bears battle for home ice led by the one-two punch of Brian Flynn and Spencer Abbott

Player To Watch: Brian Flynn

Player Missed Most: Gustav Nyquist

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Jacob Rutt

Random Fact: Alfond Arena underwent a number of renovations over the summer.  No word if the baked potato bar survived the overhaul.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Post-game Spot: Pat’s Pizza

It’s never easy to replace the production of a Hobey Baker finalist, but Maine will have to do just that.  Helping address that loss is the fact they have two forwards returning who scored 17 or more goals on the year in Brian Flynn and Spencer Abbott.  Joey Diamond will also be counted upon to take on more of the scoring load.  Other returning players will have to be counted on the most because, on paper at least, this recruiting class seems to be one of Maine’s weakest in some time.

The Black Bears’ defensemen, led by Will O’Neill, are probably one of the more solid groups top to bottom in the league.  They’ll have to be because goaltending is a question mark.  I noticed a couple previous previews touting the fact that Dan Sullivan was selected to last year’s All-Rookie team.  All well and good but who else was going to be selected?  The goalie tandem at Lowell?  Sullivan put up solid numbers for a freshman but was very hot and cold during the season.  It remains to be seen just how good he’ll be going forward.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: Sullivan struggles in net and Martin Oullette is unable to do any better.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: The defensemen are not forced to make up for subpar goaltending.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. ??
3. ??
4. ??
5. Maine Black Bears
6. Massachusetts Minutemen (preview upcoming)
7. Vermont Catamounts
8. Providence Friars
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

The athletic department has interviews with all three captains from yesterday’s media day.

First up is Danny Hobbs.

Next up is T.J. Syner.

And finally assistant captain Mike Marcou.

Matt Vautour’s story from media day focuses on the rumors surrounding Notre Dame.  He also mentions that the Fenway game has sold 34,000 tickets.

College Hockey News has a good overall look at the Notre Dame situation and conference realignment in general.

Happy to report that the Syner family dog was found.

Media Day Coverage; NHL Training Camp Updates

Today was Hockey East media day and, while I won’t be able to provide coverage as last year when I was actually able to attend, I’ll do my best to relay what came out of it.  As regular readers know I’ve been doing previews of the Hockey East in the past week and recently revealed my pick for UMass to finish 6th (though my true team preview will come later on).  The Hockey East coaches disagree and have UMass coming in 7th in the league.

That got me thinking, just how good have the coaching minds of the conference been at predicting UMass’ final standing.

 

Year Coaches’ Pick Actual Finish
10-11 9th 8th
09-10 7th T-6th
08-09 6th 7th
07-08 T-5th 8th
06-07 7th 4th
05-06 7th 8th
04-05 6th 8th

 

What does this mean?  Not much.  You can see the data is kinda all over the place.  Although the last two years the trend is for UMass to finish one place ahead of the coaches’ picks, so I’m feeling good with picking them 6th.  Obviously I’ll put my thoughts on the actual predictions themselves into my previews which will continue this week.

Danny Hobbs was interviewed by the Hockey East media staff at today’s events.  Hobbs has his eyes focused on getting to the Garden in his final season in maroon and white.

Coach Cahoon’s interview starts at 6:18 of this video.  Yep.  Goaltending spot up for grabs, as we knew.

UMass was picked 8th in the informal media poll.

Dick Baker says a lot is expected out of the sophomores.  Captain T.J. Syner states UMass is striving for much more than 7th place.  He also mentions that the power play has looked good so far in practice, which is absolute music to the ears.

Speaking of T.J., if you’re in the Forest Park area of Springfield, please keep an eye out for his dog Bauer.

A couple other previews to share.  First comes from the College Hockey Blog where UMass is picked to finish 8th.  The blog is written by Fetch, who is one of the more entertaining people in the college hockey realm of Twitter.

The Maine Daily Campus doesn’t pick the order of finish, but does say the Minutemen will surprise this year.

Paul Dainton, not surprisingly, was sent down to Springfield by the BlueJackets today.  There he’ll battle with RPI’s Allen York for playing time.  He’s also reunited with former teammate Obi Aduba who is in camp with the Falcons.

