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Harvard Recap

Well, that was a pretty good step forward from the way the team had played as of late.  The team had much better focus.  I thought the effort was improved.  And on both offense and defense I thought execution looked better.  Who knows, with some semi-competent officiating UMass might’ve actually won the game by a goal or two.

Offensively UMass looked much better, far surpassing the shot totals we’ve seen during the three game losing streak with 35.  Everyone was involved as well, with only four players not registering shots during the game.  Mike Pereira bounced back from his recent struggles with two assists on the game.  T.J. Syner was all over the place during the game and finished with an assiss and 5 shots and almost was able to put home the game winner a couple times in overtime.  There’s some confusion as to the scoring of all the goals as Adam Phillips was originally credited with a goal that looks like has now been changed.  Either way, I thought Phillips had one of his best games of the season.  In addition to his contributions on offense he had a handful of key poke checks at different points in the game when Harvard was moving towards the net.  Steve Guzzo continues to contribute regularly with a goal and an assist last night.  It wasn’t the prettiest of goals as he basically just hacked away at the puck in front of Harvard netminder Steve Michalek, but those are the kind of goals you get when you attack the net and follow your own shot.  Unfortunately UMass didn’t get much chance to work on their power play as they were only awarded one power play (to Harvard’s six) but they were able to move the puck well during that one opportunity.

UMass still has some work to do on the penalty kill.  First is to stay out of the box.  Everyone surrounding the program praises the grit and energy that Pat Kiley brings to the ice, but last night was the second time this season that he has gone to the box three times in the game.  If that continues it’s tough to see how the coaching staff can continue to dress him for games.  All in all UMass was called for eight penalties on the night and while a few of them were of the ridiculous sort, like Conor Sheary getting pushed into the goaltender in overtime, some of them were warranted.  And once again when UMass was on the penalty kill they did not fare well, giving up two goals in six tries.  While other aspects of UMass’ game have gone up and down as the season has gone along the kill has been poor the whole time and needs improving.  Other parts of the defensive effort looked good for UMass.  Led by Rocco Carzo who had 3 really hard hits, the team brought a good physical aspect to the game.  Kevin Boyle played solid, picking up 40 saves for the first time in his career.  All in all it was tough to pin any of the goals on him.

Like I said, this was a good step forward.  UMass got their offense back on track and can move onto the next non-conference game with a little more confidence.  What was impressive last night was the way UMass immediately answered Harvard’s goals.  Each time the Crimson scored their first three goals UMass scored their own in a little over a minute after.  Of course at the same time it’s too bad that UMass gave up their one goal lead four different times.  But it was tough for them to get any kind of insurance goals while constantly killing off penalties.

Lastly, in the postgame press conference Toot Cahoon and Conor Sheary both talked about how the atmosphere and crowd at the Mullin has helped them remain undefeated there.  But last night it nearly cost them the game.  Some moronic student or students decided it’d be funny to throw chuck-a-pucks on the ice during play.  Not only is this stupid, it’s dangerous for the players on the ice.  And it indirectly led to a Harvard goal, because in the scrum during the stoppage in play caused by the puck thrown on the ice is when Joel Hanley picked up his facemask penalty.  The Crimson scored on the subsequent power play.  Listen, if you’re a student who cares enough about the team to be reading this blog, I know it wasn’t one of you.  But if you see an idiot who chooses to put the players’ success and health at risk by throwing stuff on the ice, not to mention disrupt everyone else who is trying to enjoy the game, do something about it.  Point them out to the Mullin security staff (if you can find them).  Or use one of the profane chants usually reserved for opposing players or official on them.  Either way, that kind of crap can’t be tolerated.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Danny Hobbs
What a difference a healthy Danny Hobbs makes.  After being hindered by injuries in the last few weeks and unable to make much impact even when he did play, Hobbs looked very much like we saw at the beginning of the season last night.  He ended up with a goal and an assist and a +2 last night, plus had a few other opportunities where he just missed a goal or scoring chance.

Here are the recaps from the Republican as well as from the Gazette.

The Boston Herald has the game story as well.

#1 Merrimack was upset by Providence in overtime last night.

San Jose Sharks blog Fear The Fin has an interview with Matt Irwin where he talks about his time at UMass and decision to leave early.  Good to hear he’s still working on his degree however.  Irwin scored the game winner for Worcester last night assisted by Justin Braun who was just sent down to the AHL.

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23 Comments

  1. Daniel

     /  December 3, 2011

    I hope Umass athletics does something to punish the student that threw the pucks. There should be a name associated with the pucks and that student should be banned from games. I also hope that this is the last time that chuck a pucks are brought to the student section to be sold even though most of us are smart enough to not throw things on the ice it only takes one person trying to be funny to do something funny.

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  2. Anonymous

     /  December 3, 2011

    This is what it has come down to? A tie against a bad ECAC squad and we are calling it a step forward? Has the program really deteriorated that much? This team gave up the lead 4!!! TIMES!11. They were undisciplined in all three zones. They take bad penalties. No one can “finish” (despite the 4 goals). Boyle was NOT good. He can be faulted on ALL the goals. The 4th was a wrist shot from the blue line. Please don’t tell me he was screened. Part of a goalies job is to play off the screen. You should mention that UMass hung on for the tie. Harvard missed and open net at the end that would have sealed it. At the end of overtime this UMass team that is supposedly taking a step forward gave up a point blank shot on net AND the rebound. I watched the game on TV (horrible feed) and the penalty in overtime was in fact a penalty. The defender extended his arms after Sheary dove in to the goalie. This is the first game I watched this year and if you are correct in your assessment that this was a step forward (and i’m fairly confident in your hockey knowledge) …im in shock

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    • Carson

       /  December 3, 2011

      the fourth goal was on a deflection that boyle had almost no chance to stop

      Like

    • I’m saying it was a step forward in the context of how badly they played in the previous three games.

