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Vermont Recap

As mentioned in my preview, statistically Vermont is a horrible team.  It’s not as though those stats were accumulated over just a couple games, the Cats have played almost a third of their season already.  But in the face of those statistics, up against a more than struggling Vermont team, coming after a listless loss at Lowell on Saturday, the UMass hockey team gave the Cats their first Hockey East win of the season.

Vermont came into the game giving up 4.44 goals a game.  UMass managed only one against.  Rob Madore was last in Hockey East in goals against with 4.60.  Again, UMass managed only one against.  It was the first time that Vermont held ANY TEAM to under four goals all season.  Not only could UMass not score, but for the second straight game they generated less than 20 shots.  But wait, it gets worse.  Vermont had the worst penalty kill among all college hockey teams at 65%.  UMass’ power play went 0 for 4.

This team is absolutely lost.  There were a few bright spots in this game and Saturday’s loss at Lowell, guys like Jeff Teglia, T.J. Syner, Eddie Olczyk, and Conor Sheary.  But even those guys are having a tough time playing cohesively.  Then when word comes out that leading scorer Mike Pereira was a healthy scratch for tonight’s game, you have to wonder what’s going on between the players and the coaching staff.

UMass is in a very bad spot.  With no other Hockey East games in the next few weeks and Maine and Vermont playing a two game series in a couple weeks it assures the fact that UMass will start 2012 in 9th place or at the very best a three way tie for 8th in Hockey East.  That’s unacceptable in my eyes.  This team has the talent to at least be in the middle of the pack in the conference.  There’s no excuse not to be.  The team is still young, but so are others.  The team’s youngest position, goaltender, certainly hasn’t been the problem in the last three games that has seen them score just three goals total and go 0 for 15 on the power play.  The team now plays three ECAC teams where they absolutely have to play well to get some momentum and confidence back before winter break.  Otherwise, this entire season could slip away by mid-January.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – T.J. Syner
Syner had the lone goal for the Minutemen and had most of their decent scoring chances as well.  Syner has registered a point in all but two games this season.

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27 Comments

  1. paulie

     /  November 22, 2011

    Coach has to go now .NO EXCUSES ITS TIME

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  2. Anonymous

     /  November 22, 2011

    a top 10 h/e scorer intentionally not allowed to play?

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    • I’m not going to criticize the decision until I know the reasoning. It’s too bad such a wake up call didn’t get the attention of the rest of the team though.

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  3. There is no way they let Toot go mid-season, but you have to think it’s at least a possibility if they miss the playoffs.

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  4. Anonymous

     /  November 22, 2011

    Who would be a good fit for the program. one name that comes to mind is david quinn. almost took the providence job last year. hear he was a great recruiter. also pereira is a playmaker he works hard he isn’t going to win every battle or be the best defensive player but he is a guy that has throughout 2 yrs scored many big goals.. 2-1 hockey game who knows what if he played.. just doesn’t make sense..

    losing to vermont after being beat 4-0 last week can’t happen if you expect to be a top team in hockey east. The team needs to bring everybody back on the bus..not enough guys playing for the team goal.

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  5. Anonymous

     /  November 22, 2011

    toot sounds like hes pretty satisfied after the game vs vermont.. must of gave up on the year already.. low expectations..losing to the last place team in the division should not make anyone happy.

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  6. Kevin

     /  November 23, 2011

    All I can say is unfreaking believable! They are not getting out of theses guy what is there to get.

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  7. Kevin

     /  November 23, 2011

    Toot calls this game “a step forward” how does he figure that?

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  8. mel

     /  November 23, 2011

    Craptastic is the only way to describe what is going on right now. And, for the head coach to call last night a step forward. WTF? 19 shots and 1 goal against the second worst defensive team in the nation. 0-4 on the power play against the worst penalty kill in the nation. Losing to a previous winless team in Hockey East. These all represent a step forward? All I can do is say WTF? As for the benching of Pereira, he had to have f’ed up in a major way, because if Toot is benching players because of their poor performance, the team would have to forfeit all upcoming games.

    They needed 4 points in this past 3 games and they got one. It appears that it is going to be extremely difficult for this team to make the HE playoffs. Maybe that’s a good thing, although the prevailing opinion seems to be that the U won’t buy out Toot at the end of the season regardless, because the money isn’t there.

    This team should be in the middle of the pack in Hockey East. Instead, right now it is one of the worst teams, if not the worst after losing last night to a really bad UVM squad.

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  9. Will

     /  November 23, 2011

    Yes, they lost to a horrible team; HOWEVER, Vermont got excellent goaltending from Madore throughout most of the game. Excellent. He robbed the team of a few goals, and you cannot just look at his past lack of success to point out why we should have put up more points. The power play looked much better despite not getting results, but my concern is shots on goal. I believe that you can point out good goaltending as a reason for a loss, BUT you have to actually challenge that goaltender with plenty of shots.

    My thoughts on the game:
    Positives:
    1) Syner continues to show he has what it takes to be a top player in Hockey East.
    2) Gracel, Sheary, Shea, and Allen all had strong games.
    3) Teglia showed some great saves late in the game, and his only two goals allowed were very impressive top corner snipes by the same player. He is overly aggressive sometimes, though, and gets caught out of position.