Looking around at the rest of of the NHL training camps, Mike Kostka has survived a few round of cuts and is still with the Florida Panthers.  Greg Mauldin was sent down to Lake Erie by the Avalanche.  Both Justin Braun and Matt Irwin are still in camp with the Sharks.  As is Matt Anderson with the Devils.

Marv Degon has signed with the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

Former captain turned coach Dean Stork brought success to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL using a lot of college players.  Brandon Wong, Dov Grumet-Morris, Cam Talbot; these are familiar names to college hockey fans.

Media Day didn’t necessarily bring news regarding conference expansion, but did bring some insight thanks to Mike McMahon who has been all over the realignment story in regards to Hockey East.  McMahon also said on Twitter that if Notre Dame is added to the fold that people he talked to thought RPI would be the most likely candidate to become the conference’s 12th team.  Although I’m still not convinced that Hockey East needs to change their footprint enough to include Notre Dame, I do think RPI would be the best choice to round out the number of teams.  It’s a school with a ton of tradition (one of my favorite Bruins, Joe Juneau, played there).  Houston Field House is one of the great barns of college hockey.  And from Amherst to the Capital Region is equal to, if not a little closer, than a trip to Boston.

Preview: #7 Vermont; Scrimmage Details Set; Polls

Hockey East Preview: #7  Vermont Catamounts

2010-11 Storyline: Catamounts have a subpar season after making the NCAA tournament in the prior two years.

2011-12 Storyline: How far can Rob Madore lead Vermont in his final go-around?

Player To Watch: Rob Madore

Player Missed Most: Jack Downing

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Mike Paliotta

Random Fact: Former Catamount Tim Thomas brought the Stanley Cup to Burlington for UVM fans to enjoy over the summer.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot: American Flatbread

Vermont had a tough season last year and could not make it three years in a row with an NCAA berth.  Though they had solid defense and a reliable goaltender in Rob Madore, they were unable to find the scoring they had seen in previous years when Viktor Stalberg was still wearing green.  This was complicated further when Wahsontiio Stacey was kicked off the team mid-season.  They should improve on offense with little brother Sebastian Stalberg developing into a fine forward and sophomore Connor Brickley on the verge of becoming a star in the conference.

Rob Madore starts his fourth year in net with the Catamounts and while his numbers have dropped off each year he’s played, he’ll likely be reliable in net.  However, he’s lost a lot of help in front of him with the graduation of guys like Kyle Medvec and Kevan Miller.  If the Cats don’t see some decided improvement from their younger defensemen and contribution from their talented but untested freshmen blueliners, Madore could be seeing a lot of rubber this season.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: Madore’s goals against average continues to increase at the 0.30 clip we’ve seen the last three years.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: The young forwards make a huge leap offensively.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. ??
3. ??
4. ??
5. ??
6. Massachusetts Minutemen (preview upcoming)
7. Vermont Catamounts
8. Providence Friars
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

While UMass will not be having a true exhibition game this season, there will be an intrasquad scrimmage open to the public.  The scrimmage will take place at 4pm Saturday and will be followed by the annual Skate With The Minutemen event.  Seems like it’s been an unusually long offseason.  I can’t wait to see the team take the ice, even if they’ll only be facing each other.

UMass got 3 points in the USCHO pre-season poll, good for last of the “Also Receiving Votes” teams.

Tomorrow is Hockey East Media Day.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it this year, but I’ll definitely share my thoughts on the pre-season picks that come out of it tomorrow.

Paul Dainton is dressing tonight for the Bluejackets as they take on the Washington Capitals.

The conference shifting is not set yet.  Bowling Green is still weighing their options, one of which could include the University of Buffalo.  Meanwhile, Notre Dame has narrowed it down to either the NCHC or Hockey East.

Alabama Huntsville is still figuring out what it will take to continue on.

11-12 Preview: #8 Providence Friars


Hockey East Preview: #8 Providence Friars

2010-11 Storyline: Tim Army fired after Friars miss Hockey East playoffs for third straight season.

2011-12 Storyline: Will Providence see an immediate impact from the hiring of Nate Leaman?

