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Maroon & White Thoughts

It was great to see some UMass hockey last night, even if it was only an intrasquad scrimmage.  It was an entertaining game, played with two 12 minute periods with the third being 15 minutes of alternating power plays.  White won the game on a nice looking gamewinner by Conor Sheary who wristed a shot top corner for the goal.  The first goal was by Eddie Olczyk on a penalty shot (players did not serve penalties) against Kevin Moore that went five hole.  Branden Gracel scored a power play goal for Maroon.

There were a few players not dressed, the two captains Danny Hobbs and T.J. Syner as well as freshman goaltender Steve Mastalerz.  As far as I heard Hobbs and Syner should be available to play Friday at Northeastern.  It is too bad that Mastalerz is a little banged up did not have a chance to play.

The goaltending that we did get to see by Kevin Boyle and Jeff Teglia was very solid.  Both had 19 saves on the night.  I wouldn’t say they were challenged too much, though Boyle did have a nice sequence of point blank saves at one point, but both performed well and made the saves they had to.  The Sheary goal would’ve been tough to save, the Olczyk goal was against Kevin Moore on a penalty shot, and Gracel’s came from a pile up in front of the net.  Both looked good and I wouldn’t say from the short viewing experience that one has an advantage over the other.

As I said, they weren’t challenged too much.  I had hoped to see a little more action on offense.  The power play did not show much improvement and seems to have the same issues regarding moving the puck and getting in a good position to shoot as we saw last year.  Obviously, the offense was missing a lot with the two captains not dressed.  Mike Pereira was active all over the ice but didn’t seem to get many shots off.  Overall the defense was probably the star of the show, as they stifled the offense and looked much more physical than last year.  So physical in fact there was even a little altercation between Conor Allen and big Oleg Yevenko at one point and they had to be separated.  They did hug it out in the handshake line though, so I wouldn’t worry about problems between them.  In fact I think it shows that this team is taking this all very seriously.

On defense I thought Mike Marcou probably played the best which is a nice sign going into his senior year.  Yevenko looked good.  His skating was better than I expected and thanks to his reach had a couple of poke checks that disrupted the offensive transition.  For the other freshman I like what I saw from Emerson Auvenshine.  He may have been the most active player on the ice and I think he’ll contribute more than I initially expected.  Zack LaRue and Andrew Tegeler are both big bodies that can skate very well.

I didn’t expect the defense and goaltending to be the stars of the night, especially since most players were not hitting as much as would be expected against other teams.  But that was the case.  Hopefully with a full complement of players and some practices under their belt we’ll see improved offense in time for the game against Northeastern.

Here are Dick Baker’s thoughts on the scrimmage.

Mike Kostka is still doing well in his shot to make the Florida Panthers out of camp.

An average performance in Wild camp means Casey Wellman will start in the AHL.

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3 Comments

  1. Carson

     /  October 2, 2011

    Yevenko looked HUGE out on the ice…what a big body

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  2. Anonymous

     /  October 2, 2011

    I thought Boyle looked great. Will be interesting who Toot goes with, the penalty scenarios in the 3rd period were very interesting. Yevenko hit Allen high it looked like. Again I am very curious to see what they do with the defensemen, they have so many options for the 6th spot. I really hope they dont go with 7.

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  3. Anonymous

     /  October 3, 2011

    Just happy to see Kevin Moore get some time….heard the kid works hard

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