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Saturday Recap Links

No true recap since I was not at the game last night. At first I was a little disappointed when my wife made plans for us up against a game that I could easily get to. I was really disappointed while checking scores during dinner to see UMass was up 3-0 early. But, in the end I’m very glad I missed this one. All the beer at mini-Sunset would likely not have been enough to wipe the memory of this collapse if I had witnessed it first hand.

Since I did not see or listen to the game I’m not going to comment on specific play. I will say that after my recap last week when I said this team had not improved from last year since they hadn’t figured out a way to win, I was told I was being overly negative. I was told my conclusions were premature. Well if this weekend didn’t solidify those observations, I don’t know what else would. The team had a 2-0 lead on Friday and a 3-0 lead last night and all they got for it was one Hockey East point. It’s nice to see that they can hang with good teams like BC and BU, but just hanging with good teams doesn’t get you trophies, banners, or a happy fan base.

I have no idea why we continue to see this type of play, these type of results year after year. UMass hockey has lacked a killer instinct needed to put opponents away for many seasons. This needs to change. Immediately. It’s early in the season, but these Hockey East games in October count as much as the ones in March. UMass will soon find themselves is hole they will not be able to climb their way out of in order to fulfill their goals for the season. Time for the team, coaches and players, to make the necessary adjustments, strategic or in how they approach the game mentally, to learn how to win. Otherwise it’s going to be another long and frustrating season in Amherst.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Steve Guzzo
I’m giving this one to Guzzo as his first collegiate goal gave the Minutemen the early lead.  He ended the night a +2.

Dick Baker calls the loss “pathetic” and says it was a complete meltdown for the Minutemen.

Here’s the recap from the Herald as well as from the Globe.

College Hockey News’ Joe Meloni puts the loss in the context of the larger collapses and disappointments in recent seasons.

The Globe has a feature on Jon Quick where he says he had doubts about his decision to leave UMass when he found himself in the ECHL.  Obviously in the long run it was for the best.

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25 Comments

  1. mel

     /  October 30, 2011

    Dick Baker is 100 percent correct, pathetic is the only way to describe last night’s loss. In fact, pathetic is probably the perfect word to sum up the season to date. 1 win against an Atlantic Hockey team and an 0-3-2 record in Hockey East. If things don’t change quickly, we will likely be looking at a battle for 10th place with UM Lowell and Vermont. Maybe missing the playoffs is what it will take to make a change at the top of the program.

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  2. Anonymous

     /  October 30, 2011

    a pathetic home ice penalty in ot doomed umass..a terrible call against umass.but this game should have been over
    when umass up 3-0 had a 5-3 p/p for 65 seconds..a chance for the dagger
    is cahoon the man responsible for this lack of killer instinct?

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  3. mel

     /  October 30, 2011

    The penalty was definitely questionable, but the game NEVER should have gone into overtime. Something needs to change here, because this team continues to be inconsistent and clueless about what is required to win. I am sure we will hear tough talk from Toot this week and likely nothing will change. In the last season and almost a quarter of this season, the team has won 7 hockey games — SEVEN. Basketball season can’t start soon enough.

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  4. paulie

     /  October 30, 2011

    So many years same result it cant be the players all the time,Just once TOOT should man up Also the players he put on the ice has alot to do with the end result

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  5. Anonymous

     /  October 30, 2011

    Just a little positive here,,,Congrats to Power on his two point night and first goal and to Guzzo as well for his first goal. Liked that line,,,seemed to be clicking.

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  6. Anonymous

     /  October 30, 2011

    its pretty simple. We need a new coach. We have a lack of changes during the game. Things we need to face…

    Defense just aren’t that good to be a top 10 team.
    Offense we have 3 players can’t can put up points the rest wouldn’t play top 2 lines on any of the top 10 teams in the country.
    Lack of effort and focus. The will to win.
    Recruiting…Theres to ways to recruit. you build a team with young recruits and fill the rest with older players at the signing period. Or you build a team with Older players and hope to get a few young guys. Right now Merrimack even Providence looking at next yr recruits are kicking are butts.
    The program needs a new face someone that is young.
    Toot is insane “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” change it up mix it up. try something new.