Player To Watch: Alex Beaudry

Player Missed Most: Kyle MacKinnon

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Barrett Kaib

Random Fact: One of the Friars top returning scorers is none other than Derek Army, son of Tim Army who was dismissed as coach after last season.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot: The Abbey

It’s probably no surprise that the bottom three schools in my Hockey East predictions all happen to be breaking in new coaches this year. However, I would say that Providence not only made the best hire of the conference, but perhaps the best in the country. For a guy only in his mid-30s, Leaman’s resume is stellar. In Union’s 12 seasons in Division I before Leaman took over they had just two winning seasons and never had more than 18 wins. In his last three seasons as head of the Dutchman Leaman led them to win totals of 19, 21, and 26, with last year’s effort bringing the school its first ever regular season ECAC title and NCAA berth.

In the short time he’s been in Providence Leaman has already pulled in a number of quality recruits and even lured back Alex Velischek, the talented defenseman who bolted to the USHL mid-season. They’ll have to come to campus ready to contribute though because the team is going to have a very tough time finding scoring. The Friars only had two players with double digits in goals last year and they both graduated. Derek Army is the top returning goalscorer with only 6. The team can have a little more confidence on defense where they have some good young talent in players like Mark Adams and of course a dependable goaltender in senior Alex Beaudry. With a lack of returning scorers, Beaudry will have to steal a few if Providence wants to end their postseason drought.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: The team is unable to find the back of the net.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: Beaudry ends his career by putting the team on his back.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. ??
3. ??
4. ??
5. ??
6. ??
7. ??
8. Providence Friars
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

The Albany Times-Union has a feature on former UMass captain Matt Anderson who’s attending training camp for the Devils.

11-12 Preview: #9 Northeastern Huskies

Hockey East Preview: #9 Northeastern Huskies

2010-11 Storyline:  Huskies unable to bounce back from 1-8-3 start to season.

2011-12 Storyline: Can Northeastern recover from an offseason full of loss.

Player To Watch: Anthony Bitetto

Player Missed Most:  Jamie Oleksiak

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On:  Josh Manson

Random Fact:   St Botolph Street has become a refuge of sorts for the wayward in Hockey East.  On the Huskies roster is Cody Ferriero who went to Northeastern after decommiting from BC where his brother played, Joe Manno who was at one time committed here to UMass, and Vinny Sapornari who was kicked off of the BU squad by Jack Parker.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot:  Pizzeria Uno.  Seriously, how can you be in the middle of a metropolitan city and not have a decent beer bar within walking distance?!?

Northeastern has some very talented players on its squad such as Bitetto, Chris Rawlings, Anthony Quailer.  But, frankly, Northeastern is a mess.  After starting off horribly last season they improved somewhat only to have head coach Greg Cronin and an assistant coach suspended for recruiting issues as they went down the stretch of the season.  Cronin was ultimately reinstated but spring saw a strange “Is he or isn’t he?” melodrama regarding if he would bolt for the pros.  Ultimately he ended up leaving for an assistant coach role with the Maple Leafs.  That was obviously a blow to the Husky program since Cronin had led a resurgence in his time there, but the worst was yet to come.  When it came time to replace him as head coach the school waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Seemingly the entire summer transpired before they finally named Jim Madigan as head coach, an administrator without head coaching experience who hasn’t been behind a bench since 1993.  Needless to say, his appointment wasn’t enough to keep stud defenseman Jamie Oleksiak in school plus the Huskies lost three top end recruits in John Gaudreau (BC), Garrett Haar (WMU), and Justin Kovacs (WMU).

The Huskies still have talent and they have it where it matters in Rawlings, a seasoned goaltender in net.  But between the early defections of key players, losing their top recruits, and having a coach who’s still trying to figure out which door leads to the bench, I don’t see Northeastern doing much this season.  They’ll likely keep games close with the players they have on the blueline and in the crease, but mentally I think the team has been through too much already and the season hasn’t even started.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: They’re emotionally spent after this offseason.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: Opposing teams are unable to solve Rawlings.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. ??
3. ??
4. ??
5. ??
6. ??
7. ??
8. ??
9.  Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

Marvin Degon has returned from playing overseas and will attend Providence  Bruins training camp.

College Hockey News has come out with their preseason top 10.  Two Hockey East teams, Boston University and Boston College, are on the last at #2 and #5 respectively.  In addition Maine is listed as a team to watch.  Non-conference opponent Yale is ranked 10th while surprisingly Holy Cross is listed as a team to watch as well.