    Negatives:
    1) The team can’t seem to win any important faceoffs! Guzzo and Gracel are the only players on the team over 0.500 with more than 15 faceoffs.
    2) The timing of the penalties were not ideal, to say the least. Ending periods with penalties and taking a penalty with 4:00 left in the game is unacceptable.
    3) We lost to UVM…

    Confused:
    1) Why the hell didn’t Phillips or Pereira play? Can’t believe Pereira was a healthy scratch. He is the only clinical finisher on the team and always plays with intensity.
    2) Cannot begin to comprehend how a trip on Syner wasn’t called. Most obvious call I have seen all season and the refs ignored it.
    3) If Time On Ice stats were available, I would guess the bottom forward two lines combined for 15 minutes. Toot was just cycling between top lines and seems to have no confidence in his bottom lines.

    Like

    • Carson

       /  November 23, 2011

      I agree totally about Madore playing out of his mind. True we didn’t generate enough shots on net, but it would be hard to argue that we didn’t get enough quality chances. There were at least a handful of shots that I recall that probably would’ve been goals on another night…Madore was just totally on his game last night and we all knew that he was capable of that despite his poor stats thusfar. And yes that non-call on the trip Syner was the most blatant missed call I have seen in a long time…and one more side note, I actually really liked the commentators on the UVM video stream – seemed to me to be very fair and quick to compliment UMass players and totally willing to admit when calls were missed (like the Syner trip)…nice to see that.

      Like

    • Well thought out post, Will. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  10. Anonymous

     /  November 23, 2011

    Quite frankly I don’t care how well the Vermont goalie played..good teams – teams that finish in the top of conferences find ways to win or tie…this team can’t find that we lose leads we beat BC ok but look at the other teams holy cross, bentley? That’s not elite wins.. You win games by doing the little things that add up. We don’t…Im tired of making excuseb for this team and coaching staff.. Definition of insanity is doing the same thin over and over and expecting different results.. Sounds like a team I know…

    If pereira screwed up I agree he should b bench but if it was to make a statement he picked a wrong game to do it…hockey east points are to important to be benching the leading goal scorer..

    Captains needs to step up and take control it’s there team at the end of the day…

    Like

    • Totally agree with the first part of your comment. Good teams would’ve solved a very vulnerable Madore.

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  11. Anonymous

     /  November 23, 2011

    the non-tripping call was late 3rd period w/ tj closing to to the uvm net for either a
    centering pass or a wrap around…no uvm player could handle him all night and we still don’t get this call…terrible non-call
    and one minute later the uvm player takes a dive in neutral ice and uvm gets the p/p w/less than 4 minutes left…after umass was controlling the play and producing tremendous chances….
    madore was unreal in the third period – true statement….but umass should beat this team
    handily @ mullins center…

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  12. Anonymous

     /  November 23, 2011

    Sources are saying pereira was benched to make a statement to the team. He missed the net a couple times on Saturday and they want more out of him by finishing checks, etc. Something I think he does most of the time. As for Phillips they are saying he needs to compete harder which is true at times. But when push comes to shove and you need 2 huge HE points, you play to win, not to prove a statement to your team. Who knows, with your best goal scorer maybe one of those scrums around the net goes in. We will never know though

    Like

    • Anonymous

       /  November 23, 2011

      This has happened before this year to other players as well.

      Like

  13. Will

     /  November 23, 2011

    yep- that call on the dive RIGHT after the trip on TJ made it even worse. I don’t mind if they call both really, but choosing to send only UM to the box was horrible. and yes, the UVM stream’s commentators did a good job. I thought they were a bit tough on Teglia’s play, but in fairness he did play sporatically.

    And regarding the response to my comment that good teams find ways to win and don’t make excuses, I completely agree, but I do like to give credit where credit is due (UVM’s goalie).

    Like

  14. George

     /  November 23, 2011

    The pregame interview stated both players were healthy scratches. There is nothing to speculate on except what message is the coach sending to his players and did he pick the right two players to sit?

    The Madore talk is crazy. UMass can’t finish as stated above and we have made many goaltenders look Dryden-like.

    Like

  15. mel

     /  November 23, 2011

    Sorry, but if the above post is accurate about why Pereira was benched, then I find the reason ludicrous. There are other players on this team who don’t seem to be finishing checks, etc. And “he missed the net a couple of times” is part of the reason to get benched? So he benches the top goal scorer and a starting defenseman against horrible UVM and they lose. But, Toot thinks last night was a step forward, so I guess all is well with the world.

    Like

    • Will

       /  November 23, 2011

      Agreed, I don’t give a shit if Pereira finishes his checks. Benching him for that is like benching Yevenko for not scoring.

      Like

  16. Bob

     /  November 23, 2011

    I also heard pereira was bench for not finishing his checks and playing harder in the defensive zone. He’s a goal scorer he plays hard. We can’t expect him to play like he’s 6’1 200lbs.. You might not notice him all game but he always finds the back of net. Rocks can we find out information because If this is true we have serious problems.

    Like

    • Please look at the post I just put on the site. The stats show that Pereira is aboslutely a defensive liability. 8 goals but a +1. Syner 6 goals +4. Guzzo 4 goals +7. Sheary 4 goals +6.

      Like

  17. paulie

     /  November 23, 2011

    Big deal what about the guys with no points who continue to play and are minus he could be bench during a game but scratching him is nothing but STUPITY

    Like

  18. George

     /  November 24, 2011

    We are 4-1-1 in games he has scored in. Against swiss cheese like Tuesday night I would have liked his chances, defensive liability or not. A 4-3 win is better than a 2-1 loss.

    Like

  1. Around Hockey East: 11/28 | Husky Hockey
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