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  7. Anonymous

     /  October 30, 2011

    It’s time for Toot to go. Did great things for the program. Took an awful program and made it relevant, took them to the NCAA’s. But it’s time for a change.

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  8. Carson

     /  October 30, 2011

    this team is so incredibly frustrating to watch. as you said, they have proven they can hang with teams like BU. but at the same time, there was absolutely no reason that they shouldve lost this game. after watching the first period, i actually felt good about the potential result of the game. moving forward, i will save my optimism about this team for after the final buzzer.

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  9. George

     /  October 31, 2011

    “It’s time for Toot to go. Did great things for the program. Took an awful program and made it relevant, took them to the NCAA’s. But it’s time for a change.”

    No, Jon Quick took them to the NCAA’s (they won 1-0, real similar to the offenses of past and present). If the sample size isn’t large enough now, when will it be?

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  10. Anonymous

     /  October 31, 2011

    A coach can only do so much, at least some of the blame has to go on the players.

    Like

    • Justin

       /  October 31, 2011

      Agreed 100%…except we’ve been hearing this off and on for 7-8 years. At that point it is on the coaches. Maybe they need to recruit kids that listen, or work harder, or whatever is “on the players.”

      In the end, once the game gets on the ice, it’s almost always on the players- coach can’t play. However, when the players (across classes) have a consistent record of inconsistency on the ice…well, that’s on the coaches to recruit the right kids, prepare them to play, and to keep them focused during games and practice.

      I’m just frustrated because that is not a good BU squad. What I saw this weekend makes me think Jack Parker is just about done with coaching. The talent is top notch, but BU was sloppy, unfocused, and undisciplined. UMass should have taken 4 points from a team that is superior than them talent-wise, but didn’t. It’s too bad, because it’s likely going to affect their place in the standings in the long run, which may cost people their jobs.

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      • mel

         /  October 31, 2011

        Agree 100 percent, Justin. BU was ripe for the taking and UMass was able to squeeze only one point out of the weekend.

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  11. Anonymous

     /  October 31, 2011

    Toot, Toot, Toot-sie by, by. Toot, Toot, Toot-sie we won’t cry. Toot, Toot, Toot-sie see ya!

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  12. Anonymous

     /  October 31, 2011

    Agreed Justin, I was not impressed at all with BU this weekend in both games.

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  13. Bullmoose

     /  October 31, 2011

    Seems to me that UMass’ success (2003, 2004, 2007) in the past decade is correlated with Mark Dennehy being assistant coach…

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    • I was waiting for that comment, because everytime people debate Cahoon status as coach it comes up.

      So whenever UMass loses it’s Toot’s fault. When UMass has had success it’s either because a single player (Quick) just miraculously decided to come to UMass having never interacted with the head coach or because of the assistant coaching staff who, through recruiting and game planning, led the teams to win in spite of Cahoon.

      Listen there is extensive reason to criticize Cahoon about regarding the disappointing time of his tenure here. But you can’t do so without also giving him credit for the successes. If UMass had success because of Quick it’s because Cahoon saw his talent and gave him a scholarship. If UMass had success because of Gilligan or Dennehy it’s because Cahoon gave them the job here and they were all on the same page.

      God damn. Nothing infuriates me more than the people who pile on Cahoon for every unsuccessful shift and yet credit everyone from the zamboni driver to Mrs Bishko for the successes while giving none to Cahoon.

      Matt Anderson was on the roster in 2003, 2004, and 2007. Can UMass not win now because they’re waiting for the next Matt Anderson and his 8 goals per season average?

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      • Anonymous

         /  October 31, 2011

        The players have to take some responsiblity along with the coaches. Part of the problem that has been noticable is that the other teams shorten the bench when it gets close and UMass does not seem to shorten the bench at all. We are still playing the 4th line and often times it is against the 1st or 2nd line. That is where the assistant coaches make the differnce.