11-12 Preview: #10 Lowell River Hawks

Hockey East Preview:  #10 Lowell River Hawks

2010-11 Storyline:  Young River Hawk team manages just 5 wins on the season.

2011-12 Storyline:  Alum takes the reigns at his alma mater.

Player To Watch:  Riley Wetmore

Player Missed Most:  Scott Campbell

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On:  Scott Wilson

Random Fact:  Lowell plays its home games in Tsongas Tsenter Center in Lowell and previously called Tully Forum in Chelmsford home.  This year the Hawks will play a home game in Nashua, New Hampshire’s Conway Arena against UConn.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot:  Lowell Beer Works

Yep, I picked them to finish last again.  Let me tell you this though, I tried really hard not to.  I tried to do everything I could to not only justify a 9th place finish, but even thought about picking them 8th.  Obviously they struggled to get wins, but last year’s freshman class for Lowell is very talented and deep.  And with a year under their belt I am anticipating them to progress and be a group that opposing defenses will have a tough time with.  So why are they picked last?  Goaltending.  I think with Doug Carr and Marc Boulanger coming back, and T.J. Massie to back them up, Lowell is going to lose a lot of games by a score of 3 to 4.  The goaltending is just poor and in just my non-professional opinion had very bad form in net.  Losing senior defensemen Maury Edwards and Ryan Blair will not help the situation.

Still, this team will win more than five games, will scare the hell out of some top level teams in Hockey East, and has a chance to do pretty well against a soft non-conference schedule.  I think River Hawk  fans realize they’re in rebuilding mode and will focus more on what’s going on behind the bench this season than the ice.  After last season’s historically low win total current UMass assistant Blaise MacDonald was let go after 10 years on the job.  Some River Hawk faithful immediately seized upon the idea of a former Lowell star riding into the mill city to rescue the program.  Of course they were dreaming of Craig MacTavish, he of the no helmet.  What they got was former Chief defenseman Norm Bazin.  Sure he doesn’t have the name recognition of MacTavish, but Bazin did have a lot of success at the Division III level with Hamilton, winning his conference’s coach of the year award two years in a row.  Does he have what it takes to get Lowell, which holds the longest NCAA tournament bid drought in the league, back to a level they once enjoyed in the 90’s?  This year will be the first step towards that answer.

They’ll Finish Lower Because:  Hockey East suddenly extends a membership invite to Alabama-Huntsville.

They’ll Finish Higher Because:  The young forwards mature quickly enough where they can beat other teams 5-4.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1.  ??
2.  ??
3.  ??
4.  ??
5.  ??
6.  ??
7.  ??
8.  ??
9.  ??
10.  Lowell River Hawks

As mentioned in last night’s blog, Paul Dainton got the win while making his NHL pre-season debut.  The Winnipeg paper gave him the second star of the game.  Unfortunately the link is also the only picture, showing him giving him giving up a goal to Evander “Matt Cooke is my bitch” Kane, I’ve found of Dainton making his debut.  Tonight he backed up Bluejacket starter Steve Mason in Columbus’ second game.  The Jackets have already sent one goaltender to Springfield from training camp.

Why yes, that is ice in the Mullins.

The NCHC conference extended invites to Western Michigan and St Cloud.  The overture to WMU was expected but the inclusion of SCSU is a little surprising.  Especially considering their reaction when they were initially snubbed by the new conference.  But such flip-flopping (or some would say hypocrisy) is the way of life in this ever-changing world of conference realignment.  After all, UConn is now groveling for an invitation to a conference they were suing not too long ago.  Hockey-wise realignment have pretty much settled now, I think, except for Notre Dame.  What’s going on with them?  Who knows. And I’m still waiting for someone, anyone, to save the UAH program.

Recruit Update

Time for the first recruit update of the hockey season.  However, first I thought I should address a question that has been asked of me and frankly one I’ve been asking myself.  Where are all the recruits?  As of now, at least according to the few recruiting resources available, UMass only has two players lined up to come to Amherst next fall, Shane Walsh and Kenny Gillespie, and none for future years.  This is by far the lowest numbers around Hockey East.  For example, Boston College already has 14 committed recruits, 7 for next year and the other 7 for future years.  Lowell has the second lowest next to UMass with 4.  Are players shying away from the school?  Is this a product of losing Red Gendron to Yale?  Is the word out that UMass is dropping men’s hockey in favor of a coed sailing team?