      Like

    • Will

       /  December 3, 2011

      the 4th was a wrister from the blue line THAT GOT TIPPED. sitting in the student section gave a very very good view of the goal, and it was of the more impressive i have seen all season. the puck was off-frame and was tipped by a Harvard forward very skillfully and went 5-hole.

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  3. Anonymous

     /  December 3, 2011

    the worst calls against umass in years…how can you explain these calls against umass
    at our rink?…especially the non-calls…i.e. the blatant holding of guzzo in ot directly in front of the goalie?…the refs kept harvard in the game all night….
    need to play yevenko and hanley on d during p/k….guzzo could have a great career at umass- lots of potential ….syner is a beast

    Like

  4. Carson

     /  December 3, 2011

    Great recap as usual.

    I agree that boyle was not really at fault for most of the goals…maybe killorn’s pp goal, but then again killorn skated through our entire defense untouched so boyle definitely could have received more help in that respect.

    Hobbs did look good, but it seemed to me at times that he was pressing a little bit, and missed on a few rebound/loose puck chances that he would normally bury. Not really worried about it, and I’m assuming it is at least partly due to the fact that he has probably not been producing quite the way he would have wanted to up to this point in the season. In any event, I’m sure he will be just fine.

    As far as Kiley, I like his tenacity but honestly I don’t see why he should be given a chance over a guy like Emerson Auvenshine, or Zack Larue, or Pete DeAngelo when he is going to the box three times a game. The fact that Kiley is tied for second on the team in number of penalties despite having only played a third of the games says something. I would rather see one of the aforementioned guys in there over him.

    On another note, I have been curious as to why we haven’t seen more of Andrew Tegeler.

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  5. Carson

     /  December 3, 2011

    also casey wellman scored for the wild last night!

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  6. Anonymous

     /  December 3, 2011

    Agree with all of what has been said here. Boyle is not to blame and had no chance on the redirect goal. Refs were garbarge and there could have been several calls on harvard in OT, especially that blatant hold against guzzo. The fool who threw the puck on the ice was in a group of clowns a couple rows in front of me. I wasnt sure which one it was but kept an eye on them for the rest of the game. No one around me really knew much about hockey and were not aware that objects on the ice could result in penalty. I tried to explain that and then when they finally announced it the idiots who threw it became all giddy and started congratulating each other. I think IQs should be tested at the door…

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  7. mel

     /  December 3, 2011

    I guess a tie with an ECAC team is nice after losing badly to an ECAC team last weekend. If this team does not get its act together soon, it will get throttled in the final 15 or so Hockey East games.

    Like

  8. Will

     /  December 3, 2011

    “Or use one of the profane chants usually reserved for opposing players or official on them.”

    We tried starting an “asshole” chant to the kid, but it didn’t catch. good recap.

    Like

  9. Anonymous

     /  December 3, 2011

    cannot play kiley who commits needless penalties, when we are ahead no less, and kills
    umass momentum

    Like

  10. As far as Matt and I could see (from our usual spot right behind the Flag), not a single yellow-shirt did a thing about the pucks thrown on the ice, even after the announcement. Not. A. Thing. Not even a half-hearted glance around to find the person. The two in the front of section R/S looked asleep…not sure they even heard the announcement. I was looking to see if the ones at the top of the stairs did anything, but it didn’t look like there was any effort whatsoever to find the culprits. Hey that’s great, just let them go ahead and keep doing it until it COSTS THE TEAM ON THE ICE.

    This is even more infuriating than the Northeastern game, where the yellow-shirt in our section had kids who came to the game late standing right behind him in the middle of the stairway. What, exactly, is the point of having event staff if they’re not going to actually do anything (aside from sternly admonishing Flag Guy for starting a “Jesus Hate You” chant against Holy Cross)?

    Like

  11. Amy

     /  December 5, 2011

    I heard a rumor that Moore was going to join the club team to get some playing time. Do you know if there is any truth to that?

    Like

  12. Anonymous

     /  December 5, 2011

    Tegeler made a big mistake going to UMass… he would be playing if he had accepted one of the other offers he had. Toots must be blind!!!

    Like

    • I want people to feel free to say what’s on their mind, but reading stuff like “PlayerX made a mistake coming to UMass” is going to make me lose my patience. Please do not disparage the school or the hockey program itself if you’re unhappy with the coaching. The university is more than the hockey program and the hockey program is more than its coaching staff.

      Like

  13. Anonymous

     /  December 5, 2011

    9 NEW ENGLAND TEAMS 12-5-11 EITHER RANKED ON RECVG. VOTES…NOT ONE
    IS UMASS….
    LET’ GO BOYS – PUT THE WOOD TO YALE WED.!

    Like

  14. Carson

     /  December 5, 2011

    i liked the top 2 lines they had in pereira-guzzo-hobbs and syner-gracel-sheary….hope they keep those together and let them gel

    Like

    • Agreed. At least with Guzzo’s emergence it’s obvious who the top six forwards are. Five of those guys looked very good on their respective lines on Friday. Only Gracel seemed to struggle a bit.

      Like

      • Carson

         /  December 6, 2011

        yea this is true. sheary and syner look really good together, lets hope gracel can get up to speed with them (and i think he can/will)

        Like

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