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      • Justin

         /  October 31, 2011

        This is an important point to raise, and I think it’s one of the reasons some of us have been hesitant to bash Toot too much (even though I’ve made my feelings clear). He presided over a stretch of great hockey (03-07 when we should probably have had 3 NCAA tourney bids), and even lost a season (or two) due to some kids jumping early (even if it may have been his own fault). He’s shown us that he is capable of taking the program in the right direction at times, and he faces a daunting task trying to succeed in HE.

        Some of the ‘Fire Toot’ brigade has unrealistic expectations for the UMass program. We’re never going to be a perennial top-ten team…it just isn’t going to happen unless we get real lucky. I broke this down in another place, but Notre Dame and Miami are essentially the only two non-traditional powers to be consistently top ten teams over the past 10 years. Hockey is much like Lacrosse in that sense. I think the best we can hope for is a Greg Cannella type, who can make us a consistent NCAA threat that goes on a run every few times through.

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      • Bullmoose

         /  November 1, 2011

        I didn’t mean to hit a nerve. And correlation doesn’t imply causation. 🙂

        I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes of UMass hockey team. I only see product on the ice. I think that picking assistant coaching staff is similar to recruiting players, and it is just as, if not more, important. I think Toot is an adequate coach, but perhaps he hasn’t developed the “team chemistry” with his assistants quite yet (as there has been turnover in the past few years.) Maybe after some time they will work well together. Maybe they haven’t gotten the division of labor quite right yet… I don’t know, but I am willing to give them time to work things out.

        Contrary to the results on the ice, this year’s team does look different (physicality is more evident, for example.) They are trying new things…

        As I said previously, HE has two 500-lb gorillas (BU/BC) and two 300-lb gorillas (UNH/Maine), plus a 250-lb gorilla that’s growing (Merrimack). It’s a difficult conference to compete in… While the results of the past two weeks sucks, many of us sort of expected that coming into the season (I know where you picked Minutemen, Rocks, but my pick wasn’t that high due to youth of the team)… So, let’s see what happens next…

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  14. Anonymous

     /  October 31, 2011

    Dennehy should get some credit. And Toot gets some credit for the past success too. He recruited Jon Quick, and you can say that is the only reason they got to the NCAA’s, but he recruited Jon Quick, so he gets credit for that.

    Is a lot of this on the players? Yup. But Toot picks the players. And when you have underachieved for 4 straight years now, with similar problems each year (except last year when they were inexperienced), that is on coaching. They have shown they can find talent that hangs with the BU’s and BC’s, but they consistently can’t get over the hump and find ways to lose. To me, that’s coaching, and the time is ripe for a change.

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  15. Anonymous

     /  November 1, 2011

    love the comments…this emotion is good…we love umass and want umass
    to win and defeat bc/bu….umass is a sleeping giant in hockey …the fan
    base is there…the facilities are there…go umass

    Like

  16. Anonymous

     /  November 1, 2011

    Seriously, lets get this going the other way and these comments will be alot more fun!

    Like

  17. George

     /  November 1, 2011

    Rocks fair point as I’m certain you were responding directly to me. I’ll give him credit for that. But the negatives since 2002-03 when this really became his team far outweigh the positives.

    Justin’s 9:44pm comment is of interest….”We’re never going to be a perennial top-ten team…it just isn’t going to happen unless we get real lucky.”

    Why not? Unlike football and basketball that has CAA/MAAC and A-10 stepping stone written all over it, we are the flagship school playing in the arguably the best conference in the country with one of the better facilities in the country. We should be able to attract a top notch coach if the powers that be want to put some effort into it. Just seeing Dennehy with and WITHOUT DeCosta having success makes me believe it’s possible and the answers are not that far way.

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  18. Puck Pagan

     /  November 2, 2011

    George, I agree with your comments. There is no reason we cannot be a national power as we play in Hockey East and offer a great educational package and facilities. There are plenty of great coaches our there, unlike basketball they do not get a national media pipeline to let everyone know who they are.

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