There are a few factors to consider before panicking.  First is the fact that UMass, due to early defections and other reasons, now have very imbalanced classes.  Currently the breakout looks as follows; 4 seniors, 4 juniors, 13 sophomores, 8 freshmen.  So UMass only has 8 upperclassmen in the first place.  And one of those, Kevin Moore, will not need to be replaced as UMass already has 3 goaltenders under scholarship for the next three years.  So all in all UMass only has three slots to fill for next year and have already done so for two of those.

Still, all other Hockey East teams have more than one recruit lined up for 2013 or later.  Should we be worried that no one is lined up already for those four spots that open after the current juniors graduate?  Let’s take a look at when the current freshman class committed.  The earliest was Kevin Boyle, who first committed to UMass 30 months before he ended up on campus.  The least was Emerson Auvenshine who committed less than 4 months before his freshman year.  On average the freshmen committed 9 months before the start of their UMass career and actually Boyle’s 2+ years is driving most of that, because the second longest is Zack LaRue who committed last December.

Looking at last year’s freshman class, on average the players committed 13 months before their freshman year.  Eric Filiou committed the earliest, 29 months before coming to Amherst.  Adam Phillips was the shortest at less than three months.  Phillips of course was one of the bigger (no pun intended) impact players last year, which suggests that earlier commitments do not necessarily translate to success.  Mike Pereira who performed the best of the freshmen last year committed 21 months before putting on the maroon and white.

So recruiting wise, even though there are only two players in the fold, things still seem OK.  Walsh and Gillespie are two quality players lined up for next year, and we’re still 24 months from the start of the 2013 season, which is a much greater time period than the team usually take to get recruits to commit.  And when that happens, I’ll do my best to pass along the details.

Now onto the update for the current recruits.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL)
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
The USHL is still in the midst of their pre-season, but so far so good for Gillespie.  One game.  One shot.  One goal.

Shane Walsh – LW –  Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
The official stats say Walsh has 0 points in 2 games but this story says he has a goal.  Oh well, I guess it’s preseason for the official scorers as well.

Adam Phillips was featured on INCH’s A-Z.

Paul Dainton made his NHL Pre-season debut tonight when he started the 2nd period of the game between the Bluejackets and Thrashers Jets.  As I write this there are 12 minutes left in the third and Dainton has saved 14 of 15 shots with his Jackets up 5-1.

***Dainton ended up getting the win, saving 17 of 18 shots.  Congrats Paul!

Here’s a good read on Jon Quick’s status as the #1 goaltender for the Kings going into training camp.

The first preseason poll is out and RIT is picked to finish first in Atlantic Hockey.  RIT got more good news when it was announced they’ll be hosting both Michigan and Penn State in coming years.  Congratulations.  Getting the Wolverines to leave the friendly confines of Yost for a non-conference game is near impossible for any team, much less for an AHA team.

Tomorrow I’ll be starting my Hockey East previews.

Monday Links; Dainton To Suit Up For Bluejackets

Dick Baker has the first of what will likely be many “Who’s in net for UMass?” articles.  This article centers on Jeff Teglia who hopes to build off last season and stay injury free to earn the spot in the crease.   He also spoke with redshirt freshman Steve Guzzo who missed all last season with a knee injury.

In alumni news, great to see Paul Dainton will be one of two goaltenders to dress for tomorrow’s preseason opener for the Columbus Bluejackets.

Greg Mauldin had a couple goals in an Avalanche intrasquad scrimmage.

Baker catches up with James Marcou who was unable to participate in Sharks camp as he is still recovering from a concussion dating back to last season.  I’m told he is pretty close to 100% though and hopefully will be cleared for full contact soon.

I did get an update on Alex Berry who was released by the Tampa Bay Lightning this spring.  He has gotten interest from other NHL teams but as of yet is still unsigned.  It is expected that he’ll catch on with an AHL training camp when they open.

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